AFRL research engineer receives AFOSI officer of the year award

  • Published
  • By Donna Lindner
  • Air Force Research Laboratory
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio  – Who knew that an Air Force Research Laboratory research engineer from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, an Air Force Office of Special Investigations reservist and a published novelist could be a four-time recipient of an AFOSI officer of the year award?


Maj. Todd J. (TJ) Turner is a materials research engineer at the AFRL. He specializes in micro-scale mechanical testing and materials characterization to investigate the micromechanical behavior of metals and alloys.


Turner holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering and materials science from Cornell University. He serves as a major in the Air Force Reserve, deployed multiple times and earned two Bronze Stars in the process. 


Turner’s award is under the Air Force Reserve’s individual mobilization augmentee category. This program provides trained, equipped and ready reservists when the service needs them to support an operational requirement.


IMAs are Air Force Reservists assigned to active-component units and government agencies. They are managed by the Individual Reservist Readiness and Integration Organization at Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado, and serve over 50 separate major commands, combatant commands and government agencies.


Unlike traditional reservists, who are assigned to reserve units that regularly perform duty together, IMAs work with their active-duty supervisors to create a custom duty schedule that helps their unit meet mission requirements.


Turner’s job in the IMA realm is an Air Force Office of Special Investigations agent. In this capacity, Turner is assigned to Kirtland AFB, and principle advisor for all AFOSI investigations and operations at that location. He directs criminal, fraud and counterintelligence investigations for Kirtland AFB, a 51K acre installation comprised of approximately 20K military and civilian personnel supporting 3 AF Centers, 4 wings, 2 major AF research labs and over 100 tenant units.


This is the fourth time in the last 10 years that Turner has received the award.


“I was pleasantly surprised when they announced my name as the recipient, again,” said Turner.


There is no time for rest, as Turner is also an author of two alternative history novels “Lincoln’s Bodyguard” and “Land of Wolves: The Return of Lincoln’s Bodyguard.” A third book is on the horizon.


“I’ve always enjoyed keeping busy and wearing various hats,” said Turner. “I believe that I am an improved researcher because of the creative side, and a better technical writer from time spent writing papers for research. It’s a plus in each aspect.”