Military Law

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Sun Apr 12, 2009 6:01 pm

danr2040 wrote:
Patrick Bateman wrote: 1st Lt Bateman here. I am about $83,000 and change in the hole. I consolidated and am under the Income Contingent Plan until the IBR comes out 1 July. Though I'm still a newly minted JAG, I anticipate going Fed after 6 years active duty. USAO would be my dream shot but that will turn a lot on how much military justice exposure I get.

Your numbers add up fine though our AGI is probably going to be less. Your first year active duty (6 months 0-2, 6 months 0-3) will have you around $38,000 before deductions. Between deducting student loan interest and everything else, you should be well under $35,000. IBR is going to save people like us a fortune.

Keep in mind that you will also qualify for LRAP at all of your schools. Some schools have excluded military service from their LRAP "public interest" positions (really classy move) so you may want to check on that before you decide to enroll somewhere.

There are also provisions in the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act that may allow you to bring that 8.6% interest rate down to 6%. I am not 100% where GradPlus loans fit into the statute but that may be worth looking into.

Best of luck,
PB


Lt. Bateman,
Thank you very much for the quick reply. This is a week that first deposits are due at a lot of schools, so I really need to sort out this "T-14 with little money vs full tuition scolly at T-30" issue quickly while I am out visiting schools.

With your confirmation, I think that the IBR program will make me comfortable enough to turn down those full rides and go to the best school I can get into. Don't know what the future will bring, and I never want to be turned down for a job only to think it might have gone differently had I gone to the better school.

Based on the $40,000 figure (which you say is closer to $35,000 - knocking down the monthly payments even more :) , everything seems really affordable. Then, with the public service loan provision, all the rest is forgiven for us after 10 years (are you banking on this part of the program too, you weren't clear about that)?

One thing that worries me about the public service loan forgiveness provision http://www.finaid.org/loans/publicservice.phtml is the vagueness in the "120 payments made while working in a qualifying job" provision. Do you (or anyone else reading) know if this means 120 CONSECUTIVE payments (i.e., miss one and you are screwed) or just 120 payments (which could take longer than 10 years if you make a few while unemployed/in another job)?

I am glad everything seems pretty straightfoward under IBR, because the LRAP programs are fraught with loopholes and I am worried about relying on them.

As you say, some schools straight up exclude military jobs (WUSTL, I'm looking at you, with your dubious DADT justification :evil: ) from LRAP.

However, some schools are more sneaky with restrictions that would preclude JAG. GULC, for example, has a generous LRAP program (http://www.law.georgetown.edu/finaid/lr ... ligibility), but I found the following: "Housing/Food/Non-Cash Benefits: Any benefits received from an employer in addition to annual salary are included in a participant’s income during the LRAP calculation. If an employer cannot provide a monetary amount for a benefit such as housing or a food allowance, then an amount will be determined by the LRAP staff, who will consider the cost of living for the area where the participant resides to determine an appropriate amount."

Do you know these numbers for fringe (Housing and food) benefits for JAGs? I imagine that when combined with the ~35000 AGI, they would knock me out of LRAP assistance territory (defined as making under <40,700 by GULC)?

Most schools look at only the AGI (or at least their LRAP pages are silent on counting fringe benefits), so I hope to assume that their programs would be better for JAG than GULC's?

Much thanks for your continued assistance!


I cannot state enough how non-expert I am with all of this. It is just based on my personal experiences.

The full cost T-14 decision all turns on your desire/ability to stay govt employed for 10 years. It is practically impossible to be fired as a JAG but the military lifestyle is not for everyone and many people do separate after 4-6 years. DoJ/USAO/etc are never a sure thing though you do have a huge advantage applying for such jobs with JAG credentials.

I would advise you to check out this site for more IBR information:
http://www.ibrinfo.org/index.php
They break it down pretty well and have some useful calculators.

You simply need 120 payments. They need not be consecutive. If you go private sector for a year after separating but then return to govt work, you can resume your payments under IBR.

Your two allowances, BAS/BAH, are significant. I am in a relatively low cost area (Las Vegas) and I see about $1,700 a month, tax free, in terms of my allowances. JAGs in high cost areas like DC see even more in terms of BAH.
Check out the DoD Comp Calculator: --LinkRemoved--
You will start as an 0-2 and promote to 0-3 within 6 months (for purposes of your grade in the calc).

Also worth considering are the retention bonuses we get paid. $20,000 at the 4 year mark for another 2 years (stay till 6); $40,000 at the 6 year mark for another 4 years (stay till 10). Those are straight up cash money, no obligation to spend them on loans. There are also a lot of rumors swirling that those numbers will be doubled (essentially taking them to $20,000 for each additional year you stay in, instead of the current $10K), though I have not seen that verified in terms of anything vaguely official.

