Military soft

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aristotle1776
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Military soft

Postby aristotle1776 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:42 pm

As my applications sit for review, I've been contemplating a question. From what I gather on these forums, military service (particularly OIF or OEF service) is a great soft. But throw another dynamic in to the military service - being medically discharged due to a combat-related disability.

In my case, I have all my limbs and extremities and do not suffer from PTSD (seems to be the first things folks think of when they hear medical discharge). Rather, I have a heart problem that manifested itself during a deployment and was medically retired from service. Does my "disabled veteran" status "strengthen" (for lack of a better word) my military soft? Just wondering what anyone has to say on this subject as I sit here in this deathly suspense waiting for some decisions!

On a side note, I've been arguing with a friend of mine about the criteria for being a URM. He is 25% Puerto-Rican - his mother's father is 100% Puerto Rican (his remaining ethnicity is Irish and Italian...no URM there) and claims this qualifies him to check off the respective boxes on applications, I'm not so sure this is the case. Can anyone clear that up?

Good luck to everyone on the rest of their cycle.

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Knock
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Re: Military soft

Postby Knock » Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:29 pm

aristotle1776 wrote:As my applications sit for review, I've been contemplating a question. From what I gather on these forums, military service (particularly OIF or OEF service) is a great soft. But throw another dynamic in to the military service - being medically discharged due to a combat-related disability.

In my case, I have all my limbs and extremities and do not suffer from PTSD (seems to be the first things folks think of when they hear medical discharge). Rather, I have a heart problem that manifested itself during a deployment and was medically retired from service. Does my "disabled veteran" status "strengthen" (for lack of a better word) my military soft? Just wondering what anyone has to say on this subject as I sit here in this deathly suspense waiting for some decisions!

On a side note, I've been arguing with a friend of mine about the criteria for being a URM. He is 25% Puerto-Rican - his mother's father is 100% Puerto Rican (his remaining ethnicity is Irish and Italian...no URM there) and claims this qualifies him to check off the respective boxes on applications, I'm not so sure this is the case. Can anyone clear that up?

Good luck to everyone on the rest of their cycle.


No, I don't think you get any points for having a tweaked heart, nice try though :P But don't worry, from what I gather military service, especially combat deployment is a great soft.

And Yes, I personally believe 25% Puerto Rican is enough to qualify for URM, but what everyone is going to tell you is that its how he self-identifies that is important. He will also have to write a diversity statement giving some insight into how being Puerto Rican allows him to bring diversity too, so it depends on how well-written and substantive that is.

aristotle1776
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Re: Military soft

Postby aristotle1776 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:36 pm

Well it is not simply a tweaked heart, it's a 60% compensable combat-related disability. Let's just say I'm not going out for a 10 mile run anytime soon. As with any other disability, it limits my ability to perform certain functions. The important thing is that medical doctors have determined there is a direct causal link between combat service and the medical condition. I apologize if I came off as trying to sneak one past the admissions committees, but that is not the case.

Among the military and veterans community there is a distinction between a veteran, combat veteran, and disabled combat veteran. I'm wondering if adcomms will perceive disabled combat veterans as almost a URM in and of itself.

As far as URMs go, that is what I thought. If someone has identified as caucasian/white their entire life and now all of a sudden wants to claim their hispanic ancestry...well I think that's a no-go.

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Knock
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Re: Military soft

Postby Knock » Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:40 pm

aristotle1776 wrote:Well it is not simply a tweaked heart, it's a 60% compensable combat-related disability. Let's just say I'm not going out for a 10 mile run anytime soon. As with any other disability, it limits my ability to perform certain functions. I apologize if I came off as trying to sneak one past the admissions committees, but that is not the case.

As far as URMs go, that is what I thought. If someone has identified as caucasian/white their entire life and now all of a sudden wants to claim their hispanic ancestry...well I think that's a no-go.


Hmm, I'm not sure on a combat-related disability, but if you talk about it in your personal statement it would at the very least be an EXTREMELY interesting and fairly unique personal statement.

Well, the thing is, no one is going to call them out on it, unfortunately, so he will most likely be able to get some sort of boost simply from descending from Puerto Ricans, even if he just checks the box and doesn't write a diversity statement (although the amount will probably be much less, if any). I believe that is the case, though someone please correct me if i'm wrong.

PS: What does OIF or OEF service mean? and what are your other numbers GPA/LSAT (don't need to give exactly but just a ballpark) and what schools are you targeting?

aristotle1776
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Re: Military soft

Postby aristotle1776 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:48 pm

I did speak about it in my personal statement, recognizing that adcomms (as with all other civilians) are somewhat ignorant to military processes and terminology.

