Military Law

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novaman3
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Re: Military Law

Postby novaman3 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:28 pm

I'm a 1L and I managed to set up an unofficial internship with Air Force JAG at McGuire AFB by essentially cold calling and asking if they needed help over the summer and that my school was willing to fund me. I was wondering if anyone here has had any experience with this type of situation. What type of work can I expect to be doing? Will there be enough work for me to do?

I'm curious because I am not sure if I should take the AF up on this offer and run the risk of foregoing any opportunities that may come down the line. This is the first employer to have gotten back to me and it's still fairly early in the Spring OCI process, so I don't really know what my options are. Any help will be appreciated!

thedude6512
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Re: Military Law

Postby thedude6512 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:45 pm

edmoser wrote:does anybody know what is involved in the physical for jag as far as physical fitness?


I'm almost finished with my application for Marine Corps JAG, and they require completion of the PFT as a part of the application. It consists of max pull ups from a deadhang, max crunches in 2 minutes, and a timed 3 mile run. The standards for a maximum score are 20 pull ups, 100 crunches, and 18 minutes on the run. I don't think the other branches require the PFT as part of their application, but it plays a pretty big part for selection in the Marines. Even with good grades and test scores, you have to show the selection board that you're physically capable of making it through OCS.

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Corsair
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Re: Military Law

Postby Corsair » Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:24 pm

..

Lawschoolman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Lawschoolman » Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:45 am

It may be in your best career interest to refrain from posting details concerning your employment efforts. See --LinkRemoved--

Just sayin.......

Kretzy
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Re: Military Law

Postby Kretzy » Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:17 pm

Quick question:

Do most entry-level JAG officers come straight from law school? Is it horribly rare to clerk and do Biglaw for a few years before switching over to JAG?

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:34 pm

Kretzy wrote:Quick question:

Do most entry-level JAG officers come straight from law school? Is it horribly rare to clerk and do Biglaw for a few years before switching over to JAG?


I would say most of us in Air Force JAG are within 2-3 years of graduating law school. That said, you would not be in any strange minority having worked on the dark side prior to going JAG. A number of JAGs in my office practiced as DAs or in the private sector prior to commissioning.

Kretzy
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Re: Military Law

Postby Kretzy » Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:35 pm

Patrick Bateman wrote:
Kretzy wrote:Quick question:

Do most entry-level JAG officers come straight from law school? Is it horribly rare to clerk and do Biglaw for a few years before switching over to JAG?


I would say most of us in Air Force JAG are within 2-3 years of graduating law school. That said, you would not be in any strange minority having worked on the dark side prior to going JAG. A number of JAGs in my office practiced as DAs or in the private sector prior to commissioning.


Thanks for the quick help. That's great news.

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Rocky Estoppel
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Re: Military Law

Postby Rocky Estoppel » Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:55 pm

I see the age requirement is 35 for AF Jag. I'll be 34 when I graduate from Law School. If I do not get a commission and went into the work force for a year because of that, is there any chance for an age waiver at a later date if I continued to apply to get in? Do they consider such waivers for prior military since they would already have a few years of experience?

I'm going to do everything I can to get in, whether it is direct commission or OYCP, but if I don't get accepted, I'd like to keep trying. However, if it is going to be pointless after 35, just want to prepare for that.

lukeatomic
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Re: Military Law

Postby lukeatomic » Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:36 pm

Forgive me if I'm asking questions that have already been answered.

1. I've read about the Air Force's new SLRP. Are other branches doing the same/similar thing?

2. I've heard the best things about AF's accommodations. Is this just a stereotype?

3. Any other differences between the branches? (Specifically Navy vs. AF)

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Undead_Ed
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Re: Military Law

Postby Undead_Ed » Sun Feb 14, 2010 12:49 am

lukeatomic wrote:1. I've read about the Air Force's new SLRP. Are other branches doing the same/similar thing?


Army was actually the first to do SLRP. Air Force's SLRP was recently approved. I heard that Navy is in the works to do one.

lukeatomic wrote:2. I've heard the best things about AF's accommodations. Is this just a stereotype?


