The Area Defense Counsel--Your advocates in times of need

  • Published
  • By Capt. Aaron Ogden and Tech. Sgt. Phillip Farrior
  • Area Defense Counsel
You might have seen our photos or read the posters, "the Area Defense Counsel works for you, not the command." But who are we? And what do we do? 

As you might have guessed, we are active-duty attorneys and paralegals. But unlike the legal professionals at the base legal office, we don't report to or work for anyone on base -- except you. The Area Defense Counsel or ADC, was established in 1976 to provide defense services independent from the base legal office. That means, although we are active-duty, we represent our active-duty clients, not the Air Force. 

In 1983, Maj. Gen. Thomas Bruton, then the judge advocate general of the Air Force, put it this way, "It is not the job of the defense counsel to assist or make it easy for the Government to establish or present its case. To the contrary, the independent defense structure pioneered by the Air Force was in part established to enable defense counsel to freely make those many difficult and sometimes challenging decisions without fear of command interference or reprisal." 

So, what do we do? We represent active-duty members in actions under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, at courts-martial and nonjudicial punishment actions. We also represent clients in a variety of other actions, including administrative discharges, referral performance reports, letters of reprimand, flying evaluation boards and administrative demotions. Keep in mind that we can assist while the command is still investigating, before any action is taken against you. 

Remember, under military law, an Air Force member suspected of committing a criminal offense has the right to remain silent and the right to consult with a military lawyer free of charge prior to making any statement. Additionally, any statement that is made, whether oral or written, outside of one-on-one communication between you and an attorney, may be used against you in a court-martial, Article 15, nonjudicial punishment action or administrative action. 

The fact that a member exercises either the right to remain silent or the right to consult with an attorney can't be held against the member by Air Force authorities. If you find yourself in need of our services or if you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to drop by our office or give us a call. We are located on the third floor of Bldg. C next to the Traffic Management Office in Room 302. You can drop by or call us at 294-3939. 

Our advice and representation of you is completely confidential. Remember we are here to serve your individual interests and represent you to the fullest extent possible. We work for you!