SJAFB legal office provides services to Airmen, families

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman David Lynn
  • 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

 From support to discipline, a group of Airmen assigned to the 4th Fighter Wing work to ensure members of Team Seymour receive guidance and support, while combating criminal activity with the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

The 4th FW’s Judge Advocate General Office provides legal assistance across multiple sections at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina.

The legal office is broken into three different sections, each responsible for a separate portion of the legal mission; military justice, operational law and civil law.

“Civil law is responsible for things like preventative law, wills and power of attorneys. Military justice is responsible for disciplinary law, such as article 15’s, demotions and court martials. Finally, the operations law section is responsible for things like the law of armed conflict, rules of engagement and international law.” said Airman 1st Abigail Vestal, 4th Fighter Wing civil law paralegal.

The legal office provides several functions to aid Airmen, families and retirees such as power of attorneys for Airmen preparing for deployment to handling potential prosecution of individuals that have violated articles of the UCMJ.

The legal office currently staffs more than 25 Airmen responsible for more than 25,000 members of the local active and retired community, creating savings of more than $500,000 in free legal assistance.

“There are several ways that commanders can enforce discipline,” said Lt. Col. Nathan Mayenshein, 4th Fighter Wing staff judge advocate. “It is our job to work with the commanders to decide what the best course of action is from a legal perspective.”

Mayenschein added that without legal intervention, there would be an overall decrease in professionalism and capabilities of our force.

“We ensure that our Airmen maintain good order and discipline by educating them on the different rules and by upholding the Uniform Code of Military Justice,” added Mayenschein.

He went on to say that historically, we have seen what happens when our forces' standards become more relaxed. It makes us vulnerable at times crucial to national security and could leave us open to approaches from our adversaries.

Legal assistance is available to all base personnel and local retirees, for more information contact the 4th Fighter Wing base legal office at 919-722-5322.