In terms of LRAP policies, I don't really know what school has what policy. My Illini thankfully do not discriminate against their alums in uniform.

BHL
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:36 pm

Re: Military Law

Postby BHL » Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:33 pm

danr2040 wrote:
Patrick Bateman wrote: 1st Lt Bateman here. I am about $83,000 and change in the hole. I consolidated and am under the Income Contingent Plan until the IBR comes out 1 July. Though I'm still a newly minted JAG, I anticipate going Fed after 6 years active duty. USAO would be my dream shot but that will turn a lot on how much military justice exposure I get.

Your numbers add up fine though our AGI is probably going to be less. Your first year active duty (6 months 0-2, 6 months 0-3) will have you around $38,000 before deductions. Between deducting student loan interest and everything else, you should be well under $35,000. IBR is going to save people like us a fortune.

Keep in mind that you will also qualify for LRAP at all of your schools. Some schools have excluded military service from their LRAP "public interest" positions (really classy move) so you may want to check on that before you decide to enroll somewhere.

There are also provisions in the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act that may allow you to bring that 8.6% interest rate down to 6%. I am not 100% where GradPlus loans fit into the statute but that may be worth looking into.

Best of luck,
PB


Lt. Bateman,
Thank you very much for the quick reply. This is a week that first deposits are due at a lot of schools, so I really need to sort out this "T-14 with little money vs full tuition scolly at T-30" issue quickly while I am out visiting schools.

With your confirmation, I think that the IBR program will make me comfortable enough to turn down those full rides and go to the best school I can get into. Don't know what the future will bring, and I never want to be turned down for a job only to think it might have gone differently had I gone to the better school.

Based on the $40,000 figure (which you say is closer to $35,000 - knocking down the monthly payments even more :) , everything seems really affordable. Then, with the public service loan provision, all the rest is forgiven for us after 10 years (are you banking on this part of the program too, you weren't clear about that)?

One thing that worries me about the public service loan forgiveness provision http://www.finaid.org/loans/publicservice.phtml is the vagueness in the "120 payments made while working in a qualifying job" provision. Do you (or anyone else reading) know if this means 120 CONSECUTIVE payments (i.e., miss one and you are screwed) or just 120 payments (which could take longer than 10 years if you make a few while unemployed/in another job)?

I am glad everything seems pretty straightfoward under IBR, because the LRAP programs are fraught with loopholes and I am worried about relying on them.

As you say, some schools straight up exclude military jobs (WUSTL, I'm looking at you, with your dubious DADT justification :evil: ) from LRAP.

However, some schools are more sneaky with restrictions that would preclude JAG. GULC, for example, has a generous LRAP program (http://www.law.georgetown.edu/finaid/lr ... ligibility), but I found the following: "Housing/Food/Non-Cash Benefits: Any benefits received from an employer in addition to annual salary are included in a participant’s income during the LRAP calculation. If an employer cannot provide a monetary amount for a benefit such as housing or a food allowance, then an amount will be determined by the LRAP staff, who will consider the cost of living for the area where the participant resides to determine an appropriate amount."

Do you know these numbers for fringe (Housing and food) benefits for JAGs? I imagine that when combined with the ~35000 AGI, they would knock me out of LRAP assistance territory (defined as making under <40,700 by GULC)?

Most schools look at only the AGI (or at least their LRAP pages are silent on counting fringe benefits), so I hope to assume that their programs would be better for JAG than GULC's?

Much thanks for your continued assistance!

My school has a very similar LRAP to GULC's. The financial aid people here said that most JAGs get some aid, though they're phased out some. However, I think the cap is a bit higher than GULC's. Some LRAPs also have circumstantial exceptions. Things like this you'll have ask the school about directly. If such questions weigh on your decision a lot, then call up the schools and ask them these questions. They'll be able to provide better answers than you'll likely find here.

Btw, I plan to take advantage of the very plan you're talking about. I'll have about $140-150k in debt when I finish.

Number81
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Re: Military Law

Postby Number81 » Sat Apr 18, 2009 3:03 pm

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Last edited by Number81 on Fri May 01, 2009 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Rotor
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Re: Military Law

Postby Rotor » Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:12 pm

Number81 wrote:If any of the JAG officers are still around, I have a ton of questions for you dudes.

I hate linking to another site, but I'm guessing that would be nicer than taking up a full page with my questions. If you guys respond here or via PM I would really appreciate it. I don't think most of these have been covered, although I admit I skipped a couple pages.
Also, to be clear, I really do want the opportunity to serve, and my understanding of the type of work that the military requires make the JAG programs very appealing to me. My biggest 3 concerns are (a) being deployed somewhere miserable, (b) not paying back my loans, and (c) getting my my head blown off by a rocket launcher.

