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Legal Office: dedicated to helping deployed Airmen

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Cierra Presentado
  • 455th AEW Public Affairs

The 455th Air Expeditionary Wing legal office is dedicated to helping Airmen with legal issues they may have back home and or while during their deployment here.

While many may associate Air Force legal offices with courts-martials and discharges, the legal team here wants Airmen to understand their role here is geared towards helping them.

“So many military members have this idea that we are out to get them, but we aren’t. Here in the AOR, we’re here to help you,” said Staff Sgt. Angel Kozar, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing Legal Office non-commissioned officer in charge of military justice. “We will assist you as much as possible when it comes to getting your legal issues settled.”

Some of the legal issues the team assists members with are: notaries, power of attorneys, weapons affidavits, wills and complex legal assistance. Members are also able to receive a lawyer consultation on various issues such as the Service Members Civil Relief Act, landlord tenant, divorce and more.

“We understand that by being in a deployed environment it can be hard to handle business, our lawyers are here to help with that,” said Master Sgt. Natasha Hoglund, 455th AEW Legal Office superintendent. “We strive to not only provide the best service to Airmen, but also to members of the other branches of service as well.”

Although legal is here to help Airmen when necessary, they will issue discipline the same way a home station legal office would. The team advises Airmen to not believe the idea that they can get away with issues because they’re deployed.

“Members tend to believe what happens in the AOR stays in the AOR, that is certainly not the case. If disciplinary action is needed, you can still get that stripe taken away while you’re here; nothing changes just because you’re deployed,” Kozar said. “You’re held to the same standard that you would be if you were back at home station.”

The legal team also assists Airmen with the preventative law program, a program that is geared towards helping Airmen avoid trouble before it becomes a legal issue.

“If a member finds themselves in sticky situation like debt, we can step in as a third party to help alleviate the situation before it becomes a larger issue,” Hoglund said. “They just have to take that step and come talk to us first so we can help them.”

The legal office is open from 0800- 1800 daily. Services are provided to all active-duty military members and retirees, as well as eligible Department of Defense civilians. Lawyer consultations are only available for Airmen and retirees.

“We encourage our members to come see us, whatever the problem, we will do our best to help,” Hoglund said. “Our goal is to help you mitigate your legal issues before it becomes a problem.”