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A wide variety of accounting, budgeting and managerial books sit outside the office of Maj. Brian Turner, the II Marine Expeditionary Force disbursing officer, aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., May 15, 2012. Turner, an avid reader, also holds several degrees in the accounting and financial fields. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Katherine M. Solano)

Photo by Cpl. Katherine M. Solano

Disbursing officer recognized for financial management in Afghanistan

16 May 2012 | Cpl. Katherine M. Solano

In the community of disbursers, comptrollers and financial managers, there is a prestigious award given once a year to recognize their expertise and efforts.  It is called the Assistant Secretary of the Navy Financial Management and Comptroller Budgeting Award, and this year, it belongs to a Camp Lejeune Marine.

Maj. Brian Turner, the II Marine Expeditionary Force disbursing officer, was nominated and subsequently chosen for the ASN FM&C award, which he will receive May 30 at the National Professional Development Institute event in Anaheim, Calif.  

Turner was nominated by Col. Michael E. Cordero, the II MEF comptroller, for a variety of reasons.  His “top notch leadership and performance” particularly stood out for Cordero.

“Turner is a true team player,” Cordero stated.  “He always looked for ways to say ‘yes’ to making payments for Americans and Afghans.  He was able to do the mission with half the staff [other branches] require.” 

The ingenuity, resourcefulness and humility of the Pensacola, Fla., native contributed to the management of hundreds of millions of dollars while deployed to Helmand province, Afghanistan for seven months in 2011-2012.  Turner led a team of 29 Marines in countless trips around the province to put money in the hands of interpreters, Marines, civilian and military contractors.

Upon announcement of the award and during an interview surrounding its merit, “the team” was a common factor.

“When I announced it in front of the Honorable Gladys Commons, the assistant secretary of the Navy (financial management and comptroller), [and others], [Turner] was very humble and said the award is for his team, not himself,” said Cordero.

Turner elaborated, saying, “they were the ones that did the hard work, while I just gently steered the ship.  I’m really proud of all the Marines who were out there with me. I just can’t say it enough.  I’m grateful their hard work got the team recognized and I’m appreciative to Col. Cordero for considering me for this honor.”

Summarizing his award write-up, Cordero said Turner’s work in Afghanistan improved the way funds were disbursed to Afghan and American civilians and members of the Afghan National Army and Police.  He added a crucial part of that was ensuring the payments were “in total compliance with the United States Government Accountability Office’s five standards:  effective, economical, equitable and ethical.”

Turner, known to peers as a subject matter expert in his field, concluded “the award represents a successful mission in Afghanistan and really reflects the accomplishments of the team I was leading.”


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