Military Defense Lawyer

Standards of Ethical Conduct

Every employee must be aware of and comply with the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Executive Branch Employees and the Joint Ethics Regulation (JER), DoD employees shall not engage in any commercial or professional activity that places them in a position of conflict between their private interests and the public interest of the United States. In order to preserve the public confidence in the Air Force and Space Force, even the appearance of a conflict of interest must be avoided.

Duty to Avoid Conflicts of Interest

  • DoD’s personnel shall not use sensitive government information to further a private gain for themselves or others if that information was obtained by reason of their DoD position and is not generally available to the public 
  •  Personnel may obtain further clarification of the standards of conduct and conflict of interest provisions by consulting with their servicing legal office or ethics counselor.
  •  Commanders must emphasize that resolution of a conflict of interest must be accomplished as soon as practicable – 
  • The JER imposes annual financial reporting requirements for officers in the grade of O-7 or above and other government officials such as commanding officers and procurement officials in order to identify potential conflicts of interest 


Prohibited Activities under the Standards of Conduct and the Joint Ethics Regulation (JER)

  • Active duty members making personal commercial solicitations or solicited sales to DoD personnel junior in rank at any time (on- or off-duty, in or out of uniform), particularly for insurance, stocks, mutual funds, real estate, or any other commodities, goods, or services
  • Unauthorized gambling, with subordinates or while on-base or on-duty
  •  Soliciting or accepting any gift, entertainment, or thing of value from any person or company, which is engaged in procurement activities or does business with any agency of the DoD (including contractors), or that was given because of one’s official position. There are numerous exceptions to this rule, so, if offered a gift, consult the ethics counselor—normally the staff judge advocate (SJA).
  • Soliciting contributions for gifts to a superior, except voluntary gifts or contributions of nominal value (not to exceed $10) on special occasions like marriage, birth/adoption of a child, transfer (PCS/PCA), or retirement.


 Restrictions on Activities involving with Non-Federal Entities (NFE)

  •  Active duty military or civilian personnel using their grades, titles, positions, or organization names in connection with activities performed in their personal capacities
  •  Endorsing a non-federal entity, event, product, service, or enterprise (explicit or implied) 
  • DoD employees must not use their official capacities and titles, positions, or organization names to suggest official endorsement or preferential treatment of any non-federal entity except those listed in JER § 3-210, such as the Combined Federal Campaign and the Department of the Air Force Assistance Fund
  •  Accepting employment outside of the DoD, if it interferes with or is not compatible with the performance of government duties, or if it might discredit the government 
  • DoD employees may not participate in their official DoD capacities in the management of non-federal entities unless pursuant to a federal statute and with authorization from the DoD General Counsel
  •  DoD employees may, however, serve as DoD liaisons to non-federal entities when appointed by the head of the DoD component command or organization who determines there is a significant and continuing DoD interest to be served by such representation. Liaisons serve as part of their official DoD duties, under DoD component memberships, and represent only DoD interests to the non-federal entity in an advisory capacity.


Military Commander and the Law 2022

Reference 5 C.F.R. Part 2635 (2020), Standards of Ethical Conduct for Executive Branch Employees DoD 5500.07-R, Joint Ethics Regulation (30 August 1993), incorporating through Change 7, 17 November 2011 U.S. Department of Defense Standards of Conduct Office,



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