OIF = Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq)
OEF = Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan)

My LSAT is a 155 and my GPA is horrendous (2.2) but I'm quite far removed from it (figured that maybe helps, lol). I have a 4.0 in my last semester of undergrad though (go figure). I've applied to the FT programs at Quinnipiac, WNEC, and UCONN. Of the three, QLaw and WNEC are still pending and I was rejected from UCONN (no surprise there). I've also sent QLaw an addendum stating I am willing to accept a PT seat in the case I am not accepted for FT. I have the Post 9/11 GI Bill so money is not really an issue...I plan on entering a very niche field of law and have a job waiting for me (well at least for now). I'm grateful that I do not have to worry about taking on a large debt and finding a commensurate salary to offset it after graduation.

I should also mention I'm geographically restricted to the tri-state/southern new england area.
Last edited by aristotle1776 on Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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BigFatPanda
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Re: Military soft

Postby BigFatPanda » Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:57 pm

I plan on entering a very niche field of law and have a job waiting for me (well at least for now)


Are u referring to JAG? Thank you for serving.


aristotle1776
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Re: Military soft

Postby aristotle1776 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:02 pm

Not referring to JAG. Though I must say, those guys and gals have it made (in the Army at least). JAGs go through a special type of basic training at Fort Benning which I, as a combat soldier, had the pleasure of watching one day - it was quite hilarious.

Anyway, I'm planning on going into military disability law. It is essentially a subset of administrative law and is probably one of the most underrepresented areas of law in this country. With the wars going on there is an extreme influx of wounded servicemembers in need of legal advocacy - I'm sure everyone here has heard horror stories about the VA, Walter Reed, and the military denying these folks benefits. After going through it all and seeing what they do to these poor people, I luckily got hooked up with a local attorney (former JAG) who now practices in this area. I work for him now in an assistant/intern role and hope to take on a more active role upon finishing law school (that is, if I can get in, lol!)

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BigFatPanda
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Re: Military soft

Postby BigFatPanda » Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:18 pm

[strike]Did u also apply part time? Because the demand for those part time are less than for full time, you could use it to maximize your opportunity for attending[/strike].
Thats a quite interesting remark about JAG and their basic training; i was thinking about doing it and after listening to what you've said, i still want to do it. Maybe i'll snap and share some picture about myself when the time comes and we can all laugh about it.

aristotle1776
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Joined: Mon May 25, 2009 4:42 pm

Re: Military soft

Postby aristotle1776 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:08 pm

Take what I say about JAG with a grain of salt, if you decide to join the service you will realize that we all make fun of one another - but when it comes down to it we are all brothers and sisters.

The big plus with JAG (I'm speaking for the Army here) is you enter as an O-2/1LT (so a little bump in pay compared to that of a O-1/2LT) and the powder puff basic training - designed specifically for doctors and lawyers. The attorney I now worked for loved it while he was JAG, though he was a prior service 11B (infantry) to compare his JAG service against. He tells me stories of these grand TDY trips to South America to basically wine and dine foreign military officers (while getting paid extra). He also stated that JAGs are now playing more of an advisory role as an attorney compared to the contrasting accounts we see a Few Good Men and the likes. No matter how much you actually accomplish (or how little) JAG service is like a diamond on your resume.

When I joined up in 2006, they were taking JAGs left and right. I don't know what all this talk on the forum is about it being so difficult to get in to the JAG corps, I shipped out to MEPS with 3 attorneys...there was more lawyers on the bus than undergraduate degree holders. Though, that was in the midst of the "surge" and things have definitely changed so they may be slightly more selective. You can do all the research you want on the service JAG programs but unless you were in the military you cannot truly understand the process for getting in.

Realistically, it is just like any other officer selection board - there is a board of field-grade officers who "convene" (probably during the Army extended lunch break from 1100 - 1400) and determine from a pool of applicants who gets into the program. The good thing here is while every OSB is selective, you can just keep re-applying until you get in. The boards sit very often and change in personnel very often, so you're almost getting a de novo review of your file with each board (I think the regulations may require that anyway). One board may be more concerned with your APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test) score than your Law School grades, I know it is crazy but that's how it works.

What it really comes down to, is most people who have gone to undergraduate and then law school (without any prior military service) will not adjust well to the military culture - so most of these guys are getting out after their initial terms and opening up more slots (same thing is happening on the combat arms/support side of the house). There will be an influx of open slots very soon, I imagine. Good luck in your quest to become a JAG and let me know if there are any questions you have about the training end of it (one of my subordinates wife worked in the company that ran lawyer/doctor training at Benning).

floridaprosecutor
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Re: Military soft

Postby floridaprosecutor » Tue Apr 13, 2010 4:57 pm

Hello All,

I'm new to the board, but would GREATLY appreciate anyone and everyone's thoughts on Army JAG. I am considering direct appointment and have no prior military experience so really need some honest advice on it - especially related to deployment and the "military life" in general, as I have a wife to consider.

Thanks in advance!




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