Area Defense Counsel your advocate in times of need

  • Published
  • By Capt. Bronson Malcom and Tech. Sgt. Deanna Commack
  • Ellsworth Area Defense Counsel
You've seen our photos. You've read the posters which state, "The Area Defense Counsel works for you, not the command." But who are we? And what do we do? 

As you might've guessed, we're active duty attorneys and paralegals. But unlike the professionals at the base legal office, we don't work for the command. The area defense counsel was established in 1976 to provide defense services independent from the base legal office. 

That means that we represent our clients, not the Air Force. 

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, and letters of reprimand. 

Keep in mind that we can assist you 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 verbal or written statement. Additionally, any statement that is made, whether oral or written, may be used against the member 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 cannot be held against the member by Air Force authorities. 

If you find yourself in need of our services or have any questions at all, do not hesitate to drop by our office or give us a call. Our office is located in the Rushmore Center, suite 1700. You can reach us by phone at DSN 675-2158 or (605) 385-2158.