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Military’s Equal Opportunity Chief Under Investigation

Morris Turner

Just six months after being installed as the head of the Defense Departments' equal opportunity programs, an Army colonel has been temporarily reassigned pending an investigation into alleged misconduct.

The complaint against Army Col. Morris "Reese" Turner alleges "inappropriate touching," according to Military Times, which first reported the story on Wednesday.

As commander of the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, Turner oversees DoD equal opportunity programs training. The institute – originally the Defense Race Relations Institute – dates to 1971 and was born of the 1960s' Civil Rights movement.

DEOMI has the responsibility of collecting information from the command climate survey. Those surveys include questions that address sexual assault and sexual harassment. The anonymous surveys are used to design sexual assault prevention programs.

Turner was appointed to lead the institute in June after returning from Iraq. In Baghdad he served as chief of the Army Section for Office Security Cooperation-Iraq at the U.S. Embassy.

From 2006 to 2008 Turner commanded 3rd Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment, deploying rotational firing batteries to Afghanistan in support of Joint Special Operations Command, according to his official biography.

Turner is a 1988 graduate of West Point, where he earned a bachelor's degree in engineering. He later earned a master's in organizational management from the University of Phoenix in Nevada.

-- Bryant Jordan can be reached at bryant.jordan@military.com

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