by Airman 1st Class Tom Brading
Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs
10/23/2012 - JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Rose
Alexander, 628th Air Base Wing Public Affairs chief of external
operations, received an honorary USA Taekwondo black belt from Grand
Master Ray Smith, 8th degree Taekwondo Black Belt, at the Joint Base
Charleston - Air Base, S.C. Oct. 22.
According to Smith, Taekwondo is one of the most systematic and
scientific Korean traditional martial arts, it teaches more than
physical fighting skills. It is a discipline that shows ways of
enhancing the human spirit and life through training the body and mind.
Today, it has become a global sport that has gained an international
reputation, and stands among the official games in the Olympics.
In the past, the only members of the community recognized as an honorary
black belt in South Carolina were the 114th and 115th state governors,
Jim Hodges and Mark Sanford.
"Rose works to bring community and civic leaders together so we can
understand the challenges faced at JB Charleston," said Smith, a
previous Charleston honorary commander and current member of the
Charleston advisory council. "She coordinates all the events that bring
us together to support the active, retired, disabled and the fallen
American service members."
"This was a complete surprise to me," said Alexander. "I am humbled and truly honored to have received this recognition."
However, an honorary fourth degree black belt isn't given without a
qualification. Prior to receiving her black belt, Alexander was
challenged to break a wooden board by using only the palm of her hand.
Surrounded by family and co-workers, Alexander proved she was not only
ready for the challenge by annihilating the board, but deserving of
wearing the honorary black belt.
According to Smith, Alexander received an Honorary Black Belt from USA
Taekwondo as a way to recognize her passion to God, Country and
Community. It's those three components that have bridged the JB
Charleston community with the local community for years.
"Rose has spent her life improving the lives of others both directly and
indirectly," said Smith. "Rose is a person of great character and has
shown the qualities of vision, integrity, courage, understanding and the
power of communication. She has never been one to "toot" her own horn.
Instead, she always looks for ways to let others see the sunshine."
In addition to her ongoing dedication to the local community, Alexander
and her family have been dedicated to the world of Taekwondo for many
Her son, Charles Alexander, Jr., is a nationally recognized Taekwondo
black belt and her grandson, Alex Cheatham, although legally blind, has
overcome every obstacle and has excelled in Taekwondo.
"I have always believed that with a strong enough will, the belief in
yourself and faith in God, you can accomplish what sometimes seems to be
the impossible. Taekwondo was the catalyst that helped my son gain
self-confidence to overcome his disabilities and excel in school as well
as in Taekwondo. And it is doing the same for Alex as he builds his
self-confidence," said Alexander.
"She is a remarkable lady," said Smith. "When she retires, she will
leave JB Charleston and our community better off than what it was when
she came. Her impact on all of us has been great. I am a better man
because of knowing and working with Rosetta Alexander."