Spangdahlem AB ADC advocates for Airmen

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Marcus Hardy-Bannerman
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Airmen have a multitude of resources available to them, teams of people ready to support them through the ups and the downs. Knowing and understanding this can be an essential step in Airmen developing resiliency.

One such agency, the Area Defense Counsel, gives every Airman, officer and enlisted, the ability to knowledgeably respond and act in circumstances that may adversely affect their careers in the short- or long-term, providing the advocacy they need and deserve.

“Whether it’s a criminal case where they’re facing a potential felony or just an LOC, it could be the worst day of an Airman’s life or career so far,” said Capt. Cynthia McGrath, 52nd Fighter Wing Area Defense Counsel. “We’re here to make sure the process is fair for them, that their rights are respected, but also to educate them and counsel them through that system.”

The ADC is available to advise Airmen regarding any number of unfavorable processes they could face and to advocate for them whenever the need arises.

“We’re basically here for anything that’s adverse in nature,” said McGrath, “so that can be anything from an LOC, LOA, LOR, Article 15 to a criminal investigation and court martial.”

The list of processes the ADC assists with ranges from the more known letters of counseling, admonishment, and reprimand to lesser-known actions, such as referral enlisted and officer performance reports, credentialing boards and evaluation boards. Whether Airmen are seeking advice or representation, they can feel confident that everything discussed with the ADC will be kept private.

“The best protection for Airmen reaching out to the Area Defense Counsel is that we are 100% confidential,” said McGrath. “What that does, is it creates a safe environment where we can have honest conversations and you can get frank legal advice about what is going on in any given situation.”

For support agencies like the ADC to work effectively, Airmen must be able to trust that what they say is privileged and that any advice or representation they receive is free of outside influence. The ADC is uniquely structured to ensure that the aid they give does not suffer from external interference.

“Our chain of command goes directly through [Washington] D.C. to make sure that at any point in time, no one on this base can order us one way or another, and we can zealously represent anybody’s interests that we need to,” McGrath said.

Every Airman has the right to seek unwavering, uncompromised help, whether that be physical, mental, administrative or legal.

“At any given point in time, the Area Defense Counsel office generally does have quite a bit going on, but every single case is important, and every single Airman has the right to have somebody in their corner, explaining the process to them,” said McGrath.

No matter the time and no matter the adverse process every Airman has someone in their corner prepared to advocate on their behalf, all it takes is one call.