MacDill legal provides helping hand while maintaining order

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

An elderly couple walks into the door hand in hand; the man sporting a veteran’s cap gently worn from use. His years of service and her years of undivided support represented in their wrinkles. They are distressed; seeking a will and unsure what to do.

The 6th Air Mobility Wing’s legal office is here to assist.

Under their general law section, they cover civil law topics and deal with claims, wills, powers of attorney, notaries, interpreting Air Force instructions and legal reviews of topics such as driving privileges, contracts, fundraisers and barring people from base.

To assist one of the largest military populations as well as those in need, the office provides customer service days. Legal assistance can also be provided as long as it is not a Uniform Code of Military Justice or legal violation.

In cases of military deployments or a permanent change of station, the legal office also conducts briefings to ensure Airmen are equipped with sound legal advice.

“I like being able to interact with people and see how happy they are when we are able to assist them with their legal matters,” explained Staff Sgt. Monique Willis, the general law NCO in charge assigned to the 6th AMW legal office.

Aside from general law, the other section is military justice. The section is made up the trial counsel, which are the lawyers within that section. Military justice focuses on the criminal law side and deals with topics such as courts martial, discharges and all adverse actions.

They work closely with commanders, the 6th Security Forces Squadron and the Office of Special Investigations to ensure proper military justice is enforced.

“The hardest part about the job is staying informed with the ever constantly-changing law,” said Capt. Adam Love, the chief of military justice assigned to the 6th AMW legal office. “Although law always changes, it’s the military justice section’s job to stay informed so we can advise commanders properly, and they can make lawful orders and decisions.”

Despite the legal office’s distinct and separate sections, each Airmen must have the versatility to work during another worker’s absence.

“As military lawyers, we must stay functional in many different areas because if someone is gone, we must be well versed in that area of the law to take over for them,” said Love. “Being versatile means the office doesn’t skip a beat in providing information needed to commanders or customers.”

The services provided by MacDill’s legal office provides more than just legal assistance - they ensure the mission can be completed.

“We keep Airmen ready to deploy at any time by making sure they have wills and powers of attorney, along with any other legal assistance they may need so they are covered when they deploy,” explained Senior Airman Katherine Brock, a general law paralegal assigned to the 6th AMW legal office. “Aside from deployments, we also maintain the law on the base and help keep morale high by ensuring the activities and events are possible and legal.”

 

As the elderly couple walks out of the 6th AMW legal office, they feel a sense of peace. Their will is taken care of and they are no longer worried. They know their legal office will take care of them as well as uphold military justice and keep Team MacDill mission ready.