Rotor wrote:Without spoiling your anonymity, I would be interested in your bona fides
Well, I suppose it can't do any harm to say that I have wanted to be in the JAG Corps for about 8 years now. I finally got to my 3d year of Law School, and the economy turned to shit. People are practically eating each other out there. I applied to Army (a family favorite) in the Fall and did not get in. So, I decided to investigate the other services as well. I have been very impressed with all of them--they each have things that I like. I have since applied to Air Force, Navy, and am applying to Army for the second time. I am just waiting for the results. I am also trying to get my 3 mile run down to 20-ish minutes for the Marines.
Each interview has given me some perspective about what it means to be a JAG in each service. I do not consider myself an expert on any particular JAG Corps. But I am out here, right now, in the running to be in one. I am trying to learn all I can about each of them because I could end up in any one of them. Also, I may have to choose between them. To be honest, if I have a wrong impression about one of the services, I want to know about it. For instance, PB's comment that he takes a lot of criminal cases to trial was pretty reassuring because I have hung my hat on trial advocacy.
I'll refrain from any further line-by-line quibbling with your posts but I think the brush strokes you are painting of each service are way, way too broad. Speaking purely from a AF JAG perspective, my life as a JAG is determined to an incredible extent by the Wing/Unit I'm attached with, the Wing/Unit Commander, the Squadron/Group Commanders we also support, my SJA, etc.
That means my answers on PT, numbers of courts-martial, deployments, etc, etc, are heavily influenced by all of those above factors. Ask another JAG from a different base the same questions and you may get very different answers. As mentioned, my SJA is a fitness nut and so my office has a heavy emphasis on PT. One cannot inductively take the leap that if Capt Patrick Bateman at Pierce & Pierce AFB does X, so does all of the Air Force and/or JAG Corps. Some offices/Wings may not bother much with PT, meaning 3x a week on-your-own workouts. Others could have their own internal 5x a week policy.
Similarly, my heavy court load is due to the external factors of being a base with lots of people getting in trouble (and being caught) combined with commanders wanting them to see a court and the SJA supporting that. I am absolutely slammed with my courts the moment. One cannot infer from that, however, that the Air Force has more courts or is in favor of more courts than the Army or anyone else. It just means the planets have aligned at P&B AFB in such a manner that lots of crimes are being preferred for trial. We are also still pursuing Art 15s, LORs/LOAs/LOCs, and Admin Separations when appropriate.
Some bases, usually those under Air Mobility and Air Combat Command, see a heavier court load. Other bases, like Space or Material Command, see far less. I have friends from my JASOC class that have just tried their first case, despite being many months out. I also have friends that have tried a huge number of courts from the get-go. This not due to the Air Force in a large sense, it is because of the specific base to which they are assigned.
All in all, there are no broad categorical assertions that can really stand up when comparing the services. Each base is its own universe and JAG experiences between bases often varies greatly. I do not know enough about the Army to comment on them but I imagine it can be very similar.