iagolives wrote:alibaba286 wrote:i've read through this thread and gained a lot of useful information--thanks to everyone who has contributed!
i'm going to be a 1L in a few weeks (!) and i've been seriously considering the JAG route. like someone said earlier, usually when i get these ambitious ideas, they kind of fizzle out, but this one has stuck with me for a long while, through several hours of research and consideration.
i'm focusing mainly on navy or coast guard JAG. i need to be near the coasts, both for my sanity and my significant other's job prospects (he works in the marine industry and it would be difficult for him be happily employed in the breadbasket of america).
i feel like the CG route is very different from that of the other branches, because it's so small, DOHS instead of DOD, almost exclusively domestic, etc. that appeals to me in some ways, but i also like what the navy has to offer (based off the website, mostly). i know both are also super-competitive, so i'm trying to keep my options open.
if anyone has any insight or additional information on anything that you think would be useful to me, i'd really appreciate it.
(also, my best friend would like to know, "if you're an army lawyer or whatever, does that mean you have wear like an army suit at my wedding, because my bridesmaids dresses are NOT going to be army suits.")
Hey, a few things to consider RE: Coast Guard v. Navy. First of all, in the CG, you are a line officer (there is no JAG corps, per se). Also, you begin in the CG as a full Lieutenant while, again, I believe, the Navy you are a Lieutenant, Junior Grade. This is important because, in the CG, you can be "integrated" into the service at Lieutenant Commander and be assured a retirement. So, basically, if you are promoted once, you can get some sort of retirement. I do not believe this is necessary true with the Navy. Finally, because the CG is exempt from the Posse Comatatus Act et al, you will be doing traditional law enforcement law a lot while in the Navy you will be doing none of that.
This isn't meant to persuade you one way or another, I love both the navy and the Coast Guard. However, maybe just because I've toyed with joining the CG off and on for years, I tend to lean more towards one branch than the other often. They are two very different forces that do very different albeit equally important missions. But, that being said, you will be serving your country either way, so you really can't go wrong! Good luck.
PS: If you decide that full-time service isn't in the cards in the end, you can be a reserve JAG officer in the CG but not in the Navy.
PPS: I found this very interesting, but the CG is the only military service in the US where men and women can serve side-by-side at all duty stations. Because this is a rather important issue to me, I found it very heartening.
I'm not sure what you mean by being "integrated" in to the CG. Are you referring to how it used to work in terms of only having a "reserve" commission in a service before earning a true active duty commission? If so, I'm certain that process has been phased out. If you are active duty, you have an active duty commission.
Also, isn't retirement merely a matter of making the 20 year mark?
Lastly, you can absolutely serve in the Reserves as a Navy JAG.