Published on July 15th, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff1
General Turner Speaks at Lexington Chamber Breakfast
Pictured above from left; Marvin E. Robinson, Jr., Lexington Chamber Board Chair, Major General (Retired) Abraham J. Turner and Randy Halfacre, President/CEO, The Greater Lexington Chamber and Visitors Center. Photo by Calvin Reese, Millennium Magazine.
Imagine a military man of 35 years. A man who has risen to the rank of Major General, served all around the world, earning countless honors and awards, and adding numerous distinctions to his resume.
Imagine that man talking about the development of his philosophy on leadership.
Tuesday morning at RADIUS, that man was retired Major General Abraham Turner, and he delivered a speech that hit home with the audience at the Greater Lexington Chamber and Visitors Center’s monthly breakfast.
“I learned everything I needed to know about leadership by the time I was five years old,” Turner told the crowd, recalling an interview with a young reporter from Business Week magazine that had taken place about a decade ago when he was serving as the Commanding General at Fort Jackson. “He looked at me, and he was startled. He had this look of disbelief, pretty much like the look I see on some of your faces right now.”
Turner went on to explain that he lived with his grandmother from the age of two until age six. He lived in the small community of Cainhoy, nestled between the Berkeley and Charleston County line at the Wando River on the outskirts of Mount Pleasant.
“Grandma Rebecca said to me there are some rules you’ve got to live by boy. That’s the way it is. You’ve got to live by these rules,” Turner said. “And forever more, you’ve got to commit yourself to these rules. I call them Grandma Rebecca’s Rules of Life. They’re very simple, and they’re very straightforward. But I have committed myself to these four rules.”
The first rule was to treat everyone you meet as you would want to be treated, not how you are treated. The second was to always respect your elders.
“She had a switch to back that up,” Turner said.
About Major General (Retired) Abraham J. Turner
Major General (Retired) Abraham J. Turner is President and CEO of A T Consulting Group, LLC, a company specializing in Leadership Development, Strategic Planning, Workforce Training, Veterans Employment Readiness, and Community Outreach to include Mentoring.
General Turner served as chief of staff of the U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska and the commanding general at Fort Jackson where he was responsible for training half of all soldiers entering the Army each year.
His experience also includes service as chief operations officer for the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Monroe, Virginia; assistant division commander for operations for the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina; chief and head of the Army Legislative Liaison Element for the U.S. House of Representatives; and adviser and special assistant to the U.S. Secretary of State in Washington, D.C.
With over 37 years of hands-on experience with organizing, directing and managing the development, training and maturation of leaders and managers for the U.S. Army and State government, he is uniquely suited to lead A T Consulting Group LLC. He possesses a stellar record of achieving the highest levels of success while maintaining the commitment of employees to attain very high levels of productivity in the workplace. He is an expert leader, mentor, financial manager, motivational speaker, administrator and communicator.
His involvement with non-profit organizations exemplifies his commitment to community outreach. His non-profit affiliations include: Board of Director Chairman for University Research and Develop Foundation, Washington, DC, Board of Director Chairman for Save Your Colon, Columbia, SC, Board of Director Chairman for National Retired Military Golf Classic, Myrtle Beach, SC, and Board of Director Member for Original Six Foundation, Columbia, SC.
General Turner is a South Carolina native and received a Bachelor of Science degree in music from South Carolina State University. While attending the U.S. Army War College, he earned a master’s degree in Public Administration from Shippensburg University, Pennsylvania.