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Headquarters, U.S. Army Trial Defense Service

Headquarters, U.S. Army Trial Defense Service Welcome to the official Headquarters, U.S. Army Trial Defense Service page. The mission of

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On Tuesday, 4 January 2022, in a ceremony hosted by The Judge Advocate General, LTG Stuart W. Risch, at the U.S. Army Le...
01/10/2022

On Tuesday, 4 January 2022, in a ceremony hosted by The Judge Advocate General, LTG Stuart W. Risch, at the U.S. Army Legal Services building on Fort Belvoir, Virginia, COL Jackie L. Thompson, Jr. was promoted to Brigadier General, surrounded by his family, friends, distinguished guests, and mentors. Formerly the Chief, U.S. Army Trial Defense Service, BG Jackie L. Thompson, Jr., now serves as the Chief Defense Counsel, Office of Military Commissions. Please take this opportunity to congratulate BG Thompson and his family!

Congratulations to Colonel Thompson -  Chief, USATDS - on his confirmation to Brigadier General!
12/15/2021

Congratulations to Colonel Thompson - Chief, USATDS - on his confirmation to Brigadier General!

Announcement of the Confirmation of Colonel Jackie (J.J.) L. Thompson, Jr. to Brigadier General and Assignment as Chief Defense Counsel, Office of Military Commissions

We are pleased to announce that the President has nominated and the United States Senate has confirmed Colonel Jackie (J.J.) L. Thompson, Jr. for appointment to the grade of Brigadier General and assignment as Chief Defense Counsel, Office of Military Commissions (OMC).

Colonel Thompson’s extraordinary career, spanning over 31 years, evidences his superb skills as a Judge Advocate, Army officer, and leader. Currently, COL Thompson serves as the Chief of the U.S. Army Trial Defense Service (USATDS). Prior to assuming those duties, he served as the Staff Judge Advocate for Fort Benning, Georgia; the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate for U.S. Army Europe, Wiesbaden, Germany; the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate for U.S. Army Central Command, Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina; the Southeast Regional Defense Counsel, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; the Officer-in-Charge of Operational Law, Mission Command Training Program, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; and as a Brigade Judge Advocate, Fort Carson, Colorado. COL Thompson’s earlier military assignments include service as the Chief of
Administrative Law and Chief of Justice at Fort Jackson, South Carolina; Senior Defense Counsel for U.S. Forces in Northern Iraq; Training Officer for the USATDS in Arlington, Virginia; and as a Trial Counsel, Legal Assistance, and Tax Attorney at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

Colonel Thompson’s military awards include the Bronze Star Medal (with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster), the Meritorious Service Medal (with 7 Oak Leaf Clusters), and the Joint Service Commendation Medal. COL Thompson graduated from Illinois State University in 1993 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. In 1996, while a member of the Army National Guard, he commissioned from Illinois Military Academy Officer Candidate School (OCS). In 1997, he received his Juris Doctor Degree from Northern Illinois University School of Law. COL Thompson also holds an LL.M. in Military Law from The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School U.S. Army. He is a 2010 graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and he has also earned a Master’s Degree in National Security Studies from the U.S. Army War
College. COL Thompson is a member of the Bars of Illinois, Wisconsin, and Texas and is admitted to practice before the Army Court of Criminal Appeals, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and the United States Supreme Court.

Please take the opportunity to congratulate Colonel Thompson, his wife, Kenya, and their two children, Addisyn and Micaiah as they continue to serve the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, the United States Army, and the Nation.

Photos from The Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School's post
09/11/2021

Photos from The Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School's post

Timeline photos
08/17/2021

Timeline photos

To Soldiers past and present, we recognize and honor your service and sacrifice. I am proud to serve with all of you.

Photos from The Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School's post
07/30/2021

Photos from The Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School's post

Thank you for your service LTC(R) Bateman!
07/28/2021

Thank you for your service LTC(R) Bateman!

Photos from The Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School's post
05/08/2021

Photos from The Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School's post

Some major changes to to AR 670-1 effective 26 February 2021. Here’s a summary of some of the changes.
01/28/2021

Some major changes to to AR 670-1 effective 26 February 2021. Here’s a summary of some of the changes.

01/26/2021
11/17/2020

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The DEU vacancy announcement for the Term, GS-13, Legal Administrative Specialist positions at U.S. Army Trial Defense Service is now posted on USAJOBS.

These are same positions previously announced but they are now open to all. The positions are located at Fort Shafter, Hi; Fort Belvoir, VA; Ft. Leavenworth, KS; Ft. Campbell, KY; Ft. Bragg, NC; Ft. Hood, TX; and JBLM, WA. Announcement closes on 25 November 2020.

