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Airmen weigh scales of justice

  • Published
  • By Capt. Cortland Bobczynski and Senior Airman Ashley Maldonado
  • 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
A small group of skilled Airmen persistently endeavor to promote justice and enable good order and discipline within the 20th Fighter Wing community by providing full-spectrum, on-demand and on-target legal advice and solutions to commanders and war fighters.

These Airmen, assigned to the 20th FW Judge Advocate office, work tirelessly to provide legal support to Team Shaw, as well as legal assistance such as wills and legal advice to active duty members, dependents and the entire South Carolina retiree population.

“We are here, first and foremost, to safeguard good order and discipline; whether that be representing the Air Force in the court room, advising a commander on taking a particular action, drafting a legal review for a base-wide activity, or providing legal counsel to an Airman,” said Capt. Cortland Bobczynski, 20th Fighter Wing Judge Advocate office chief of administrative law. “Our office’s mission is to be an invaluable force multiplier, providing commanders the capability to employ equipped and disciplined forces and helping our war fighters and their families be combat ready.”
This is demonstrated by the office’s willingness to provide wills and powers of attorney to retirees in the hospital as well as travel to units and detachments in order to provide wills and legal counsel for deployers, Airmen, and their dependents. It is also demonstrated by the legal advice and guidance given by the legal office to commanders, first shirts and other agencies.

“Discipline comes from commanders, and we provide them with the necessary tools to keep the Air Force organized,” said Staff Sgt. Justin Spear, 20th FW legal office noncommissioned officer in charge of administrative law. “That is what enables us as a whole to accomplish the mission.”

Bobczynski went on to say the 20th FW Judge Advocate office’s guiding principle is “excellence in customer service, excellent work product, and excellent processing.”

“We work really hard,” said Bobczynski, “but our paralegals work really hard too. Our paralegals are really busy. Without them, we wouldn’t be as supported and would not have the extended reach of legal support to the base as we currently do.”

With cases lasting anywhere from a few months to a year, attorneys and paralegals work hard to prepare for litigation as well as provide legal support to the entire base.

“We aim to be excellent in all areas of legal practice,” said Bobczynski. “The law office is divided into two departments: civil law and military justice. Each department is comprised of attorneys and paralegals who vigorously work to support each department’s area of practice; however, there is a lot of cross-over as attorneys are responsible for their given departments as well as their own court-martial case load.”

For any questions or concerns regarding legal matters, contact the legal office at (803) 895-1560.