St. Cloud Police Officer Receives Air Force Commendation Medal


One of St. Cloud’s best has proven this level of service while fulfilling his other role as a speaker in the Air National Guard.

Saint Cloud Police Department Patrol Officer Rodney Turner not only serves the citizens of the city, but serves citizens elsewhere as an Air National Guard Staff Sergeant. Officer Turner was recently awarded the Air Force Medal of Honor for his actions while deployed with 202 Squadron Red Horse, which had been activated for Hurricane Irma recovery efforts in September 2017. The Air Force Commendation Medal is an award for prolonged acts of heroism or meritorious service.

Turner and his unit were activated from September 8 to September 16, 2017. On the morning of September 11, while on their way to their first mission after the major hurricane landed in Florida, the group came across a vehicle attempting to cross a flooded stretch of road. Halfway through, the vehicle stalled and began to fill with water. The vehicle and the driver were in danger of being swept away by the rapidly rising waters.

Without hesitation, the team intervened to rescue the stranded motorist. Using their tractor-trailer, the crew’s driver navigated the flood waters. Airman Turner and other crew members remained in the rear of the trailer.

Upon reaching the stranded vehicle and with no regard for its safety, Airman Turner waded through fast moving water to reach the stranded vehicle and driver. He helped the elderly driver into the back of the vehicle and carried her to safety. His unique abilities and quick action were key to a smooth rescue. Any delay could have resulted in a worse outcome for everyone involved. Because of his quick action and humanitarian respect for his fellow man, Airman Turner brought credit to himself, to the Air National Guard, and to the United States Air Force.

Last week, Air Force leaders presented Turner with his commendation medal with his wife and two children at his side.

Help us congratulate Officer Turner, who also serves in the Air National Guard, on his Air Force Commendation Medal!

Information from the St. Cloud Police Department was provided for this report.

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