NEWS | Aug. 6, 2020

The Adjutant General, Brig. Gen. (P) Michael J. Turley promotes to Major General

By Ileen Kennedy Utah National Guard

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah--Brig. Gen.(P) Michael J. Turley was officially promoted to the rank of major general at a ceremony officiated by Gov. Gary R. Herbert, the commander-in-chief of the Utah National Guard Aug. 6, 2020.


The ceremony took place at the Utah State Capitol, in the Gold Room, with family, friends, and senior leaders of the Utah National Guard attending. During the ceremony, Turley’s wife, MaryLou, pinned the two-star rank on. Command Sgt. Maj. Spencer Nielsen, senior enlisted leader, unfurled the general’s two-star flag, and then gave the official first salute.


Gov. Herbert described the time since November 2019 when Turley was sworn in as the adjutant general, commanding general of the National Guard, as difficult, challenging and unprecedented in any of our lifetimes. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our lives, there have been earthquakes, fires, riots, and an unprecedented economic downturn.


“The National Guard came and helped us solve the problems, restore order, keep people calm and confident about the future, and keep things from getting out of hand, all under General Turley’s leadership,” said Gov. Herbert. “The challenges that he’s faced already, have been significant and he’s come out showing great leadership.”


Gov. Gary R. Herbert administered the oath of office and the governor saluted his commanding general.


“It is an honor to be in command of the best National Guard in the nation--the Utah National Guard,” said Turley.  “While this promotion is not something that I expected, I am grateful for all who have helped and guided me through the years. From my family, especially my wife MaryLou, to my fellow officers, NCOs, Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, and other service members through the many years, thank you for your service and your impact on me.”


Turley, a West Jordan resident, enlisted as a U.S. Marine in 1985 and was commissioned a U.S. Army Engineer Officer in 1997 after graduating from Army Officer Candidate School. His most recent assignment was commander, 204th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade. Prior to this assignment, he was deputy director, Joint Training and Exercises Directorate-J7 and Chief-Joint Resources and Readiness Division-J74, NORAD and U.S. Northern Command. He was also a U.S. Army War College Fellow in Residence, National Security Affairs Fellow at the Hoover Institution-Stanford University for the academic years 2016-2017.


Due to COVID-19 social distancing those attending in person were limited to a small group of family members, friends and members of the Utah National Guard participating in the ceremony. The promotion ceremony was broadcasted on Facebook Live where hundreds were able to be a part of this historical day.