The announcement for the position at Kaiserslautern, Germany, will follow soon. Stay tuned.

https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/584730300- CONUS
https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/584730800- Hawaii

11/06/2020
TJAG's TDS 40th Anniversary Message

Tomorrow marks the 40th anniversary of the Trial Defense Service and TJAG has issued a statement to commemorate the occassion! Please have a listen, keep up the incredible work, and happy birthday!

One of our very own, CPT Jeri D’Aurelio, debuts in the 2020 qualifiers for NBC’s American Ninja Warrior on Monday, Septe...
09/22/2020

One of our very own, CPT Jeri D’Aurelio, debuts in the 2020 qualifiers for NBC’s American Ninja Warrior on Monday, September 28th at 7pm.

Are you ?

Update: CPT D’Aurelio will make her debut next Monday. Not tonight.

Tune in ***edit*** Monday, Sep 28th at 7pm for NBC's American Ninja Warrior as USARAK's own CPT Jeri D'Aurelio debuts in the 2020 qualifiers! Follow along as the strongest Trial Defense Attorney in the Army competes to continue on and earn the title of America's Ninja Warrior! Arctic Warriors! Arctic Tough!

09/11/2020

On this day, 19 years ago, tragedy struck the United States in New York, New York, Arlington, Virginia, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Many of you answered the call to service post-911. Today, we thank you for your courageous service and your sacrifices—and we thank and remember those whose lives were lost, either innocently, or while bravely serving in support of our Country, on that day.

Where were you?



Congratulations to the recipients of this year’s award.
08/27/2020

Congratulations to the recipients of this year’s award.

We are looking for those that want to help “Defend Those That Defend America.” Apply now and ask about opportunities to ...
08/19/2020

We are looking for those that want to help “Defend Those That Defend America.” Apply now and ask about opportunities to serve and about Trial Defense Service.

Apply now for an adventure like no other! Whether you're interested in a summer internship, part-time service, or full-time service, the Army JAG Corps offers unparalleled practice opportunities alongside incredible people. Be sure to complete your application and interview by October 1st!

www.jagcnet.army.mil/apply

Stay safe and stay sharp!
08/03/2020

Stay safe and stay sharp!

Mental fitness is just as important as physical fitness and reading gives your brain a great workout.

Did you know that reading strengthens your brain, improves your memory, empowers you to empathize with other people, helps you sleep better, reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, fights symptoms of depression, prevents cognitive decline as you age, and contributes to a longer life?

So, what are you currently reading (or listening to)?


Happy Birthday to the Judge Advocate General Corps!
07/29/2020

Happy Birthday to the Judge Advocate General Corps!

Today marks the 72nd anniversary of the official end to racial segregation in the U.S. Armed Forces. The Army is more di...
07/27/2020

Today marks the 72nd anniversary of the official end to racial segregation in the U.S. Armed Forces. The Army is more diverse now then ever before, but the past few months have reminded us that we still have a long way to go on our never-ending journey to be a more perfect organization. Let's celebrate how far we've come as we continue to move forward together.

You can be whoever you want to be, as evidenced by Jeri D’Aurelio below. Find those healthy outlets when you are out of ...
07/23/2020

You can be whoever you want to be, as evidenced by Jeri D’Aurelio below. Find those healthy outlets when you are out of uniform to keep you happy and healthy. Drop comments below about what you are doing to remain healthy and happy during this challenging period.

That feeling when you've discovered a career worth training for, as demonstrated by Soldier, lawyer, gymnast, and American Ninja Warrior participant Jeri D'Aurelio. Jeri is in the JAG Corps which means she works for the best law firm in the world: ours. Learn more: https://go.usa.gov/xf24H 📷 : Scott Harrison

06/22/2020

TDS is committed to keeping everyone safe during this COVID-19 season and changed many of our business practices around the world. As we navigate this PCS season, make sure you have contact information for the TDS office of your losing installation in the event you run into trouble before you sign-in to your new unit. Remember your rights and consult a defense attorney if you are in doubt.

Happy Law Day!
05/01/2020

Happy Law Day!

Happy , JAG Corps!

Since its inception in 1958, Law Day is held on May 1st every year to celebrate the role of law in our society and to cultivate a deeper understanding of the legal profession.

