Fort Bragg North Commissary’s Turner named DeCA Disabled Employee of the Year
FORT LEE, Va. – John Turner III, assistant commissary officer at the Fort Bragg North Commissary in North Carolina, has been selected DeCA’s Outstanding Disabled Employee of the Year for 2021.
As DeCA’s nominee, Turner will receive formal recognition at the DOD Disabled Employee Awards ceremony being hosted at the Pentagon Oct. 7. He was chosen from five submissions from across the agency to be the nominee.
“Mr. Turner has made outstanding contributions to DeCA's mission through his work at the Fort Bragg North Commissary and in the surrounding community,” said Bill Moore, DeCA’s director and CEO. “Mr. Turner's commitment to service has distinguished him as a valuable employee who is deserving of recognition as a DOD Outstanding Disabled Employee of the Year.”
Turner, who lost his right hand in a work-related accident 40 years ago, began his civil service career in 1983 at Fort Bragg’s main commissary. Between 1986 and 1989, Turner worked at the Army’s Troop Support Agency European Commissary Regions at Bremerhaven, Garlstedt and Bamberg in Germany, before returning to Fort Bragg for good in 1989.
“I have worked for the agency for 38 years and nine months and have spent 35 years of that career at the Braggs,” says Turner. “Throughout my career, DeCA has provided a good life for my family. I raised three children and I have been afforded the opportunity to both work and live in another country.”
“I’ve worked with Mr. Turner at both Bragg stores,” said Maureen McCarthy, store director at Fort Bragg North. “We shared an office here when he was the perishable store manager and I was the semi perishable store manager. You really get to know a person under those close conditions, and I found John to be deeply committed to his family and his profession.
“I think he is a good choice for the recognition because he has chosen to use the past 40 years since his accident not dwelling on what he had lost but looking to the future to teach, inspire and motivate others through his own personal experiences,” she added.
When not at work, Turner says he enjoys being outdoors, travel and family time. “I enjoy playing golf, pier fishing, traveling and spending time with my grandchildren,” he said.
According to Kevin Hennelly, DeCA’s director of equal employment opportunity, Turner is among good company as this year’s DeCA nominee for the honor. “I have attended the award ceremony at the Pentagon on several occasions. I’m always impressed by the people, like Mr. Turner and the other nominees, who overcame their disabilities and make important contributions to the accomplishment of the mission of the Department,” he said.
“Almost 12 percent of the permanent workforce has a reportable disability and 2.11 percent have severe or ‘targeted’ disabilities,” Hennelly added. “If we focus on what these teammates can do for DeCA we will benefit them and the Agency by putting their talent to work.”
About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Commissaries provide a military benefit, saving authorized patrons thousands of dollars annually on their purchases compared to similar products at commercial retailers. The discounted prices include a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.