I've seen Air Force Bases, Army Bases, and Marine Bases. In my experience, Air Force had some pretty nice stuff--especially the gyms. The Marines had some pretty crappy housing, but also some pretty nice housing. It depended on if you could get into the new places. I think that goes for all the services. Most of them have been able to build reasonably new housing somewhere on base.

lukeatomic wrote:3. Any other differences between the branches? (Specifically Navy vs. AF)


My understanding about the differences between each service's JAG Corps are as follows: The Navy is among the smallest with about 700 lawyers. Navy would allow its attorneys to get an LLM in just about anything and send them out to just about any school. Navy is also the most competitive with something like a 3-4% selection rate. Contrary to what some have said, you will likely go out on a boat in the Navy. It just has to happen sometime. I understand that you can also be attached to an Army unit and go to Iraq or Afghanistan. Assignments are 2-3 years. You can do some international law and maritime law. You also usually play team sports once a week with the other lawyers to keep adversarialism in the court room.

The Air Force is quite a bit larger with about 1200 lawyers. Selection rates are about 7-8%. I got the impression from the Air Force that most criminal cases do not go to trial but are administratively processed (meaning that they just put them out of the force instead of charging them with a crime). I also got the impression that specialization is very unlikely in the Air Force. You do legal services for clients while serving at the same time as a prosecutor. It seems like the Air Force also had more civilian employees--hence, unions--so they had more of an emphasis on Labor Law. One thing I thought was weird is that it is uncommon to deploy in your first tour. They want you to have more experience. You usually just stay in shape on your own. You get PT tested by civilians.

The Army has the largest JAG Corps with 1700 Lawyers (HOOAH). Selection rates are also around 7-8%. Specialization seemed like it was definitely possible. I believe the philosophy is that they want you to learn by doing, but also to stick with your field exclusively while you have your assignment. They are big on creating trial lawyers. This makes me think that a lot of Army cases go to trial. They also expect that you will be in shape and take time to PT with the enlisted. You will deploy. You usually stay at the same duty station for your first 4 years. I think the only LLM you can get is in Military Law.

The Marines have about 440 lawyers. They put a lot of emphasis on being oorah and physically fit before you ever show up to their schools. You have to take their Physical FItness test as part of the selection. You go through 8 weeks of officer candidate school before you are even in the Marines, and you get paid as a civilian. Then you go to 6 months of Marine Corps Basic Officer School (TBS). Their JAG recruiters are not lawyers. They are Marine Officers. You can also be assigned to non lawyer positions--marine first.

I got most of this directly from JAGs mouths from each service. Hope it helps.

-Ed
Last edited by Undead_Ed on Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Rotor
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Re: Military Law

Postby Rotor » Sun Feb 14, 2010 2:14 am

Undead_Ed wrote:My understanding about the differences between each service's JAG Corps are as follows: The Navy is the smallest with about 700 lawyers. Navy would allow its attorneys to get an LLM in just about anything and send them out to just about any school. Navy is also the most competitive with something like a 3-4% selection rate. Contrary to what some have said, you will likely go out on a boat in the Navy. It just has to happen sometime. I understand that you can also be attached to an Army unit and go to Iraq or Afghanistan. Assignments are 2-3 years.


This part of your Navy advice isn't correct. The sea going billets are highly competative and not everyone who wants to go to sea does. There's a screening board to approve shipboard JAGs. Your 700 number gives a good idea why: 2 JAGs per aircraft carrier=22 billets. 1 JAG per LHA/LHD (big Amphibious Assault ships) adds another dozen or so. Another dozen afloat staffs for the battle group commanders and that's somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 seagoing JAG billets. For the sake of argument, say the tours are 2 years each (some are longer), that's a per year demand of 25 JAGs. That would take 28 years to go through all 700. Granted, the longer you stay, the more likely it is you would get a sea going job because the JAG inventory necks down and the positions are generally for O-4 to O-6. (Note: this does not take into account some overseas staff jobs that get counted as sea duty for sea-shore rotation purposes, but with staffs that are shore based. There may be a bunch of those out there, but it's not duty afloat).

As for the assignments to Iraq/Afgh/Gtmo etc. in support of Army units, it does happen. But not for 2-3 years. That's permanent duty; instead you get assigned for 12-15 month tours typically on an "Individual Augmentation".

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Undead_Ed
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Re: Military Law

Postby Undead_Ed » Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:56 am

Rotor wrote:As for the assignments to Iraq/Afgh/Gtmo etc. in support of Army units, it does happen. But not for 2-3 years.


Sorry for not being clear. The 2-3 years thing was an afterthought and poorly placed. What I meant was that assignments, as opposed to attachments/deployments, are 2 to 3 years long. You are assigned, say, to San Diego. You can request to leave after 2 years to go Washington, or wherever.