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/stud ... msg5317266


I don't know why #81, but your post over at LSD struck me as "I like the idea of serving, but I really not wanting to be inconvenienced while I pay off my loans."

I won't go point by point, but give you my thoughts as a career Navy officer who is just now going to law school, but with lots of friends in JAG and exposure to their life.

You get a lot of say in requesting where you would like to be stationed. However, requesting and getting aren't always the same and the needs of the service will win out. If you are certain you can't live on a boat for more than 3 weeks, and you absolutely can't stand the thought of being in a small midwest town I'm not sure there's any service for you. Many of the cities you mentioned have Navy/CG presence, but no boat, no go (even though most JAGs will only ever do one sea tour). AF has a big presence in Vegas at Nellis, but you also run the risk of Minot ND. Similar story for the Army, some choice places some in the middle of nowhere. For your overseas choices, Germany your best bets would be Army followed by Air Force. Navy is in Rota Spain and am not aware of any USA/USAF presence there. Japan & Italy, USAF/USN/USMC would be your best bets. Korea, Army. Hawaii has pretty big presence from all four services. (Though in every case, these are generalizations and there may be JAG opportunities in any service) Being stationed overseas will generally be a 1-3 year gig not a six month stint. (Again, you may deploy to one of those areas, but that's impossible to predict and is far less likely than Iraq/Afgh.

Question: If you don't want to risk yourself by going to Afgh/Iraq, do you really think trying to join the Special Forces (SEAL/GB/etc.) is going to take you out of harm's way? Yes, there will be some financial benefits (hazardous duty pay, tax free zones, etc.), but you don't go SPECFOR for the money. I think your fears about safety are overblown as most JAGs will be in the rear HQ not at the pointy edge of the spear.

As you are aware each service has its own rules for your starting rank, promotion timing etc. Even though you'll be an O-3 very quickly compared to your combat arms collegues, you will not promote to MAJ/LCDR in only 3.5 to 4 years. There is nothing you can do prior to joining to make your pay higher once you go in. Everyone of the same rank/years of service is on a level playing field. Bonus programs vary by needs of the service, but they have been generous in the past.

I appreciate your desire to serve, but I don't get a sense that you're committed to serve on terms other than your own. Not a receipe for success. If I've got it wrong and where you say "I don't want to..." isn't a deal breaker like it seems to me, I'm sorry. But your priorities and/or expectations don't seem aligned with a military life to me.

Number81
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Re: Military Law

Postby Number81 » Sat Apr 18, 2009 6:15 pm

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Last edited by Number81 on Fri May 01, 2009 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Sun Apr 19, 2009 1:23 am

Number81 wrote:If any of the JAG officers are still around, I have a ton of questions for you dudes.

I hate linking to another site, but I'm guessing that would be nicer than taking up a full page with my questions. If you guys respond here or via PM I would really appreciate it. I don't think most of these have been covered, although I admit I skipped a couple pages.
Also, to be clear, I really do want the opportunity to serve, and my understanding of the type of work that the military requires make the JAG programs very appealing to me. My biggest 3 concerns are (a) being deployed somewhere miserable, (b) not paying back my loans, and (c) getting my my head blown off by a rocket launcher.

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/stud ... msg5317266


All my answers are from the USAF JAG perspective.

(1) How much of a choice do you have about where you're stationed? How often will you typically get moved around and for how long? What are the primary bases for JAGs in each branch?

You do not get a choice but you do get input. You will submit a Dream Sheet with your preferred CONUS and OCONUS bases and any other factors JAX should consider (spouse, language skills, etc). JAX will look that over while looking over the projected openings and try and match you with something you want. Failing that, at least in the same region or state. Failing that, where they need you. I landed my #5 choice. I know plenty who landed their #1. I also know plenty who are going somewhere they had zero interest in going. That said, the people I know who were sent to bases like Mountain Home or Grand Forks, went there kicking and screaming but fell in love with how close the officer corps is and the relationships they developed. Many pulled strings to stay an extra year when their first tour was up.

Europe is not common for first tour JAGs. Of my JASOC class of 75, we had 3 or 4 going to UK, 4 going to Germany, 1 to Italy. The saying is that the shortest route to Europe is through Korea. Volunteer for Korea as a second assignment and you are nearly guaranteed a Europe assignment for your third.

(2) Pay:

You will commission as an 0-2 and then promote 0-3 after 6 months of your first day on active duty. You will go before your first Major's board maybe 4.5 years after pinning on Captain, and you will likely would not pin on Major until 5-6 years time in grade as a Captain.

