Area Defense Counsel, here for Airmen
By Airman 1st Class Kylee Thomas, 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 16, 2018
DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- During an Airman’s career, they may find themselves in a situation where they need confidential legal advice, but might not know where to turn for help.
Responsible for ethically representing Airmen during adverse military actions, the Area Defense Counsel is ready to provide Air Force members who are suspected of an offense with independent legal representation.
“Our typical work day consists of advising clients, reviewing and editing client responses, drafting memos to commanders and preparing for courts-martial,” said Capt. Alexander Zoll, 7th Bomb Wing ADC member. “In addition to representing Airmen at Dyess, our office also provides coverage for other bases in our region in the event that an Area Defense Counsel is unavailable or is conflicted in representing a client.”
The Airmen who work in the ADC have vetted positions that require years of experience, therefore, while a new client may be facing an adverse action for the first time, their office has most likely already seen a similar, if not the same, situation.
“Obtaining defense representation as soon as possible is an Airman's best chance at overcoming an accusation,” said Zoll. “Even for lower level actions, such as a letter of counseling, reaching out to our office on the same day the action is served is beneficial, as it allows us the maximum amount of time to help an Airman prepare a response.”
Along with helping Airmen fight an accusation or properly handling their paperwork, the ADC is available for Airmen to ask questions or even seek advice through someone outside of their unit.
“For many clients, the best service we provide is answering questions,” said Zoll. “While we can never guarantee an outcome, we are often able to provide peace of mind to our clients by discussing the situation and informing them of the likely way forward.”
Regardless of who they are, the issue they are facing or where they work, the ADC is there for any client and looks out for the best interest of Airmen.
“It's important for Airmen to know that our office works for them; they are our clients and communication between us is confidential and covered by client-attorney privilege,” said Staff Sgt. Mahagani Demus, 7th BW ADC defense paralegal. “We will always advocate for the best interest of our clients.”