Rotor wrote:2 JAGs per aircraft carrier=22 billets. 1 JAG per LHA/LHD (big Amphibious Assault ships) adds another dozen or so. Another dozen afloat staffs for the battle group commanders and that's somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 seagoing JAG billets. For the sake of argument, say the tours are 2 years each (some are longer), that's a per year demand of 25 JAGs. That would take 28 years to go through all 700. Granted, the longer you stay, the more likely it is you would get a sea going job because the JAG inventory necks down and the positions are generally for O-4 to O-6.


Thanks for the breakdown, although I have no idea how accurate any of that is. I will say that I did not get the impression that going out on the ship happened often, only that it very likely would. Consider the following: Sea going "positions are generally for O-4 to O-6." Not every JAG in the Navy is O-4 to O-6. Most JAGs are probably O-3 and are thereby disqualified from serving in most seagoing billets. Let's assume that half of the JAGs are in the grades of O-4 to O-6. If there is a requirement that 50 JAGs be out on a boat at any given time, that means that around one-seventh of all JAGs within the grades of O-4 to O-6 are out on those boats at any given time. If you are O-4 or above, there will always be one in seven of your Naval Justice School buddies rotating through the boat lawyer thing.

Now I have no idea about sea-going tour lengths. But if they are shorter than two years at all, the likelihood is going to increase. Same goes if there are more than 50 sea-going billets.

Edit: Now I just have to wait for PB to come back and say he goes to trial every day.

brownshoe
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Re: Military Law

Postby brownshoe » Sun Feb 14, 2010 8:41 am

Rotor wrote:As for the assignments to Iraq/Afgh/Gtmo etc. in support of Army units, it does happen. But not for 2-3 years. That's permanent duty; instead you get assigned for 12-15 month tours typically on an "Individual Augmentation".


To further clarify, many of these IA billets are only 6-8 months, and as of today, they are still ALL voluntary.

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Rotor
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Re: Military Law

Postby Rotor » Sun Feb 14, 2010 11:58 am

brownshoe wrote:
Rotor wrote:As for the assignments to Iraq/Afgh/Gtmo etc. in support of Army units, it does happen. But not for 2-3 years. That's permanent duty; instead you get assigned for 12-15 month tours typically on an "Individual Augmentation".


To further clarify, many of these IA billets are only 6-8 months, and as of today, they are still ALL voluntary.

Brownshoe, thanks. I didn't mean to leave out this other IA information-- especially the voluntary part. The Gtmo tours tended to be shorter than the CENTCOM ones.

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Rotor
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Re: Military Law

Postby Rotor » Sun Feb 14, 2010 1:00 pm

Undead_Ed wrote:
Rotor wrote:2 JAGs per aircraft carrier=22 billets. 1 JAG per LHA/LHD (big Amphibious Assault ships) adds another dozen or so. Another dozen afloat staffs for the battle group commanders and that's somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 seagoing JAG billets. For the sake of argument, say the tours are 2 years each (some are longer), that's a per year demand of 25 JAGs. That would take 28 years to go through all 700. Granted, the longer you stay, the more likely it is you would get a sea going job because the JAG inventory necks down and the positions are generally for O-4 to O-6.
Thanks for the breakdown, although I have no idea how accurate any of that is.

I think it's pretty close. Having worked with JAGs off and on for 20+ years, including detailed discussions on the state of JAG corps billets/career path with my colleague who was the aircraft carrier judge when the command had to send another JAG home for cause, I have a pretty good understanding of the JAGC.

As for your what ifs: even if I happened to be off by a factor of 3, that would still be 8 years to cycle through 700. Many JAGs will have come and gone before then. As I said before, the longer you stay, the more likely it is. But, your original generalization that it is "very likely" that JAGs will go to sea is a mischaracterization.

As for tour lengths, they are (barring the relief for cause scenario we went through) a minimum of 2 years. They keep them short to get as many JAGs to sea as the can, but it needs to be that long to pay of financially (costs a lot to move people) for the service and professionally for the individual.

brownshoe
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Re: Military Law

Postby brownshoe » Sun Feb 14, 2010 1:01 pm

No problem - by the way, I've run into a few Berkeley JAGs - very good people!

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Sun Feb 14, 2010 2:27 pm

Undead_Ed wrote:
lukeatomic wrote:1. I've read about the Air Force's new SLRP. Are other branches doing the same/similar thing?


Army was actually the first to do SLRP. Air Force's SLRP was recently approved. I heard that Navy is in the works to do one.

lukeatomic wrote:2. I've heard the best things about AF's accommodations. Is this just a stereotype?