(3) What is the likelihood of being deployed to Iraq/Afghanistan?

Very high. Expect to ship out for 6 months at about the 18 month mark. Most junior AF JAGs are part of Task Force 134 working on detainee related issues in OIF or doing rule of law related prosecutions in OIF/OEF. There are plenty of other deployment opportunities in the AOR but those seem to be the most common.

(4) Is there anything I can do while in law school to increase my pay?
Not really.

(5) What are the "typical" hours like?

Like all law practice, it depends on your office and your practice group. Civil law tends to be more 7:30-4:00, with time off for lunch and PT. Military Justice is the most fluid, depending when you have courts. Base exercises or Article 6 visits can change your schedule for that week or two.

(6) Will I need to live in a barracks or anything like that on a regular basis?

Not in the operational AF. You will be under lock and key at OTS and subject to a busy schedule at JASOC (JAG School). Normal JAGs live wherever they please.

(7) Selectivity

It is harder than ever. When I got picked up in 2007, before the economy fell apart, boards accepted at a 7-11% rate. Since then, applicants have gone from 80-150 per board to over 350. There is no set criteria. My JASOC class had an incredibly diverse set of backgrounds: Harvard Law to T4s, prior-enlisted spec ops and a F-16 pilot to direct commission civilians, etc.

Great grades always make things easier. Groom yourself to be a litigator: moot court, trial team, and courses like evidence, adv crim procedure, etc.

Of the direct commissions, the most common thing I've seen is the 2L internship. It is not officially a program that leads to an active duty offer but for all intent and purpose, it really seems to be. If you get along with everyone at your base legal office as a 2L civilian, your odds of being picked up for AD skyrocket.

GLP and OYCP also have much higher acceptance rates than direct commissioning. If you are willing to put up with ROTC in law school (which will teach you a lot of good military skills that OTS skips over), it is worth looking into.

JAG likes athletic people but your weight lifting is not going to cover all your bases in terms of no moot court or trial advocacy. Letters of Rec, much like college and law school, are not going to carry the day either.

Your debt fears are understandable but something that is very manageable in light of the ICR and IBR plans mentioned in the previous posts. It is still easy to be comfortable in the military with law debt, but it requires some sacrifice and smart planning. As mentioned previously, check out your law school's LRAP. There are also the retention bonuses at the 4 and 6 year mark, in addition to the USAA commissioning loan you can take out ($25,000) at 2.9% interest over 5 years. A lot of my JASOC class used that USAA money to pay down a big portion of their higher interest private loans.

verbalkint
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Re: Military Law

Postby verbalkint » Mon Apr 20, 2009 1:54 pm

Does anybody know what, if any, other opportunities there are for JAGs/former JAGS, other than the typical crim law route, commonly discussed? For example, how common is it that former JAGS work for government contractors? Or, is it common for former JAGS to work in the foreign service, either as attorneys or otherwise (i.e. foreign atty/officers for USAID or State)?? Just curious-I was just accepted to AF JAG, and am deciding whether I should go for it. I'm just wondering if crim work is going to be my only option after getting out. I enjoy litigation, but just want to make a fully informed decision, since I am also not against doing non-lit work. Thanks

texaslawyer
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Re: Military Law

Postby texaslawyer » Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:02 pm

I have seen JAGs go into civil practice and do very well. In fact I knew a man in Florida was a Navy fighter pilot/JAG officer and was about to be promoted to Read Admiral and retired because he had to quit flying. Anyway, he sued then President Richard Nixon over the Cross Florida Barge Canal and was sucessful. His name was Ralph Elliot and he was a character. He shot down five Japanese Zeros in the Battle of Midway and went to law school at GW while stationed at the Pentagon. Quite a guy.

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:09 pm

verbalkint wrote:Does anybody know what, if any, other opportunities there are for JAGs/former JAGS, other than the typical crim law route, commonly discussed? For example, how common is it that former JAGS work for government contractors? Or, is it common for former JAGS to work in the foreign service, either as attorneys or otherwise (i.e. foreign atty/officers for USAID or State)?? Just curious-I was just accepted to AF JAG, and am deciding whether I should go for it. I'm just wondering if crim work is going to be my only option after getting out. I enjoy litigation, but just want to make a fully informed decision, since I am also not against doing non-lit work. Thanks


Short answer: There are tons of other opportunities for former JAGs.

Longer answer: It all depends what you focus on as a JAG. Your first two tours are not going to be too specialized. Depending on the base, you may end up as Chief of Military Justice/Labor/Environmental, etc. If it is a base that happens to have a high tempo in that area (labor law in a Material Command base for example), you may gain a very good working knowledge of the field even in those first tours. All in all, you will rotate around quite a bit from military justice to the various sects of civil law.

