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Staff Judge Advocate : Legal Assistance Eligibility


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 Who is eligible for legal assistance? 

The following personnel are eligible for legal assistance:

(1) Active Component (AC) members of the Armed Forces of the United States (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines) and their family members. Cadets are AC members and eligible for legal assistance for matters such as Honor Investigative Hearings.

(2) ​Reserve Component (RC) members of the Armed Forces of the Unites States (and their family members) who are serving on active duty pursuant to orders for more than 29 days.  

(3) AC or RC members of the Armed Forces of the United States who are receiving military retirement or disability pay (and their family members).

(4) Surviving family members of AC, RC, and retired members of the Armed Forces of the United States who would be eligible for legal assistance if the service or retired member were alive.

(5) Department of Defense (DOD) civilian employees (including DA employees) under any of the following conditions:

    (a) Against whom pecuniary liability has been recommended under AR 735-5 with regard to presenting matters in rebuttal to, or on an appeal from, such charges.

    (b) Who are serving with the Armed Forces of the United States in a foreign country (and their family members who accompany them).

    (c) Who have accepted employment outside the United States or who, if already on such duty, return to the United States on home leave (and their family members who will accompany or have accompanied them)1.

​    (d) Who are in the United States, its possessions, or territories, and who are designated as "mission-essential" or "emergency-essential" civilian personnel (and their family members on deployment-related matters, but only while the employee is deployed).

    (e) Who are notified that they are to deploy to a combat zone or on a contingency operation (and their family members on deployment-related matters, but only while the employee is deployed). 

(6) Civilian contractors accompanying the Armed Forces of the United States outside the United States (and their family members who accompany them), when DOD is contractually obligated to provide this assistance to such personnel as part of their logistical support.

(7) Primary next of kin (PNOK), executors, personal representatives, administrators, and legally recognized estate representatives for matters relating to the settlement of estates of AC or RC members who die while in a military status or DOD civilian employees who are U.S. citizens or nationals and who are serving with or accompanying U.S. Armed Forces outside the United States at the time of their deaths.

(8) Fiduciaries, including those who hold powers of attorney, who have been appointed to manage the property or handle the personal affairs of an AC or RC service member who is serving in a combat zone or contingency operation or a U.S. citizen or national who is a civilian DOD employee serving with or accompanying U.S. Armed Forces in a combat zone or contingency operation. 

(9) Members of other military forces while serving in the United States (and their families who accompany them).

(10) Prisoners who, although discharged from military service, still remain confined within a U.S. military confinement facility.  ​

Army Regulation 27-3, The Army Legal Assistance Program.