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Staff Judge Advocate

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Office Symbol: ARSO-JA
Address: 4130 Stanley Road, Suite 604
Fort Sam Houston, Texas 78234
Commercial Phone: (210) 295-6328
DSN Phone: 421-6328
Fax:  (210) 295-6324
The Judge Advocate General's Corps Legal Services Site

                       What We Do:


As a full service legal office, the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate practices across the spectrum of the six core legal disciplines of the Army:  Military Justice, International and Operational Law, Administrative and Civil Law, Contract and Fiscal Law, Legal Assistance, and Claims. The Office of the Staff Judge Advocate provides operational and international law advice to US Army South, a forward deployed multi-component Army Service Component Command responsible for US Army military activities throughout the Southern Hemisphere. Our legal advice pertains to all of the core legal competencies and includes aid to civil authorities, disaster relief, humanitarian assistance, legal status of deployed personnel in other nations, rules of engagement, and applicability of host nation law.

SJA Logo

Military Justice


Support commanders and military law enforcement in maintaining good order and discipline by providing expert and responsive advice on all military justice and adverse administrative actions, representing the United States effectively and efficiently in courts-martial and administrative separation hearings. Provide legal support to Judge Advocates deployed in the USSOUTHCOM area of responsibility (AOR), to include South and Central America, and parts of the Caribbean. 


Military Justice Jurisdiction extends to Soldiers assigned to US Army South, its subordinate units, and Soldiers in the AOR.


A Trial Counsel (prosecutor) is assigned in support of commanders at each level to advise on the following subjects:

  • Criminal Investigations
  • Search and Seizure
  • Non-judicial Punishment (Article 15)
  • Courts-Martial
  • Administrative Reprimands/Admonishments
  • Administrative Separation Actions (Officer/Enlisted)
  • Bars to Reenlistment
  • Relief for Cause
  • Corrective Training
  • Pretrial Confinement

Commanders may contact the trial counsel or military justice NCOIC with questions or concerns.

Trial Defense Service, Fort Sam Houston

Commercial Phone:  (210) 295-9742

Individual Soldiers who are under investigation or accused of a crime should consult with legal counsel of the Army Trial Defense Service, located at 2440 Dragon Valley Road, Building 158, Suite 19, Fort Sam Houston, Texas  78234.


International Law

Legal Engagements

The International Law section coordinates and conducts Legal Subject Matter Exchanges (SMEs), wherein US Army Judge Advocates share ideas with military attorneys from partner nations in the US Army South Area of Responsibility (AOR).  Goals of these exchanges include enhancing effectiveness of partner nation military legal systems and encouraging support for democratic ideals.

Operational Law

The Operational Law component supports all operations conducted by US Army South. These operations include exercises, theater security cooperation, contingency operations, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and stability operations. Operational Law Judge Advocates assist the Command with the impact of treaties and international agreements, rules of engagement, and fiscal constraints on US Army South missions.

Center for Law and Military Operations 

State Department Foreign Countries


Administrative, Civil, & International Law

The division advises the Commander and Staff on the organization, powers, functions, and employment of US Army South; devises and implements legal strategies to further Command vision, mission, and goals; consults with other DoD organizations, Federal agencies, and private entities on legal and policy issues; and provides Title 10 legal services throughout the AOR.

The division consists of senior attorneys with joint, multi-component, and interagency experience. The attorneys interpret and apply legislation, regulations of DoD and other Federal agencies, judicial decisions, and OGC opinions; conduct Federal litigation; provide contracts, ethics, fiscal, labor, legal assistance, and ombudsman services; construe treaties and international agreements; and advise boards and investigating officers.

Ethics Resources


 Contract and Fiscal Law

The Contract and Fiscal Law Office advises on all aspects of the organization, powers, functions, and employment of US Army South, the Army Service Component Command of US Southern Command, simultaneously executing Theater Security Cooperation activities, Title 10 missions, and Contingency Operations as directed by the Combatant Commander.  Interpret and apply international agreements, legislation, regulations of DoD and other Federal agencies, judicial decisions, and OGC opinions.  Consult Federal agencies, NGOs, and foreign counterparts on legal and policy issues.  Provide contract administration, formation, scope, and term advice on acquisitions; section 852 contract oversight; and fiscal law guidance.

Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)

DoD Financial Management Regulation (DODFMR)

Joint Federal Travel Regulation (JFTR) / Joint Travel Regulation (JTR)


Legal Assistance

For eligible personnel in the JBSA area, legal assistance with wills, powers of attorney, notarizations, and other legal matters is available at the Fort Sam Houston Garrison Legal Assistance Office.  This office may be reached at (210) 808-0169, and is located in Building 2271, Reynolds Road (Off of Wilson Road between Brought Fitness Center and the Main Post Chapel).

The US Army South Office of the Staff Judge Advocate provides legal assistance on-site to DOD personnel stationed in 32 countries and 14 territories throughout USSOUTHCOM AOR.  Please contact our legal assistance attorney at (210) 295-6967 (commercial) or 421-6967 (DSN) to initiate the process of scheduling an on-site visit to your location.  Our legal assistance attorney also provides pre-deployment and emergency legal assistance to members of US Army South.



Personnel Claims

Personnel claims for damages to household goods and personal property are handled by the Fort Sam Houston Garrison Claims Office in Building 153, 2440 Stanley Road, (210) 221-1973.



Foreign Claims

In accordance with the Foreign Claims Act, 10 USC 2734, the US Army South Operational Law section adjudicates claims submitted by inhabitants of foreign countries, or by governments of foreign countries or political subdivisions thereof, for compensation from the United States arising from the non-combat activities of US military service members or civilian employees, where those service members or civilian employees, through negligent or wrongful actions cause personal injury, death, or property damage.