If you end up liking one of the civil law areas, you can focus in on it in your later tours. If qualified, the AF can send you for your LLM or a Masters in the subject. You can also work at one of the Field Support Centers, JAG offices dedicated to solely one practice area, not traditional base legal offices.

As you become more seasoned in your civil law field, the world is your oyster. There are tons of both private sector and Fed jobs that mirror the civil work you are exposed to and have a very easy transition. The AUSA/DoJ/etc route is really only for those who want to focus on the military justice side of things as a JAG and continue criminal work as a civilian.
Courts-martial are a very important aspect of the JAG Corps but they are not the end all, be all, esp as you get to the Field Grade positions.

I know nothing first hand about foreign service opportunities (not that they do not exist, I simply just don't know about them yet) so I won't speculate.

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Rotor
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Re: Military Law

Postby Rotor » Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:09 pm

verbalkint wrote:Does anybody know what, if any, other opportunities there are for JAGs/former JAGS, other than the typical crim law route, commonly discussed? For example, how common is it that former JAGS work for government contractors? Or, is it common for former JAGS to work in the foreign service, either as attorneys or otherwise (i.e. foreign atty/officers for USAID or State)?? Just curious-I was just accepted to AF JAG, and am deciding whether I should go for it. I'm just wondering if crim work is going to be my only option after getting out. I enjoy litigation, but just want to make a fully informed decision, since I am also not against doing non-lit work. Thanks

As an AF JAG, you'll be working for DOD not State, so you're not going to be foreign service, etc. (assuming the big picture is the same between AF and Navy). A little more in the details, for Navy, JAGs are not eligible to be attaches at embassies. May be the same for the USAF where jobs like that may go to pilots or missileers.

That said, you'll get plenty of overseas opportunities-- either on deployment or an overseas posting. It may not be DOS/USAID, but interesting nonetheless.

As for non-trial type of work, as you move up the ladder, you will get more involved in operational law issues (i.e., Rules of Engagement in support of the warfighters, when it's OK to shoot pirates or advise seniors that our survey vessel was in international waters when the Chinese harrassed it....) While UCMJ is a big part of your job, this is where I think the job of the JAG is most significant and most interesting.

Congats & good luck.

galahad85
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Re: Military Law

Postby galahad85 » Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:01 pm

Dumb question time:

The more I think about this career path, the more I'm faced with one concern (besides the whole no-prior-military-experience thing): am I too out of shape for this? I noticed that Bateman mentioned being a varsity athlete in college... Is the kind of person they're looking for? I'm not saying that I'm a total wuss, but I am scrawny enough that I'd never be mistaken for either an athlete or a military type. :oops:

So does it matter? I mean, I'm in shape enough that I could probably meet basic requirements, but I worry that their "whole person" approach to recruitment will include preference for those who are especially athletic.

(by the way, I'm talking about AF - or possibly Navy... I know I'd never make the cut for Marines)

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J-Rod
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Re: Military Law

Postby J-Rod » Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:23 pm

galahad85 wrote:Dumb question time:

The more I think about this career path, the more I'm faced with one concern (besides the whole no-prior-military-experience thing): am I too out of shape for this? I noticed that Bateman mentioned being a varsity athlete in college... Is the kind of person they're looking for? I'm not saying that I'm a total wuss, but I am scrawny enough that I'd never be mistaken for either an athlete or a military type. :oops:

So does it matter? I mean, I'm in shape enough that I could probably meet basic requirements, but I worry that their "whole person" approach to recruitment will include preference for those who are especially athletic.

(by the way, I'm talking about AF - or possibly Navy... I know I'd never make the cut for Marines)


Rotor and Bateman can attest to this better than I can, but I've never gotten that vibe . . . I see a lot of the Army JAGs everyday here at UVA, and while they are all in shape, most of them by no means look like college athletes, when I interviewed for the 1L JAG internship they didn't mention anything about it, and I haven't heard that I have to do anything yet for it this summer, perhaps it's optional or something

As long as you can meet the PT requirements, you should be fine . . . but if you walk in there 50 lbs overweight you might be in trouble . . . I'm 6'1, 150, and by no means bulky or anything, in street clothes I probably look pretty scrawny . . . but I lift weights 3-4 days a week, and swim regularly as well . . . granted a lot of my size has to do with a fast metabolism and I swam for the US, so I swam several miles a day

If it's a big concern for you, start focusing on it a bit now, hit the gym, watch what you eat . . . or just to sit-ups and push ups to develop some natural strength, even if you don't do JAG, there's nothing wrong with just keeping yourself in shape

galahad85
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Re: Military Law

Postby galahad85 » Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:32 pm

J-Rod wrote:
galahad85 wrote:Dumb question time:

The more I think about this career path, the more I'm faced with one concern (besides the whole no-prior-military-experience thing): am I too out of shape for this? I noticed that Bateman mentioned being a varsity athlete in college... Is the kind of person they're looking for? I'm not saying that I'm a total wuss, but I am scrawny enough that I'd never be mistaken for either an athlete or a military type. :oops:

So does it matter? I mean, I'm in shape enough that I could probably meet basic requirements, but I worry that their "whole person" approach to recruitment will include preference for those who are especially athletic.

