Lt. Col. Lawrence B. Austin, Sr. was recently promoted and dressed in ceremonies held at the Grenada County Circuit courtroom. Major General Janson D. Boyles led the pinning ceremony in which he promoted Lt. Col. Austin to colonel. Following the pinning ceremony, Judge Virginia Carter Carlton, presiding judge of the Mississippi Court of Appeals, held an investiture ceremony in which she installed Colonel Austin as military judge of the Mississippi National Guard.
Colonel Austin entered military service in April 1994 as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve component of the Judge Advocate General Corps with the 213th Legal Support Organization (LSO). He served with Team 7, Fort Benning, as a legal aid attorney and then a defense attorney. In 1995, he moved to 23rd LSO Headquarters where he served as Assistant Training Officer and Administrative Legal Adviser. In 1996, he moved to Jackson, Mississippi, where he served as an administrative law attorney and later as a contract law attorney. He was promoted to Captain in June 1998, becoming Senior Legal Adviser in April 2002. Colonel Austin was promoted to Major in October 2004.
Colonel Austin was called to active duty in August 2006 at Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center (CSJFTC) to support mobilization operations. He was first Chief of Administrative Law, then Deputy Command Judge Advocate. COL Austin managed a team of 7 attorneys, 2 paralegals, who successfully supported the mobilization of over 26,000 service members, each year.
Colonel Austin’s service with the Mississippi National Guard began in June 2008, with an assignment as a Command Judge Advocate for the 185th Theater Aviation Brigade. In August 2010, Colonel Austin joined the 184th Expeditionary Sustainment Command (ESC) as a staff judge advocate, and mobilized with the unit to Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan (active duty ), where it operated as Joint Sustainment Command – Afghanistan. Colonel Austin has run 5 law firms with numerous lawyers and paralegals, and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for the work of his team, saving millions of dollars for the US government .
In 2012, Colonel Austin again returned to active duty with the 177th Armored Brigade as a Command Judge Advocate and Special Subjects Trainer, and 151st Infantry Brigade Judge Advocate supporting Training Operations, mobilization and demobilization. After his active duty tour, Colonel Austin returned to MSARNG in 2014 and served as Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, 66th Troop Command; Staff Judge Advocate, Special Operations Command – Southern Detachment; Deputy Joint Chiefs Judge Advocate, Joint Force Headquarters; head of the first instance defense service; and Command Judge Advocate, Camp McCain Training Center. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in August 2009.
Colonel Austin represented the
MSARNG before the Mississippi Civil Service Commission and was instrumental in creating Mississippi law relating to business licenses for military service members.
His awards include: Bronze Star Medal; Meritorious Service Medal; Army Medal of Honor (2nd award); Army Reserve Component Medal of Honor; Afghanistan Campaign Medal (2 campaign stars); NATO Medal; Afghan Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal (with Bronze Service Star); Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon (2nd Prize); Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon (2nd award); Armed Forces Reserve Medal (with “M” device); Mississippi War Medal; Mississippi National Guard Emergency Service Medal Ribbon; Mississippi Longevity Medal (10th award); and the Joint Meritorious Unit Award.
COL Austin’s civilian education includes a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Delta State University, a Juris Doctor from Mississippi College School of Law, and a master’s degree in tax law from the University of Denver’s Graduate Tax Program. His military education includes the Command and General Staff College Advanced Operations Course and Intermediate Education Course (10% of upper class); Basic and Advanced Judge Advocate Officer Courses; The Adjutant General’s School Human Resources Management Course; US Air Force Joint Special Operations Course; US Naval Justice School Naval Warfare Law Course; Level II Range Safety Course and Range Operations Course.
COL Austin (son of Elders Mr. Cecil and Mrs. Bobbie Austin and grandson of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Baskin) is married to Josephine Thompson Saunders Ashcraft Austin (daughter of Elders Mr. and Mrs. John D. Ashcraft, Jr. ), and they have two children, Amanda Josephine Ashcraft Austin Goodwin and Specialist Lawrence Bryant Austin, Jr., and son-in-law Danner Stribling Goodwin. He is the son of the previous one. COL Austin, member of the Winona Rotary Club as vice-president, and Moore Memorial United Methodist Church.