Area Defense Counsel at your service
By Capt. Zachary West, Area Defense Counsel
/ Published November 18, 2016
GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
Most Air Force members have the sense to go a doctor when they have a fever or the dentist when they have a toothache. They know to go to the finance office if their pay is incorrect and to the family support center for help with setting up a budget. But very few Air Force members have ever heard of the area defense counsel.
The ADC is a lawyer on base who can help with legal trouble with the commander, first sergeant, security forces or the office of special investigation. I am the new Goodfellow ADC. The Air Force pays me to act as legal counsel for any officer, NCO or Airman who is possibly "in trouble" with the Air Force.
Because I don't work for the wing commander, group commander, staff judge advocate or any other commander on this base, I am free to zealously protect the legal rights of my clients without any fear of censure from the "chain of command.” And, because I am a judge advocate, I owe to each of my clients my undivided professional loyalty. This means I listen well, talk straight and never reveal what my clients say to me without their permission.
So, what does all of this have to do with you? Hopefully nothing.
On the other hand, while some people are able to put in their 20 with no sweat, others sometimes find themselves at the wrong end of an Article 15, court-martial, demotion, discharge, denial of re-enlistment, vacation of NCO status, letter of reprimand or report of survey. Others might be the subject of an OSI or security forces interrogation. Others might be nervous about a bounced check or an off-base driving under the influence.
Regardless of the predicament, I am here to be your lawyer. If you ever have a question, you may ask to see your lawyer. If you're frightened about something, you may ask to see your lawyer. If you want to know your legal rights, you may ask to see your lawyer.
The bottom line is that you, as military members, often have more rights under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and Air Force regulations than do most ordinary civilians under the Constitution.
One of the rights you possess is the right to speak with a defense team which includes an area defense counsel and a defense paralegal.
Here on Goodfellow that defense team includes myself, Capt. Zachary West, area defense council, and Tech. Sgt. Helga Leite Evora, defense paralegal.
Our office is in Building 504 on 449 Ft. Lancaster Avenue and number is 325-654-5070.
Please let us know how we can help you.