I've seen Air Force Bases, Army Bases, and Marine Bases. In my experience, Air Force had some pretty nice stuff--especially the gyms. The Marines had some pretty crappy housing, but also some pretty nice housing. It depended on if you could get into the new places. I think that goes for all the services. Most of them have been able to build reasonably new housing somewhere on base.

lukeatomic wrote:3. Any other differences between the branches? (Specifically Navy vs. AF)


The Air Force is quite a bit larger with about 1200 lawyers. Selection rates are about 7-8%. I got the impression from the Air Force that most criminal cases do not go to trial but are administratively processed (meaning that they just put them out of the force instead of charging them with a crime). I also got the impression that specialization is very unlikely in the Air Force. You do legal services for clients while serving at the same time as a prosecutor. It seems like the Air Force also had more civilian employees--hence, unions--so they had more of an emphasis on Labor Law. One thing I thought was weird is that it is uncommon to deploy in your first tour. They want you to have more experience. You usually just stay in shape on your own. You get PT tested by civilians.


-Ed


Selection rates: Historically, the 7-8% selection rate is accurate but it has tightened up since the economy took a shit. The last board was closer to 4%.

Criminal cases: Going to disagree on this one. We prosecute an absolute ton of cases. I will cite my total lack of a social life since January due to my case load. Minor/one-time incidents are often handled administratively, the bigger issues almost always see a court unless there are good reasons. I doubt that is AF specific.

Specialization: Somewhat true. It is difficult to specialize for an entire career if one wants to advance. The first four or so years are spent as a generalist at base legal. This usually means a total of two years holding Civil Law section assignments and two years holding Military Justice assignments. I currently head up two Civil Law sections while managing an active criminal case load. After that one can specialize for a few years and even pursue a LLM. As one climbs the ladder, we usually alternate been the specialty positions (working in the civil law Field Support Centers or as a Senior Trial/Defense Counsel on the criminal side) and leadership positions at base legal (Deputy SJA, etc).

Labor Law: It is an active area on our civil law side. We have the Labor Law Field Support Centers and the Labor Law shop at AFLOA. I cannot comment if it is more/less vibrant than the other services.

Deployments: No longer the case. A ton of my JASOC class has deployed already or have orders for this summer. I'm shipping out in late summer to an undisclosed location. The majority of new JAGs will deploy for a 179 in their first four.

PT: Depends largely on the Wing and legal office. My SJA is a fitness nut, we do pretty rigorous office PT M/W/F and PT test quarterly. The Civilian PT testers is part of the new PT AFI that goes into effect 1 July. No idea how this will actually shake out.

bahama
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Re: Military Law

Postby bahama » Sun Feb 14, 2010 3:14 pm

brownshoe wrote:
Rotor wrote:As for the assignments to Iraq/Afgh/Gtmo etc. in support of Army units, it does happen. But not for 2-3 years. That's permanent duty; instead you get assigned for 12-15 month tours typically on an "Individual Augmentation".


To further clarify, many of these IA billets are only 6-8 months, and as of today, they are still ALL voluntary.


IA (Individual Augmentation) billets in the Navy ARE NOT all voluntary. There are still quite a few people who are pulled out of other jobs (sometimes on ridiculously short notice although this is less common than a few yrs ago) and sent overseas to support the Army.

I don't know the current practices and policies in the JAG corps but I know a couple of Navy JAGs who did non-voluntary tours in Afghanistan.

brownshoe
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Re: Military Law

Postby brownshoe » Sun Feb 14, 2010 3:41 pm

bahama wrote:IA (Individual Augmentation) billets in the Navy ARE NOT all voluntary. There are still quite a few people who are pulled out of other jobs (sometimes on ridiculously short notice although this is less common than a few yrs ago) and sent overseas to support the Army.

I don't know the current practices and policies in the JAG corps but I know a couple of Navy JAGs who did non-voluntary tours in Afghanistan.


No, you're right about the rest of the Navy - most IAs are involuntary. But I didn't think people here cared about non-lawyer positions. I don't know where you're getting your info about JAGs. I am a current Navy JAG. I have talked to dozens of other JAGs from O-2 to O-6 - not one has said or known anything different than what I've said. Furthermore, I know several people that have volunteered for IAs but have not been able to go because billets are so hard to come by. Here is the one situation I could think of (very rare) where someone might be sent that doesn't want to go: a more senior officer with some specialized skill that is needed to fill a particular billet that no one else can fill. Not trying to be disagreeable - just trying to put the best info out there so people can make good decisions.

