Greetings and thanks to everyone for your contributions over the last 42 pages. Apologies in advance for any misuse of acronyms or terminology.
I'm in a different boat than most posters here. I'm a 30 1/2 year-old practicing attorney out of a T20 law school and have been licensed for approaching 5 years now. I clerked for a federal judge after law school, and I have 2 1/2 years of BigLaw experience and 1 year of small firm experience under my belt. I have no military experience, but I want to serve as a JAG in any service branch that will have me, and I'm considering applying not only for direct appointment commission to each such branch, but for reserve and national guard accession, as applicable.
I'm (pretty obviously) at about Step 1 of a very long process. At this preliminary stage, I'm wondering:
(1) What are the downsides (if any) to sending out multiple applications to multiple branches, for active duty and reserve / national guard positions (i.e., could the Army JAG get wind of my Army Reserve or National Guard JAG application and say "this applicant's not serious about us"?)?
(2) What are your opinions on the benefits and drawbacks to applying for / serving in Army or Air Force JAG Reserve or National Guard as opposed to active duty (beyond the differences in service commitment)? Some benefits and drawbacks seem pretty obvious, but I'm wondering, for instance, whether such officers looked down upon as compared to those who receive direct appointments -- I guess its "cultural" benefits and drawbacks I'm referring to here.
(3) Similarly, is an applicant more likely to be accepted for commission with the Army or Air Force JAG Reserve or National Guard, based on availability?
(4) Irrespective of being called up, how difficult is it for someone who is commissioned as an officer in the Reserves or National Guard to become an active duty JAG officer if his or her civilian employment circumstances change?
I appreciate any advice and opinions you may have to offer, whether in direct response to these questions, or more generally about how my application process may differ from that of law students, or regarding who may be in a better position to address my particular circumstances.
[Note: After reading the 42-odd pages on this topic, and doing a lot of online research, I've learned a great deal, and applications for the non-Army service branches seem pretty self-explanatory -- enough to develop a checklist for what needs to be done. Active Duty Army JAG has been different: the points of contact don't have an answer as to how I find a Field Screening Officer (FSO), given that I'm not in law school, and they keep directing me back to the jagcnet.army.mil website's (nonexistent, as far as I can tell) FSO list instead of telling me whom I'm supposed to meet with. If you've got advice on how to break the conundrum, I'd love to hear from you.]
I'm sure my questions will come more fast and furiously once I get some more information.