Charlene D. Austin is a Washington, D.C. native. She has been married to Gen.(Ret) Lloyd Austin for 35 years. Charlene earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, NC, and a Master of Science degree in Education (Guidance/ Counseling) from Auburn University, Auburn, AL. She is a National Advisor/Advocate for the Military Child Education Coalition and Board member for the Military Family Research Institute of Purdue University. Mrs. Austin is currently serving as an Ambassador for Tampa Bay Dress for Success Incorporated. She also serves on the Board of Governance for United Way Suncoast based in Tampa Florida and the Advisory Committee for the United Way Suncoast -Mission United Project.
As a military spouse for over thirty years, her travels have afforded her numerous opportunities to work and volunteer with community, military, and professional organizations. She served as a federal employee holding leadership positions as Army Community Service Employment Program Manager, Army Continuing Education Guidance Counselor, and Troop and Family Members Transition Specialist for the Army Career and Alumni Program.
Her most recent endeavors (2009-2016) have been devoted to providing subject matter volunteer consulting to non-profits at the national and local level, further helping to promote initiatives that impact military service-members and their families. Charlene believes that military families have been stretched and impacted in unexpected ways over the past 16 years of military conflict, yet remain resilient. Charlene has actively worked with and attended conferences for military Senior spouses within the Army and within the Joint community with focus on initiatives and families across all military service branches.
For her contributions to the communities of Watertown N.Y and Cumberland County, North Carolina, Mrs. Austin was selected as a Woman of Distinction for Jefferson County, NY, a recognition of her many contributions to the Soldiers and Families of Ft. Drum N.Y. and Northern New York communities. Prior to her departure from Ft. Bragg NC she received the inaugural award for Military Family and Leadership from the Partnership for Children of Cumberland County.
In March 2013, Mrs. Austin was awarded the Secretary of the Army Public Service Award for her contributions to the community and Department of the Army. In April 2016, Mrs. Austin was awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service by Defense Secretary Ash Carter and the Department of the Army Distinguished Civilian Service decoration medal. Other awards have included the Distinguished Civilian Service Award, the Superior Civilian Service Award, and the Achievement Medal for Civilian Service and several Commanding General’s Awards. She has been an active member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority incorporated, a worldwide public service organization since 1998.