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Home > USASOC > UNS > 130802-01



USASOC employee receives 2013 NAACP Military Award

By Sgt. Daniel A. Carter
United States Army Special Operations Command Public Affairs

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, August 02, 2013) – With more than 40 years of military service, as a Soldier and as a Department of the Army civilian employee, Charles E. Pimble is being recognized for his achievements throughout his life.

Pimble, Secretary to the General Staff at U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC), was awarded the Roy Wilkins Renowned Service Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for his lifetime commitment to public service on July 16, 2013.

"It was just shocking," said Pimble, "It came as a surprise that I [was] being awarded this award."

Pimble was presented with the award during the NAACP's Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Awards Luncheon in Orlando, Fla.

"I'm proud to represent the command at this tremendous ceremony in honor of Charles. Most of all, I'm proud to know and work alongside this remarkable man," said Richard M. Holcomb, Deputy to the Commanding General,(USASOC).

A highly motivated and professional, Soldier, civilian and community activist, Pimble has distinguished himself by making significant contributions to his country by promoting equal opportunity and diversity in the workplace and the community through public service.

Pimble's service began when he was commissioned in May 1969. He entered active duty in November and was stationed at Fort Sill, Okla. After attending the Field Artillery Officers Basic course, he studied Turkish at the Defense Language Institute, Presidio of Monterey, in California. After serving in Turkey from 1971-1973, Pimble was stationed in Italy with the 559th United States Army Artillery Group. In Italy, Pimble was chosen to become a race relations instructor. First Lt. Pimble was a trailblazer, serving as one of the first of such instructors during a time where there was great racial unrest throughout the Army.

"I was pulled from my artillery duties in Italy to be a race relations instructor. I can recall at our Engineer unit, I had to conduct sensing sessions because of the personnel there," Pimble said.

As a race relations instructor, he worked endlessly to remove inequality from the workforce, both on the civilian and military sides. Continuing his work in Italy, Pimble founded and developed multicultural committees and study groups and delivered numerous lectures on cultural awareness to countless military, civilian and family members in northern Italy. Pimble was essential in the development and execution of diversity and equality awareness celebrations and events in the Vicenza, Italy, military community.

After Italy, Pimble came back to the United States where he attended advanced officer training. After completion, he was assigned to a unit in Massachusetts where he trained Army Reserve and National Guard units. January through June 1980, Pimble studied Italian and returned to the 559th Army Artillery Group as the S-3 (Operations).

During the summer of 1983, Pimble arrived at Fort Bragg, N.C., to complete the requirements for the Foreign Area Officer course. He graduated from the FAO course and subsequently graduated from the Psychological Operations course. After graduation, Pimble joined the Special Operations community. After the United States Army Special Operations Command stood up in December 1989, Lt. Col. Pimble departed in June 1990 for his final active duty assignment to the Joint United States Mission for Military Aid to Turkey (JUSMMAT) Ankara, Turkey.

After completing his more than 22 years of service in the Army, Pimble transferred to the civilian side of the workforce so that he could continue to work in the Special Operations Forces community.

"Transferring to the civilian side, I was a mentor," said Pimble, "I have an ear open and my door is always open."

Throughout the years, Pimble has helped countless people throughout the SOF community. Pimble has supported the United States Army Special Operations Command's Equal Opportunity (EEO) Program since its inception. He has been instrumental in the promotion of a marquee mentoring program under the auspices of the EEO office that focused on "preparing tomorrow's leaders today." Since its inception, Pimble has coached and mentored four African-American women who are aspiring leaders assigned to administrative and personnel management career fields.

Pimble also recognizes the importance of mentoring in the life of Soldiers. For more than 20 years, Pimble has sponsored more than 180 students from Turkey. He introduces them to the American way of life during their time at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School. Pimble is currently sponsoring five Turkish Soldiers, two junior officers and three non-commissioned officers. Several of the Turkish students have become American citizens. His efforts have also led to improvements in the relations between NATO organizations.

Not only has Pimble helped numerous people within the SOF community, Soldiers and Civilians alike, but he has helped countless people in the Fort Bragg and Fayetteville communities.

He is a champion for the cause of individuals with disabilities, displaced women, children and minorities. Pimble is both a financial contributor and an active participant in numerous affinity groups, including: Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America, National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, The Salvation Army, Association of the United States Army, American Legion, Special Olympics of North Carolina, Running Strong for American Indian Youth, and the Miss North Carolina Scholarship Pageant. In addition to his unrelenting support and dedication to the community, for the past 14 years Pimble has directed, produced and coordinated the theatrical event The Living Last Supper. Annually, this event has entertained thousands of people and has become an Easter tradition for Army families and local citizens. Pimble provides for the Fort Bragg and Fayetteville communities through theater and affinity groups as well as through spearheading a biannual food and clothing drive to benefit the Salvation Army and recruits volunteers from the U.S. Army Special Operations Command to serve meals to the less fortunate.

"No one deserves this award more than Mr. Pimble. I often say that I have never met anyone like him –  selfless, humble and compassionate are just a few of the traits he possesses. Charles is truly an extraordinary person who inspires me every day," said Holcomb.

Pimble is seen as an extraordinary leader throughout the Special Operations, Fort Bragg and Fayetteville communities. Pimble has a compelling desire and believes he was predestined to serve, help others and promote respect for the rights of all.

"I think the most important lesson we can learn from Charles is that we all should dedicate ourselves to help make the world a better place," Holcomb explained, "There are many ways to do this but if we all pursue this goal each in our way, together we all will truly make a huge difference for the good."