(by the way, I'm talking about AF - or possibly Navy... I know I'd never make the cut for Marines)


Rotor and Bateman can attest to this better than I can, but I've never gotten that vibe . . . I see a lot of the Army JAGs everyday here at UVA, and while they are all in shape, most of them by no means look like college athletes, when I interviewed for the 1L JAG internship they didn't mention anything about it, and I haven't heard that I have to do anything yet for it this summer, perhaps it's optional or something

As long as you can meet the PT requirements, you should be fine . . . but if you walk in there 50 lbs overweight you might be in trouble . . . I'm 6'1, 150, and by no means bulky or anything, in street clothes I probably look pretty scrawny . . . but I lift weights 3-4 days a week, and swim regularly as well . . . granted a lot of my size has to do with a fast metabolism and I swam for the US, so I swam several miles a day

If it's a big concern for you, start focusing on it a bit now, hit the gym, watch what you eat . . . or just to sit-ups and push ups to develop some natural strength, even if you don't do JAG, there's nothing wrong with just keeping yourself in shape


Sounds reasonable enough. I'm 6'1", 145... it's probably time to start adding a few pounds of muscle anyway.

texaslawyer
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Re: Military Law

Postby texaslawyer » Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:51 pm

You would be surprised how many Marine officer candidates show up at Quantico out of shape. Not a good idea. You can be in the best shape of your life and it still won't be good enough. I saw a guy who was an alternate for the Olympic swim team wash out because he said it was too tough. It all hinges on how bad you want it. The DIs make it rougher on Marine aviation candidates and JAGS. I don't know why other than they think we aren't as tough as the grunts. BULLSHIT, pilots get shot down way behind enemy lines and theVC, Al -Qaeda, Taliban, whoever has a good time with our asses. A Marine JAG could get captured as well and same deal here. I can't speak for the JAGs in the Air Force and Navy, but in the Marines, they are every bit the Marine that any other officer is in my opinion. The Marine Corps is sometimes referred to as the crotch. The reason, it's a nasty subject ! UUURAHHH! IT"S A MARINE THING !

Number81
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Re: Military Law

Postby Number81 » Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:27 pm

galahad85 wrote:Dumb question time:

The more I think about this career path, the more I'm faced with one concern (besides the whole no-prior-military-experience thing): am I too out of shape for this? I noticed that Bateman mentioned being a varsity athlete in college... Is the kind of person they're looking for? I'm not saying that I'm a total wuss, but I am scrawny enough that I'd never be mistaken for either an athlete or a military type. :oops:

So does it matter? I mean, I'm in shape enough that I could probably meet basic requirements, but I worry that their "whole person" approach to recruitment will include preference for those who are especially athletic.

(by the way, I'm talking about AF - or possibly Navy... I know I'd never make the cut for Marines)

http://www.crossfit.com
http://www.crossfitendurance.com
http://www.crossfitfootball.com

If you have a year to train intensely (and intelligently) and you are not in god awful shape, you can probably outperform most of the (non-marine) JAG candidates. And on the PT Tests, they don't even take into account strength. You just need to build muscle/respiratory endurance, and that comes fast.

E\/ERLAST
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Re: Military Law

Postby E\/ERLAST » Tue Apr 21, 2009 7:44 pm

We had a Marine Corps JAG presentation from my school the other day and these are my observations:

The best way to go Marine JAG is through OCS the summer of your 1L year. Second best option is the next summer w/ the most risky option the summer after you graduate.

The problem w/ doing OCS over your 2L summer is that if you wash out, your opportunities for summer jobs are gone, and I have no idea, but I cannot imagine it looks that great if you decided to try the other branches of JAG. That being said, you have to WANT the Marine Corps. If you have doubts - then I would emphatically say don't do it. Its not just about being in shape at OCS - you have to want it mentally. The average athlete w/ a die hard desire to be a marine is going to make it over the superior athlete w/ a lesser mental strength.


That being said, the diversity of opportunity in the Marines is nice. As you are an unrestricted line officer, you can serve as an infantry officer, and the like. These opportunities are not available in other branches. Caveat: Since you can serve as an infantry (etc.) officer, you'll go where the Marines need you. In other words, if wherever you are does not need a JAG, then your might be serving in some capacity you didn't expect too.

