New faces in the ADC

HOLLOMAN AFB, N.M. -- The base courtroom has been, and will be, seeing new faces in its midst.
Capt. Aubrey Davis and Staff Sgt. Julie Bergman are the new team that make up the Area Defense Council. 

"The ADC is a free-of-charge legal service for people who face criminal or administrative action," said Captain Davis. "We defend anyone who is an active-duty military member and help them with anything from a court martial to administration for pilot certification."
The ADC is classified as a tenant unit on base. 

When legal action is taken against somebody on base for a military infraction, the base commander serves as the prosecutor; therefore, it is unfair for a defender to be a representative from the base as well. 

"We represent the individual, not the base," Captain Davis said. The command of the ADC is at Randolph AFB, Texas. 

"The ADC on Holloman is made up of an attorney and a paralegal," said Sergeant Bergman. An attorney is the person who practices law and is allowed to advise the client of their options. A paralegal does the administrative research and prepares documents and much more. 

The ADC has been a law service seperate from the staff judge advocates for almost 20 years, said Captain Davis. "It is unique in the fact that you can go see a lawyer right away rather than have one assigned to you. Plus, talking to someone about what is going on while it's happening makes all the difference." 

The new personnel in Holloman's ADC want to do much more than defend people in the courtroom. 

"We want to have an active, preventive law program to educate Airmen on what to do and what not to do," said Sergeant Bergman. 

The ADC would like to prevent people from needing their services. 

As defense representatives, the ADC does not have a "buddy-buddy" relationship with the staff judge advocates on base, said Captain Davis. "We see them at joint social functions and maintain a professional relationship." 

Sergeant Bergman said it is helpful to have open communication between the ADC and the base legal office because they have a lot of information that may help out the defendant. 

If a person on base was to get into trouble, Captain Davis and Sergeant Bergman will do all they can to help that person out. But, they would rather see a person before they get into trouble asking questions about what they can and can not do in order to stay out of their office for legal reasons.