Robins Judge Advocate Office: Unique power players, crusaders for Airmen

  • Published
  • By Kisha Foster Johnson
  • Robins Public Affairs

The 78th Air Base Wing Office of the Staff Judge Advocate is the legal arm of Robins Air Force Base.

Staff duties involve more than just criminal court cases, which fall under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

“We provide a full spectrum of legal services for the installation,” said Col. Tiaundra Moncrief, 78th Air Base Wing SJA. “Those specialty areas cover labor law, contracting and acquisitions, administrative law, which is our legal assistance, civil law, environmental law as well as any other legal support needed by our senior leaders on the installation.”

The married mother of two joined Team Robins in January and has been an Air Force legal mind for nearly 18 years.

She explained the 78th ABW SJA goal is to advance the various base missions.  

“The support we provide does enable our commanders and our force in full to maintain a state of readiness. Whether that is in sustainment, getting contracts pushed through so that the warfighter can get the widgets and the equipment they need or if it’s environmental, enabling the Air Force so that we can continue whatever particular mission that needs to be continued at the depot or any particular campus,” said Moncrief.

There are nearly 40 civilian and active duty workers who make up the staff, which consists of lawyers, paralegals and administrative support.

The legal office provides support for Georgia’s largest single-site industrial complex, including a major command, an air logistics complex, three wings and 54 Mission Partners. 

“One thing that is really cool about this office is the depth and breadth of the civilian practice here. It is definitely different from any place that I have worked in the course of my career,” said Maj. Teah Lambright, 78th ABW deputy SJA. “We have experts in labor law, environmental and acquisitions in a way that is unparalleled in your average wing legal office. We’ve got four or five civilian attorneys and all they do is labor law. This is home for them and they’re not moving.”

Lambright added that the longevity and experience gained in all areas of practice creates a more knowledgeable firm and a force to be reckoned with.

Another important function of the 78th ABW SJA is helping take care of Airmen by providing them peace of mind before deploying.

Moncrief also supervises the provision of legal services for more than 24,000 active duty, civilians, Reserve and Guard members.   

“We want to make sure their affairs are taken care of and they are not thinking about family matters while down range such as, Can my spouse pay the mortgage? Does she or he have power of attorney to do this or that? What happens if I don’t make it back?” said Moncrief.

According to the 78th ABW SJA Civil Law Division, in 2019, the team executed 1,109 wills and notarized 7,076 documents.

This assistance saved Team Robins members nearly $1.3 million in fees, money they would have had to pay a private attorney had this service not been available.

“We take care of all those things so our Airmen can stay focused on the mission, so our commanders can stay focused on the Airmen, and our mission partners can stay focused on their respective areas. Our office enables all of that,” said Moncrief.

And when it comes to military legal life, forget about what you have seen on television and the movies.

“I have watched a couple of episodes of ‘JAG’ back in the day. I don’t want anyone walking in asking where is my aircraft? I am going to be wheels up; where’s the flight line?” laughed Lambright. “I promise you, you won’t be flying jets.”

But Lambright said members of the Team Robins legal office can expect to learn how to become movers and shakers in the Air Force legal world.

“We will develop and train you on how to be a lawyer in the military. We want the best representing and protecting the interest of the United States,” said Lambright.