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ADC ensures Airmen receive guidance, counsel

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- For Airmen seeking advice concerning legal matters or guidance on how to navigate a legal issue, the Area Defense Counsel is always an option available to them.

“We help Airmen with their criminal and adverse actions,” said Staff Sgt. Jessica Bauer, Air Force Legal Operations Agency defense paralegal. “We always suggest coming to us even when you don’t know what’s going on. We may be able to help you.”

ADC has many responsibilities to include assisting military members by representing them if they face adverse actions. Additionally, they are available to answer questions or address any concerns a military member may have on a legal issue.

“I ensure justice and make sure the system is fair,” said Capt. Gauri Phadnis, AFLOA area defense counsel for Mountain Home Air Force Base.

Before her current assignment as the base ADC, Phadnis worked as a judge advocate general in the base legal office here for three and a half years, giving her valuable experience.

JAG refers to the legal branch or specialty of the military concerned with military justice and military law.

“We are zelest advocates for individual Airmen,” Phadnis said. “We are separate from the base chain of command here. This ensures that there will be no repercussions for telling the truth about individuals around you.”

Phadnis has held the ADC position here for a year and a half. With her experience, Airmen will receive an attorney in the event they face legal challenges.

“We always recommend coming to us,” Phadnis said. “It’s a constitutional right to have an attorney. There’s no harm in coming to us, it can only help.”

Mountain Home ADC can advise Airmen on further actions once all the facts and details are presented for their case.

“With attorney-client privilege a lot of Airmen don’t realize they can say the truth about everything, [unless they want to hurt themselves or others],” Phadnis said.

Article 31 gives airmen many rights. The ADC suggests Airmen contacting their office once their rights have been read to them.

“We want commanders and first [sergeants] to know we are always willing to do briefings to educate Airmen about ADC topics,” Bauer said.

For more information on the ADC or to schedule an appointment, call 208-828-2675.

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