JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas —
A retired Air Force officer whose advocacy for others defines his community involvement and his role as the lone civilian attorney at the Office of Airmen’s Counsel is the recipient of a prestigious award presented by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Charles Hasberry Jr., Air Force Legal Operations Agency OAC senior attorney adviser at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, was honored as the Air Force Civilian winner of the 2018 NAACP Roy Wilkins Renown Service Award during the organization’s 109th annual convention July 17 in San Antonio.
The award, which is named for longtime NAACP Executive Director Roy Wilkins, a leading light in the civil rights movement, recognizes military members and Department of Defense civilians who support the DOD mission, personify the qualities and core values of their service branch and promote civil rights.
The citation that accompanied Hasberry’s award said he epitomized the Air Force core value of “service before self” and demonstrated unparalleled devotion to the tenets of human rights and public service as an advocate for injured and ill service members, a Court Appointed Special Advocates volunteer, a member of 100 Black Men of San Antonio and president of his homeowners’ association.
Lt. Col. Michael Goldman, AFLOA OAC chief, said he was “thrilled” to hear Hasberry was chosen for the award.
“I say ‘thrilled,’ not ‘shocked,’ because I know how hard he works and how passionate he is about taking care of others,” he said. “I am extremely proud of him.”
Goldman, who is Hasberry’s supervisor, called him a “tremendous asset to the Office of Airmen’s Counsel and the Air Force Legal Operations Agency.”
“He is extremely dedicated to our office’s mission of helping ill, injured and wounded Airmen facing medical separation from the Air Force,” he said. “His heart for helping others is evident to everyone he meets.”
In addition to going “above and beyond for each of his clients,” Hasberry also makes time to help needy children in the San Antonio area, Goldman said.
“His volunteer work as a Court Appointed Special Advocate enables him to improve the lives of young children, while his work with 100 Black Men of San Antonio Inc. enables him to serve as a mentor to teenagers in need of a positive role model,” he said.
Hasberry, who said he was “surprised and humbled” at winning the award, said he was not aware he was being nominated for the honor until Goldman told him about it.
“He knew about my work on the outside and put together all the information on what I do at my job and what we do as a mission,” Hasberry said. “That made a big difference. It gave me a renewed appreciation for what we do on a daily basis.”
Hasberry started his Air Force career as an enlisted security forces member in 1994, but after receiving his Bachelor of Science in computer networking in 2001, he was accepted to Officer Training School. Five years later, he graduated from the Howard University School of Law and subsequently served in various legal positions as an officer and civilian.
He joined the OAC office at JBSA-Lackland as deputy chief in July 2011 and the OAC office at JBSA-Randolph as chief of internal development in August 2012. After serving as civilian attorney-adviser with the 502nd Security Forces and Logistics Support Group at JBSA-Randolph from March 2014-November 2015, Hasberry returned to the OAC office at JBSA-Randolph.
At the Howard University School of Law, giving back to the community was an emphasis, Hasberry said. He has followed that ideal by serving as a CASA volunteer, currently representing six children who are victims of neglect and abuse in their homes, and participating in mentorship sessions with high school students as a member of 100 Black Men of San Antonio. Hasberry also belongs to his local NAACP chapter.
“Serving as a CASA volunteer has been the most rewarding volunteer work I’ve ever done,” he said. “You’re able to truly make an impact on young people’s lives.”
Hasberry said receiving the Roy Wilkins award re-energized him.
“It gave me the desire to keep pushing to help others,” he said. “I want to set a good example.”