Keithustus wrote: Lawyers just out of law school are O-1s or -2s and typically become O-3 during their first assignment after completing the JAG basic school. I start law school this month, and when I graduate, I likely will have already have become an O-4. I've been told that it doesn't work that way in the Marines, though, but I don't think I've met a Marine JAG before so can't personally confirm. I've been told that in the Navy, they're O-1 once they graduate law school and pin O-2 they day they arrive for JAG school.
As a note, I do know that for the Army Reserve they promote you based on prior service. It's actually apparently a bad thing for some new Army Reserve JAs because they are rapidly placed in positions where they do less actual lawyering and more supervising. http://www.goarmy.com/jag/jag-reserve-component.html . I would be very surprised if Active Army and Navy had a different deal going on. I also think USCG won't demote you either (though their Legal Officers are also Line Officers, like the Marines). I also know that Active Marines have a different deal going on, I know a Marine 1LT who will become a CPT while doing his judicial clerkship.