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Undead_Ed
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Re: Military Law

Postby Undead_Ed » Sun Feb 14, 2010 4:03 pm

Patrick Bateman wrote:Criminal cases: Going to disagree on this one. We prosecute an absolute ton of cases. I will cite my total lack of a social life since January due to my case load. Minor/one-time incidents are often handled administratively, the bigger issues almost always see a court unless there are good reasons. I doubt that is AF specific.


I guess this will depend on where you go and the Base SJA's philosophy. I do happen to know that one base has not had a court martial since last September. I would elaborate, but I would prefer to keep some anonymity in light of the following post:

Lawschoolman wrote:It may be in your best career interest to refrain from posting details concerning your employment efforts. See --LinkRemoved-- ... ziness.php

Just sayin.......


Also, I still maintain that Navy JAGs will go out to sea eventually. I think our disagreement is only about what Mr. Rotor's figures mean. As Mr. Rotor said, Sea-going billets are for O-4 to O-6, generally. If that is right, it means that you probably will not go out on your first tour.

At any rate, I think he has debunked his own previous estimate of numbers of JAGs on ships from last July:
Rotor wrote:30-40 people max-- meaning only 10-15 openings each year.

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:45 pm

brownshoe wrote:No problem - by the way, I've run into a few Berkeley JAGs - very good people!


Agreed. One of our Area Defense Counsels is a People's Republic of Berkeley grad - outstanding guy and a great attorney.

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:48 pm

Rocky Estoppel wrote:I see the age requirement is 35 for AF Jag. I'll be 34 when I graduate from Law School. If I do not get a commission and went into the work force for a year because of that, is there any chance for an age waiver at a later date if I continued to apply to get in? Do they consider such waivers for prior military since they would already have a few years of experience?

I'm going to do everything I can to get in, whether it is direct commission or OYCP, but if I don't get accepted, I'd like to keep trying. However, if it is going to be pointless after 35, just want to prepare for that.


Waivers for age can be granted but it is exceedingly rare. I would not count on it.

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Rotor
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Re: Military Law

Postby Rotor » Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:53 pm

Ed: my figures mean that most JAGs who don't want to go to sea probably won't. They will serve their time and get out long before there is a professional imperative to do so. Even for those who would like to go, not everyone gets the opportunity-- otherwise there would be no requirement to be screened for such duty.

As for the difference in numbers, I think I hadn't included the battle group staffs. In addition, I was trying to examine today's issue by estimating on the high side to give your assertion the benefit of the doubt.

Without spoiling your anonymity, I would be interested in your bona fides: what, apart from discussions with JAGs from the various services should future readers know about your background to evaluate how much stock to put in your skepticism of my observations from my actual service and personal friendships with Navy JAGs.

Edit: Like Brownshoe, not trying to be disagreeable. I just want the best info out there for people to make good decisions. If I'm off-base, I trust Brownshoe (as a JAG himself) to tell me so.

brownshoe
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Re: Military Law

Postby brownshoe » Sun Feb 14, 2010 8:28 pm

Rotor wrote:Ed: my figures mean that most JAGs who don't want to go to sea probably won't. They will serve their time and get out long before there is a professional imperative to do so. Even for those who would like to go, not everyone gets the opportunity-- otherwise there would be no requirement to be screened for such duty.


This is exactly right.

bahama
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Re: Military Law

Postby bahama » Sun Feb 14, 2010 11:19 pm

brownshoe wrote:
No, you're right about the rest of the Navy - most IAs are involuntary. But I didn't think people here cared about non-lawyer positions. I don't know where you're getting your info about JAGs. I am a current Navy JAG. I have talked to dozens of other JAGs from O-2 to O-6 - not one has said or known anything different than what I've said. Furthermore, I know several people that have volunteered for IAs but have not been able to go because billets are so hard to come by. Here is the one situation I could think of (very rare) where someone might be sent that doesn't want to go: a more senior officer with some specialized skill that is needed to fill a particular billet that no one else can fill. Not trying to be disagreeable - just trying to put the best info out there so people can make good decisions.


Good to hear they're not doing involuntary IA's for Navy JAGs anymore. I know two Navy JAGs who did involuntary IAs to Afghanistan around 2005. That was when the IA thing was really ramping up in the Navy and the whole process was really disorganized and mismanaged. There was no real process then for people to volunteer and people were getting sent off on really short notice. Most of those issues are a lot better now so it makes sense that they are able to fill the requirements with volunteers now.

I guess the only point I would add for anyone signing up for JAG is that you have to be willing to accept "needs of the service" and realize that whatever the policy is now things can change and you should be mentally prepared/willing to go spend a year in some place crappy where a lot of the locals want to kill you.




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