Final thing that comes to my mind - Marine's advance in rank slower (probably b/c they are unrestricted line officers). Meaning that it takes about 4+ years to attain Captain. In every other branch it takes 6mo - 1yr.

Bottom Line: Don't join the Marine JAG if your experimenting or if you are unsure you want to be a Marine.

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soundgardener
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Re: Military Law

Postby soundgardener » Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:20 pm

I just want to thank everyone for all of the great information.

Are you guys really 6'1" and 145-150? This sounds like freakishly skinny. I'm the same height and weigh 190, and I am pretty damn skinny!

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J-Rod
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Re: Military Law

Postby J-Rod » Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:37 pm

soundgardener wrote:I just want to thank everyone for all of the great information.

Are you guys really 6'1" and 145-150? This sounds like freakishly skinny. I'm the same height and weigh 190, and I am pretty damn skinny!



haha, yeah, I am . . . but it's not as freakish as it sounds . . . I swam for the US, my personal best is 27 pull-ups, and 300 crunches in 3 minutes . . . not to mention I often bench, curl, lat-pull, etc. more than guys outweighing me by 30-40 lbs

and 6'1, 190 isn't skinny, sorry bud

BHL
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Re: Military Law

Postby BHL » Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:46 pm

galahad85 wrote:
J-Rod wrote:
galahad85 wrote:Dumb question time:

The more I think about this career path, the more I'm faced with one concern (besides the whole no-prior-military-experience thing): am I too out of shape for this? I noticed that Bateman mentioned being a varsity athlete in college... Is the kind of person they're looking for? I'm not saying that I'm a total wuss, but I am scrawny enough that I'd never be mistaken for either an athlete or a military type. :oops:

So does it matter? I mean, I'm in shape enough that I could probably meet basic requirements, but I worry that their "whole person" approach to recruitment will include preference for those who are especially athletic.

(by the way, I'm talking about AF - or possibly Navy... I know I'd never make the cut for Marines)


Rotor and Bateman can attest to this better than I can, but I've never gotten that vibe . . . I see a lot of the Army JAGs everyday here at UVA, and while they are all in shape, most of them by no means look like college athletes, when I interviewed for the 1L JAG internship they didn't mention anything about it, and I haven't heard that I have to do anything yet for it this summer, perhaps it's optional or something

As long as you can meet the PT requirements, you should be fine . . . but if you walk in there 50 lbs overweight you might be in trouble . . . I'm 6'1, 150, and by no means bulky or anything, in street clothes I probably look pretty scrawny . . . but I lift weights 3-4 days a week, and swim regularly as well . . . granted a lot of my size has to do with a fast metabolism and I swam for the US, so I swam several miles a day

If it's a big concern for you, start focusing on it a bit now, hit the gym, watch what you eat . . . or just to sit-ups and push ups to develop some natural strength, even if you don't do JAG, there's nothing wrong with just keeping yourself in shape


Sounds reasonable enough. I'm 6'1", 145... it's probably time to start adding a few pounds of muscle anyway.

I doubt you have much to worry about. I know a fellow grad student who's in an AF ROTC program and he seemed to suggest that the overweight and out of shape people are the ones who need to worry. The current fitness test stresses the 1.5mi time the most. Having a 32" waist or something smaller earns you the max points too. However, I'm not sure if the JAGs have to meet the same standards though as the ROTC cadets, which are the standards that I referenced here. I suspect the standards are the same, but if not, they give you a general idea of what they want. http://www.au.af.mil/au/holmcenter/AFRO ... mm/PFT.asp

At MEPS, the only thing along fitness signs they look at are the height & weight scale. I don't know what it is for 6'1", but I think the max weight is 208lbs. Like I mentioned earlier, the real penalties focus on being overweight more than being out of shape. http://www.military.com/military-fitnes ... ght-charts

With all of that said, a recent AF article made it seem like the standards will change this summer. http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2009/ ... dy_041409/

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Rotor
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Re: Military Law

Postby Rotor » Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:47 pm

Galahad. The bigger problem of people who are joining these days is that they are overweight not bean-pole-ish (and I say that in the most light-hearted way...). You are probably right to want to pack on a little muscle, but you're not going to be overtaxed physically in the AF or Navy (land services maybe...as described with the USMC, the most fitness centric service).

Navy is increasing its fitness culture, directing PT 3x a week on "company time". All personnel have to pass semi-annual fitness tests where you have to do situps, pushups and run 1.5 miles (or swim 500 yds) as the standard cardio test. It's not entirely challenging, but you have to take it seriously. 3 failures in 4 years = mandatory discharge.

