Defense Counsel for California Air National Guard

  • Published
  • By Capt. Jason Sanchez
  • California Air National Guard

Lt. Col. Richard Jackson, California Air National Guard judge advocate, was announced as the California ANG Area Defense Counsel July 15, 2019.

As area defense counsel, Lt. Col. Jackson represents individual Airmen, officers and enlisted, when an adverse personnel action is taken against them militarily. These actions may include courts-martial, Article 15 punishments, administrative discharge or demotion, denial of reenlistment, enlisted performance reviews, unfavorable information file entries, control rosters, letters of counsel, letters of reprimand, or any investigation related to a violation of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice.

“As a service member, you have the right to be represented,” said Jackson. “Military defense counsel are certified judge advocates who provide independent legal representation and confidential legal advice for service members suspected of an offense or facing adverse administrative actions.”

The JAG’s office and the area defense counsel usually have opposite roles within the military justice system. The JAG usually serves as a prosecutor, representing the Air Force’s interests, while the area defense counsel serves as a defense lawyer for the individual service member.

“JAGs represent the Air Force, and by extension, they give the commanders advice,” said Jackson. “I represent each person individually that comes to me, and I advocate on their behalf. I’m assigned as their attorney by the Air Force.”

To reach Lt. Col. Jackson for legal representation or advice concerning adverse military action, text him at 661-864-6998. Text messages are Lt. Col. Jackson’s preferred method of initial communication to prevent any delays. A text message may be followed up by a phone call or a voicemail.

Lt. Col. Jackson is tasked to represent all Airmen, who are a members of the California Air National Guard. His primary office is at the 144th Fighter Wing in Fresno, California, but he often visits other Wings during unit training assemblies. Lt. Col. Jackson is also able to make arrangements to meet with Airmen during weekends between UTAs.