Trial Defense Service attorneys are military officers and practicing defense lawyers, graduated from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association, licensed to practice law, and members of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. To ensure objectivity and fairness, TDS attorneys are completely independent from local commands and their legal advisers. They are supervised and rated by their superiors within TDS.


The mission of TDS is to provide a full range of defense legal services to Soldiers worldwide, at no cost to the Soldier. These services include:

  • Representing Soldiers at courts-martial.

  • Representing Soldiers during criminal investigations and before involuntary enlisted separation, officer elimination, or grade reduction boards.

  • Counseling Soldiers regarding restraint, nonjudicial punishment (a.k.a. Article 15), and any other adverse administrative action taken pursuant to Army regulations.


All communications between a TDS attorney and a Soldier-client are strictly confidential and privileged.


TDS attorneys represent Soldiers only; they do not represent civilian employees of the Department of Defense, nor civilian dependents. In addition, TDS does not represent Soldiers pending civilian judicial proceedings or charges, to include proceedings at a federal magistrate court in a military base. TDS representation is only provided to Soldiers facing adverse action in military jurisdiction.