Who We Are
The Iowa Army National Guard Trial Defense Service is the 233rd JAG Detachment, overseen by the National Guard Bureau-TDS. We are licensed attorneys, serving as traditional drilling National Guardsmen, whose sworn duty is to protect and defend Iowa Army NG Soldiers who are under investigation or facing adverse action. TDS provides conflict-free legal services at no cost to the Soldier.
All IAARNG Soldiers are entitled to TDS representation by virtue of their membership in the Iowa Army National Guard.
TDS Judge Advocates function independently of the traditional chain of command structure. Consultations with TDS are covered by the attorney-client privilege, meaning that all discussions between Soldier and Counsel are completely confidential and that TDS cannot and will not reveal any information to anyone, including the client's superiors and commanders.
What We Do
TDS Judge Advocates protect Soldiers' rights, particularly under the 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and under Article 32 of the Iowa Code of Military Justice.
We represent Soldiers throughout all stages of investigation or adverse actions, including: Commander's Inquiry, Formal AR 15-6 Investigations, administrative separations, non-judicial punishments, courts-martial, rebuttals to letters of reprimand, and other adverse actions taken against a Soldier.
We cannot represent Soldiers on state charges in civilian criminal court. However, public defenders and civilian criminal defense attorneys may consult with TDS on their clients' behalf if they have questions regarding how a criminal conviction will affect the client/Soldier's military status.
We also do not assist with non-punitive legal matters, such as divorce, child custody/support, wills & estates, real property, consumer law, credit disputes, or civil court actions such as contracts or torts. We also typically do not assist with FLIPL or OER/NCOER rebuttals. The Iowa Army National Guard Office of the Staff Judge Advocate (OSJA) may be able to provide limited assistance in some of these areas. The OSJA can be reached at (515) 252-4259.
Our services are exclusively for current members of the Army National Guard with adverse military legal issues. We cannot assist with MEB or VA appeals and we cannot provide counsel to retirees or former service members.
This website is NOT intended to provide legal advice.
Any and all legal advice may only be provided by a qualified and certified Judge Advocate assigned to TDS, as specified to your unique legal situation.
DON'T TAKE CHANCES WITH YOUR RIGHTS
The earlier you contact TDS and speak with an attorney, the more likely our staff will be able to help you save your military career.
BEWARE OF BAD LEGAL ADVICE!
There are two common mistakes Soldiers make that are worse than waiving their rights without consulting an attorney: Listening to a 'Barracks Lawyer' or consulting with "legal experts" who have never been licensed and certified Judge Advocates.
Your battle-buddy may be smart, but unless they have a law degree and certification from the Army Judge Advocate General, they don't know enough to help you.
There are civilian attorneys in many states who are former Judge Advocates and who do have significant skill and experience effectively representing Soldiers in military proceedings. However, there are also numerous non-lawyer entities who purport to provide legal advice to Soldiers, but who are not qualified to do so, as well as licensed attorneys with civilian trial expertise, but who are insufficiently familiar with military justice and processes. Be sure that you only get advice regarding military legal processes from a licensed attorney who has significant experience with military courts and boards.
TDS Judge Advocates are licensed and qualified to advise Soldiers regarding military adverse actions.
(515) 608 - 6837
NOTE: IAARNG TDS Judge Advocates are drilling Guardsmen who perform civilian attorney jobs when not on drill. TDS counsel are available for consultations year round, however it is not possible to monitor this number 24 hours a day. Please LEAVE A VOICEMAIL with reliable contact information. Your call will be returned within 12-48 hours, or sooner during drill weekends.
Iowa Army National Guard Trial Defense Service
233rd JAG Detachment
7105 NW 70th Ave
Johnston, Iowa 50131-1824
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!
Iowa Code, Chapter 29B.32
(ICMJ Article 32)
"No person subject to this code may compel any person to make a self-incriminating statement or to answer any question...which may tend to incriminate the person."
You DO NOT have to provide statements to investigative authorities. Often, it may be against your interest to do so. If you are questioned by an investigating officer, you should assert your right to remain silent under Article 32, ICMJ and state that you wish to consult with an attorney before answering any questions. Contact TDS immediately to set up a consultation.
If you are suspected of having committed misconduct, a superior, commander, or investigating officer MUST inform you (1) what misconduct they believe you may have committed, (2) that you do not have to make any statements regarding the alleged misconduct, and (3) that any statements you do make may be used as evidence against you at court-martial.
You are entitled to consult with a lawyer before making any oral or written statements or consenting to any search. TDS consultations are free to all Soldiers.
Remaining silent until you have had a
chance to discuss your rights with a TDS attorney may be your best option, even if this annoys the investigator or your command. Even where the Soldier has done nothing wrong, waiving the right to silence and answering questions can place them under scrutiny if their answers are not believed. Admitting to wrongdoing without the benefit of counsel may swiftly end your military career, or worse. Conversely, lying to a superior or investigator is a separate offense and typically only leads to the Soldier finding themselves in even worse trouble.
The ONLY option that cannot land the Soldier in more trouble is asserting Article 32 and consulting with TDS prior to answering any questions. Inform the investigating officer: "I want to consult with an attorney. I do not want to answer any questions. I do not consent to any searches."
This should halt any questioning and allow the Soldier a reasonable amount of time (at least 30 days) to consult with legal counsel.
NOTE: Article 32 only applies to questioning directed at you, regarding your own suspected misconduct. You may not refuse to answer questions about another Soldier's misconduct, unless the answer directly implicates you in committing misconduct.
Article 32 also does not protect you from investigations regarding the loss of property (FLIPLs) where the issue is negligence and not misconduct.