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JAG Defense
JAG Defense, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 124
Experience:  CAPT, JAGC, USN (Retired); Former Military Judge; Specializing in Security Clearance Adjudications
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is a military base in a foreign country considered a US territory

Resolved Question:

is a military base in a foreign country considered a US territory or US possession?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  JAG Defense replied 4 years ago.
This is a complex question as there are different meanings to that phrase. Generally, a US military base is not specifically considered to be sovereign US territory/possession (whereas, for example an Embassy or Warship are), but that is not to say that US laws do not apply as there are many laws with extraterritorial jurisdiction. So the practical difference as to whether it is technically "US" territory or possession may not be significant.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Good afternoon Sir. I am a Reserve JAG in the USAFR, and was looking for an answer to this question which seems to be pretty rare. There is a real practical effect in my client's case. She was on a military base in Iraq, and her disability policy will only pay while she is in the US, or in a US territory or US possession. Hence, my question as to whether or not a military base is considered a US territory or US possession. It appears some of the bases were during WWII, like during the occupation in Germany, but I haven't been able to locate anything definitive about Iraq.

On a side note, do you enjoy this sort of work?
Expert:  JAG Defense replied 4 years ago.
Look at your SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) and/or check with the International Law Officer for CENTCOM (or whichever command you fall under) or the Embassy, or the International Law section of the USAF JAG Office in Washington, DC. I have no idea how the bases are established in Iraq. I have to say my gut tells me that it will not be considered a qualifying location...but hopefully I am wrong.

I was stationed overseas 3x while on ACDU (twice in Philippines, once in Sicily) and this question did come up at various times...of course that now seems to have been a long, XXXXX, XXXXXe ago in a galaxy far, far, away...but my recollection is that under the initial Bases Agreement for the Philippines it WAS US territory...but after a base renegotiation, it reverted to Philippine territory.

As for enjoying "this sort of work" - I guess it mainly depends on "which" sort of work to which you refer:
1) ACDU for 25 years in the Navy;
2) Private Practice; or,
3) Being an "expert" on JustAnswer.com.

1) Yes, almost all the time;
2) Yes, moreso since I no longer work for anyone but me (vice 2 law firms I was at before);
3) I just do it to "get out" in that my basic practice area is security clearance work - which I really enjoy. I do this on the side to pick up vacation money and to keep me engaged in some broader discussions than my private practice covers.

Good luck, be careful, thanks for your service.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Well, I was hoping not to have to dig that far and read SOFAs, but I guess I'm going to have to.

As for the "sort of work", I was referring to the JustAnswer.com as that seems like that might be a good way to earn extra money. In my civilian practice, I primarily represent active duty members going through the MEB/PEB process. Since that is rather unique, and lots of members surf the internet, it seems like JustAnswer might be a good fit since it popped up rather quickly to my internet question on territory vs. possession. Thanks!

And thank you for your service!
Expert:  JAG Defense replied 4 years ago.
There are restrictions on what we can discuss through this forum...
JAG Defense, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 124
Experience: CAPT, JAGC, USN (Retired); Former Military Judge; Specializing in Security Clearance Adjudications
JAG Defense and other Military Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Amy K. Hart XXX@XXXXXX.XXX
www.hartlawofficepc.com
(XXX) XXX-XXXX

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