This year's theme, from the American Bar Association (ABA), celebrates the centennial of our 19th Amendment—100 years of women's right to vote in America! You can learn more about this theme, and past themes, at the ABA's website here --> https://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/law-day/

As we celebrate our democracy, we also take a moment to celebrate you—and others who serve our great Nation, particularly in times of crisis and peril. Thank you all for what you do, every single day. We are honored to serve alongside you. Happy Law Day!




U.S. Army
U.S. Army Reserve
The National Guard
United States Army Reserve Legal Command

Are you leaving active duty?  Ready to serve in a different capacity?  Ever wanted to work in TDS or have TDS experience...
04/23/2020

Are you leaving active duty? Ready to serve in a different capacity? Ever wanted to work in TDS or have TDS experience and enjoyed it? Consider joining the 154th LOD! Please feel free to me contact the Chief Paralegal NCO, SFC Stefanou at [email protected]

03/20/2020

Take care of yourselves and increase your knowledge of good health and hygiene practices and implement them into your daily routine.

It is crucial to not panic during this time, and one way to resist that urge is to verify the information you are receiving with credible resources. The saying “trust but verify” applies here.

Know that we are here to assist you. Have a great weekend!

01/17/2020

Long post in the series but worth reading to the end.

In prior posts, we have talked about a soldier's right to remain silent and right to legal counsel. We discussed the advantages of one telling law enforcement that he wants to remain silent or talk to a lawyer. Before interrogating a soldier, law enforcement officers must notify him of his rights, and if a soldier invokes the right to remain silent or right to counsel, the interview must end. We have discussed how unfair law enforcement interrogations are.

They are not a search for the truth; they are a quest to create a confession. If an individual is being interrogated, law enforcement has already decided he is guilty. The tactics law enforcement officers use are designed to increase psychological pressure on the subject, and their goal is to induce a feeling of hopelessness that is so bad that confessing to a crime seems like the best choice. These tactics produce a lot of confessions, most are true, but a few are false. Whether guilty or innocent, one does not want to go through this interrogation process.

In our last post, we talked about isolation. When one arrives at the place of the interrogation, one's phone is taken away. One is put in a room by one's self with nothing to do but think. Law enforcement wants you to think how much trouble you are in and how much you just want this to end. The subject is left in isolation until he begins to show symptoms of hopelessness. The subject thinks he is alone, but he's being watched through a one-way mirror by law enforcement.

When the subject begins to show signs of distress, the interrogator will enter the room. Before the interrogator can begin the interrogation, she must read the subject his rights. If the subject invokes the right to remain silent or right to counsel, the interrogation must end, so, before reading the suspect his rights, the interrogator sets the conditions for the subject to waive his rights, that is, agree to talk to her without a lawyer. This stage of the process is called rapport building.

The goal of rapport building is to convince the subject that the interrogator is a kind, sensible, and fair individual who is only interested in finding the truth. The interrogator will try to convince the subject that she will do everything she can to help the subject discover the best path out of his current predicament. The problem is: the opposite is true. The interrogator may be kind and sensible in other settings, but what she is about to do is not fair and is not about finding the truth. Before she decided to interrogate the subject, she decided the subject was guilty, and her goal is to get a confession.

The interrogator will enter the room with a copy of the form law enforcement uses to advise subjects of their rights and memorialize their decisions. The interrogator will set the form aside and say, "we'll get to that later." Indeed. She'll get to it later, but not before she's convinced the subject trusts her and will talk to her without a lawyer. First, the interrogator will fake interest in the subject's well-being by asking, "how are you doing?" Then she'll make small talk about things in the news, happenings on post, and Army life.

The interrogator will ask questions to discover the subject's hometown, assignment history, MOS, marital status, and other information so she can find non-threatening things to talk about. The goal of talking is to build rapport. The goal of rapport-building is gain the subject's trust. The goal of gaining the subject's trust is cause him to waive his rights by convincing him the interrogator is an honest broker who will help the subject through the process and look out for his interests. In short, the goal is to trick the subject into waiving his rights.

Everyone in law enforcement knows the interrogator has already determined the subject is guilty, is not an honest broker, and will not look out for his interests. The interrogator hopes the subject will talk to her without a lawyer so she can employ other tactics that will almost certainly lead to a confession. The interrogator knows that if the subject tells her he does not want to talk to her or he wants a lawyer, she cannot use these other tactics. She knows if the subject talks to a defense lawyer, the defense lawyer will tell him not to talk to law enforcement or anyone else.

So, they talk and talk until the interrogator senses the time is right. Then she will notify the subject of his right to counsel and right to remain silent. She will ask him if he wants a lawyer. She will ask him if he's willing to talk to her about the alleged offenses. If the subject asks for a lawyer or says he does not want to talk, the interrogation is over, and he will not suffer the unfair practices that will follow if he waives his rights. If the subject waives his rights, the interrogator has him right where she wants him.

Congratulations to former PACRIM RDC COL Mike Friess. Well deserved!
01/10/2020

Congratulations to former PACRIM RDC COL Mike Friess. Well deserved!

Congratulations to former Pacific Rim RDC, Mike Friess, for his promotion to Colonel! Outstanding day for the US Army and the Friess family! COL Friess is a proven dedicated leader and what the JAG Corps needs to lead it into the future.

01/09/2020

A lot of people get extenuation & mitigation confused, so let's take a look at them:

Extenuation (R.C.M. 1001(d)(1)(A): serves to explain the circumstances surrounding commission of the offense, including those reasons for committing the offense which do not constitute a legal justification or excuse.

Examples:

Bar fight ensues after someone calls client racial slur; stealing food to help feed family; a parent who refuses medical care for child due to religious beliefs; mental defect (stress, low intelligence)

Mitigation (R.C.M. 1001(d)(1)(B)): personal factors concerning the accused introduced to lessen the punishment.

Examples:

Prior Art. 15 or civilian conviction for same offense; particular acts of good conduct, bravery, or benevolence; evidence of reputation for efficiency, fidelity, subordination, temperance, courage, or any other trait that is desirable in a service member; awards and combat service; restitution; retirement; medical problems; s*x offender registration; effect on Immigration status; retention evidence; grade determination board; tragic things in client’s past.

We are here for you always.
01/06/2020

We are here for you always.

Given what’s going on in the world these days, please remember OPSEC. We don’t want you focused on defending yourself fr...
01/05/2020

Given what’s going on in the world these days, please remember OPSEC. We don’t want you focused on defending yourself from NJP or worse when you should be focused on defending yourself in a situation when it matters the most.

01/03/2020

In an earlier post, we noted that law enforcement interrogations are coercive by design. The purpose of a law enforcement interrogation is not to discover the truth. Law enforcement agents only interrogate people who they think are guilty based on their initial investigation. To overcome the anticipated resistant of people they presume are guilty, law enforcement induces stress during interrogations to create a sense of hopelessness. Law enforcement does so using well-known tactics, the first of which, isolation, is discussed today.

Interrogators are trained to remove suspects from familiar surroundings and interrogate them in specially-designed interrogation rooms. Before taking a suspect to an interrogation room, a law enforcement agent will take the suspect's phone from him. This deprives the suspect of communication with friends and family. The suspect will spend up to one hour alone in the interrogation room. The only things in the room is a desk and two chairs. The room has a one-way mirror so law enforcement agents can observe the suspect during this period of isolation. The suspect has nothing to do and no one with whom to speak. The isolation makes the suspect feel alone, increases distress, and increases the suspect's desire to get out of the situation as quickly as possible. The interrogation will begin when law enforcement agents start to see signs of distress. Once the interrogation begins, the interrogator will use a number of tactics to exploit the suspect's distress.

Before beginning the interrogation, interrogators are required to notify the suspect of his right to remain silent and right to counsel. One should seek legal counsel before talking to law enforcement about offenses they presume you have committed because what comes next is not fair. If rights are not invoked, law enforcement agents will only allow the suspect to escape the situation if he confesses to the things law enforcement agents "know" he did.

In our next posts, we will discuss the tactics interrogators use during the interrogation.

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9275 Gunston Road
Fort Belvoir, VA
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Congratulations to Colonel Thompson - Chief, USATDS - on his confirmation to Brigadier General!
Thank you for your service LTC(R) Bateman!
Some major changes to to AR 670-1 effective 26 February 2021. Here’s a summary of some of the changes.
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The DEU vacancy announcement for the Term, GS-13, Legal Administrative Specialist positions at U.S. Army Trial Defense Service is now posted on USAJOBS.

These are same positions previously announced but they are now open to all. The positions are located at Fort Shafter, Hi; Fort Belvoir, VA; Ft. Leavenworth, KS; Ft. Campbell, KY; Ft. Bragg, NC; Ft. Hood, TX; and JBLM, WA. Announcement closes on 25 November 2020.

The announcement for the position at Kaiserslautern, Germany, will follow soon. Stay tuned.

https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/584730300- CONUS
https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/584730800- Hawaii
Tomorrow marks the 40th anniversary of the Trial Defense Service and TJAG has issued a statement to commemorate the occassion! Please have a listen, keep up the incredible work, and happy birthday!
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