Air Guard JAG named top military reserve attorney in Texas

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt Phil Fountain
  • 149th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Maj. Sonya Batchelor received the Col. Ted E. Bailey Jr. award from the State Bar of Texas, which is given to the best license military reserve attorney in the state.
Batchelor serves as the Area Defense Counsel in the Texas Air National Guard's 149th Fighter Wing at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, and is the first Air National Guard attorney to receive the award.
     The Military Law Section of the state bar presents the Bailey award to an outstanding military attorney serving in a reserve component of the United States Armed Forces or in the National Guard. The state bar considers a nominee's military performance, duties, professional publications, awards and activities, as well as community and professional service.
     The Lakeway, Texas, resident is a graduate of the Oklahoma City University School of Law and spent over four years on active duty as an Air Force JAG before joining the Texas ANG's 149th Fighter Wing in 2007. She is an expert in the field of disability law and is the key resource on Wounded Warrior issues "both inside and outside of Texas," according to her nomination package.
Following the devastation of Hurricane Ike in 2008, Batchelor deployed with the 149th to Galveston, Texas, where she was a central figure in the fighter wing's operation of three points of distribution for food, water, and ice to displaced Texans.
     Currently, Batchelor is a practicing attorney with the general counsel's office for the Texas Military Forces at Camp Mabry, in Austin, and has served in the past as an administrative law judge for the Texas Public Utilities Commission. She is an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, promotes community appreciation for American history, civic responsibility and patriotism, and has helped her hometown of Lakeway organize their Independence Day parade.
     Col. Kenneth Nereson, 149th Fighter Wing commander, was pleased to hear Major Batchelor earned this recognition. "She is a great asset to Texas, and I'm proud to have her as a part of the 149th team," said Nereson.