Good luck. I don't think you'll have anything to worry about.

BHL
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Re: Military Law

Postby BHL » Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:52 pm

J-Rod wrote:
soundgardener wrote:I just want to thank everyone for all of the great information.

Are you guys really 6'1" and 145-150? This sounds like freakishly skinny. I'm the same height and weigh 190, and I am pretty damn skinny!



haha, yeah, I am . . . but it's not as freakish as it sounds . . . I swam for the US, my personal best is 27 pull-ups, and 300 crunches in 3 minutes . . . not to mention I often bench, curl, lat-pull, etc. more than guys outweighing me by 30-40 lbs

and 6'1, 190 isn't skinny, sorry bud

You can be 6'0", 190 lbs., and be fairly skinny. I think Tom Zbikowski is 6' and weighs around that and he's boxed professionally and plays in the NFL. It's not like he's a heavyweight boxer or playing on the line either. I wouldn't call him overweight at all, but would consider him to be skinny. However, I'm a bit bias since I'm roughly the same size and build as him.

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J-Rod
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Re: Military Law

Postby J-Rod » Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:56 pm

BHL wrote:
J-Rod wrote:
soundgardener wrote:I just want to thank everyone for all of the great information.

Are you guys really 6'1" and 145-150? This sounds like freakishly skinny. I'm the same height and weigh 190, and I am pretty damn skinny!



haha, yeah, I am . . . but it's not as freakish as it sounds . . . I swam for the US, my personal best is 27 pull-ups, and 300 crunches in 3 minutes . . . not to mention I often bench, curl, lat-pull, etc. more than guys outweighing me by 30-40 lbs

and 6'1, 190 isn't skinny, sorry bud

You can be 6'0", 190 lbs., and be fairly skinny. I think Tom Zbikowski is 6' and weighs around that and he's boxed professionally and plays in the NFL. It's not like he's a heavyweight boxer or playing on the line either. I wouldn't call him overweight at all, but would consider him to be skinny. However, I'm a bit bias since I'm roughly the same size and build as him.


haha, I wouldn't call that overweight either . . . depends on the person's build . . . some people are 6'1 190 with a gut, and others are 6'1, 190, and muscle dense . . . all depends on the person

I'm just lookin out for us skinny guys . . . we're not all just skin and bones

E\/ERLAST
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Re: Military Law

Postby E\/ERLAST » Thu Apr 23, 2009 5:41 pm

--LinkRemoved--

Here is the Spring 2009 Selection for Army JAG. I have no idea if this is the norm, but there was only about 60 people selected in Spring versus about 150 in Fall.

Looks like 2 people from the alternative list in Fall 2008 made it for the Spring 2009 active duty selection.

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22204
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Re: Military Law

Postby 22204 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 6:08 pm

Thought I'd insert my $.02 regarding the timeline and rate of advancement for USMC JAGs.

E\/ERLAST wrote:
The best way to go Marine JAG is through OCS the summer of your 1L year. Second best option is the next summer w/ the most risky option the summer after you graduate.

The problem w/ doing OCS over your 2L summer is that if you wash out, your opportunities for summer jobs are gone, and I have no idea, but I cannot imagine it looks that great if you decided to try the other branches of JAG. That being said, you have to WANT the Marine Corps. If you have doubts - then I would emphatically say don't do it. Its not just about being in shape at OCS - you have to want it mentally. The average athlete w/ a die hard desire to be a marine is going to make it over the superior athlete w/ a lesser mental strength.


Final thing that comes to my mind - Marine's advance in rank slower (probably b/c they are unrestricted line officers). Meaning that it takes about 4+ years to attain Captain. In every other branch it takes 6mo - 1yr.



Good points here. Though I would argue that the most ideal way to pursue USMC JAG is by going to OCS your 0L summer (right before your first year). This will offset the slower advancement rate since you will be earning time in service while you are in law school.

Here's an example - Following OCS, you are commissioned as a 2nd LT and will be designated as Inactive Ready Reserve. By the time you graduate law school you will be a 1st LT, advancing at the same rate as your officer peers. As you head off to The Basic School and Naval Justice School following the bar exam, you are on the verge of being promoted to Captain. At this point, you are 3.5 years (approx) into your service obligation and only have 4.5 years left of active duty.

The point is: the earlier, the better.

zay
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Re: Military Law

Postby zay » Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:57 pm

I have a question regarding clerkships & JAG -- a lot of former district and circuit clerks wind up applying for the DoJ Honors program upon completion of their clerkships. Does JAG see a lot of applicants post-clerkship, and if so, how is that experience viewed (compared to say, private practice or being a DA, etc.)?




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