2703 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SW
Mail Stop 7213
Washington, DC 20593-7213
The Office of Member Advocacy & Legal Assistance (CG-LMA), located in Washington, DC, is a multi-faceted organization responsible for providing members with legal services in four broad categories: Military Justice, Appellate Defense, Legal Assistance, and the Physical Disabilities Evaluation System (PDES).
Physical Disability Evaluation System (PDES)
Coast Guard members found not fit for continued service because of an injury or illness incurred in the line of duty are entitled to counsel beginning at the informal board level. Members are entitled to have counsel advocate on their behalf at both the informal and formal board levels. Alternatively, a member can decline detailed military counsel and hire a civilian attorney at his or her own cost. CG-LMA-A Judge Advocates further assist disabled members in making the transition from active duty to the civilian community by connecting them to vital services with other agencies such the Veterans Administration, the Navy Safe Harbor Program and the Social Security Administration.
PDES Frequently Asked Questions
PDES Member's Guide
Defense services are frequently provided to Coast Guard members by Navy judge advocates under the Navy & Coast Guard Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Mutual Support in Military Justice Matters. As a result, Coast Guard members needing assistance for criminal or administrative proceedings are often referred to the closest Defense Service Office (DSO). However, a member can always specifically request assistance from a Coast Guard judge advocate. This applies to courts-martial and administrative separations as well as other matters such as UCMJ Article 138 complaints. Some services are not covered under the Navy MOU and are only provided by Coast Guard Judge Advocates. Examples include matters relating to:
Relief for Cause
Line of Duty Determinations
Retention and Reenlistment Boards
Defense Service Offices
DSOs and their branch officers and detachments offer broad service for military members, and provide the added benefit of proximity and face-to-face interaction with the client. Coast Guard members can visit the closest DSO for military justice advice. When the DSO is unavailable, members may contact CG-LMA-D directly. For a complete list of services provided and available locations, see the website below. http://www.jag.navy.mil/legal_services/legal_services_locator_dso.htm
DSO Quick Reference List:
Parts of the Pacific and Hawaii
Pearl Harbor, HI
Southwest U.S., Parts of Mexico and South America
San Diego, CA
North Central U.S. and Canada
(202) 685-5233 / 5595
Southeast U.S., Parts of Mexico and South America
CG-LMA-D provides appellate defense services for members before the Coast Guard Court of Criminal Appeals, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF), and the U. S. Supreme Court. Additionally, CG-LMA-D assists members in clemency petitions before the Residual Clemency Board.
Additionally, legal counsel is available to assist members in the preparation of last will and testament, power of attorney, estate planning, assistance with adoptions, name changes, nonsupport and indebtedness, taxes, and landlord-tenant relations. Legal assistance is provided by attorneys assigned to district legal offices and major training commands.
All Coast Guard members are encouraged to complete a Personal Readiness Plan (PRP). The plan is a private document designed to keep a member’s most important personal information at the ready in the event of an emergency.
To learn more about legal assistance, develop a PRP, or locate the closest legal assistance office, visit: