Patriotic Speaker for the 235th Celebration

2020 Patriotic Speaker.jpg



Captn. Mark Turner, USN

CAPT Mark Turner, son of a WWII veteran, was born in Greenwich, CT and was commissioned after graduation from Marquette ROTC.  CAPT Turner served 30 years as a Naval Officer in the Maritime Patrol Community.  He held multiple leadership positions including Commanding Officer and Commodore of Airwing ELEVEN.   He came to Newport in 2010 to attend the U.S. Naval War College and earned a master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies.  He received  the James Forrestal Award for Excellence in Strategic Planning and the Rhode Island Society of the Order of Founders and Patriots Award for Excellence. Additionally, volunteering at Rogers High School, he co-created an International Studies and Leadership program teaching students about global issues.  He was given the Noreen Stonor Drexel Friend of Education Award and continues to bring international officers to Rogers to create global thinkers.  His Military awards include 3 Legions of Merit, Defense Service Medal, 2 Meritorious Service Medals and 4 Navy Commendation Medals.

Upon retiring as Director of the Naval Staff College, he took a position as contractor with Netsimco, continuing to provide support to the mission of the Naval War College.  He fell in love with the beauty of Rhode Island and the teacher he worked with at Rogers marrying the former Coleen Kiernan of Newport in 2018.  He was blessed with three stepchildren, Gabrielle (a nurse at Rhode Island Hospital), Catherine (a recent graduate of University of Virginia), and John (a 2020 graduate of Rogers High School).  As a member of VFW Post 406, he worked on the committee to bring the Vietnam Memorial Moving Wall to Newport in 2019.  His multiple speaking engagements include Pearl Harbor Commemoration, 9/11 commemoration (he was stationed at the pentagon during the attack), Newport Memorial Day Remembrance, and was the 2020 keynote speaker for Rogers High School online graduation.