On the Fourth of July we celebrate the birth of national independence. In the tradition of patriotic celebration we often go to parades, shoot fireworks and barbecue. In honor of Independence Day and those who have chosen to serve in the military, I would like to continue our series about Waggoner’s military presence by sharing an employee profile on Senior Master Sergeant Ira Turner, Jr.

SMSgt Turner is currently a Senior Designer with Waggoner Engineering. Before joining Waggoner, he worked as an engineering technician with the Mississippi Department of Transportation and a senior designer for ABMB. He has served as lead designer and design team member for a variety of highway design projects. He has extensive knowledge of preliminary and final plan design for transportation related projects and has over 25 years of CADD experience using Geopak and MicroStation. I have had the honor of working with Ira for the past two years and can honestly tell you there is not a sharper or more humble colleague to be found.

SMSgt Turner was born in Hermanville, Miss., and after graduating from high school at Port Gibson he went on to obtain an associate degree in drafting and design from Hinds Community College. He currently is the Infrastructure Support Superintendent of the 172nd Civil Engineer Squadron at Thompson Field, near Jackson, Miss. and is preparing to be deployed to the Middle East this summer. His past military experience includes base development, contract project management, technical design, construction inspection and aircraft maintenance.

His first assignment with 172d was in August 1993 as an Aircraft Environmental System Trainee. Working through the ranks, he has served assignments as an Aircraft Environmental System Mechanic, Aircraft Environmental System Journeyman, Engineering Journeyman, Engineering Craftsman, First Sergeant and currently Infrastructure Support Superintendent.

Ira’s most memorable assignment was serving in Kuwait. He was the project lead for overseeing the building of a substation that would service the base. His responsibilities included working with USACE on the design, reviewing and inspecting the progress of construction, as well as coordinating all those involved from various languages and backgrounds.

He is highly decorated, having received five of the eight Mississippi National Guard state awards and decorations. One of these is the Mississippi Medal of Efficiency, which is awarded to those who have over five years honorable service in the active Mississippi Nation Guard and have exhibited exemplary behavior, efficiency and loyalty to their unit and the Mississippi National Guard. At a national level with the Air Force, he has received several more medals including the Air Force Commendation Medal which is awarded to American and foreign military personnel in the grade of O-6 and below who have performed noteworthy service in any capacity with the United States Air Force. The list goes on to include over 15 other state, national or global awards and decorations.

Waggoner would like to wish Ira and his family the best during his time overseas. For the conclusion of this series, check in to Waggoner’s social media accounts on Veteran’s Day where we will highlight two of our vice presidents with military experience. We, again, thank those who serve and have served in any fashion with the military. We also thank the Mississippi Military Department for allowing us the honor to serve them as a client. To learn more about Waggoner and our distinctive services visit our website www.waggonereng.com.