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Switching to JAG

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  • Switching to JAG

    Yes, I realize there now seems to be a specialty branch section to this board, but since nobody seems to post there, I'll try here.

    I'm considering a transition to JAG. Just passed my state's bar exam and beginning to practice.

    The specialty OSM has thus far been not very helpful. As usual, information is hard to come by.

    So simple questions for any JAGs:

    1) Is there actually a demand for JAG officers? Are slots even available?

    2) How competitive are they?

    3) I suspect I'm the only freak who ever considered wasting all that time spent in OCS by jumping ship at this point just prior to making 1LT ... since I could have just direct commissioned. (Who am kidding, it was a blast!) But has anyone else tried it? Is it even doable?

    4) Is my current unit going to have kittens over this? What I'm trying to do is get info so I can look before I leap. I like my unit, I like the infantry. So I don't want to burn bridges before I know if this opportunity even exists, and whether its worth it.

    5) Assuming it works out - what's the job like? Deployment opportunities? Do JAGs like it? Hate it?

    I've read the regs, I've talked to folks. I'm just looking for some straight real-world scoop here, before I go at this full speed ahead.

  • #2
    Re: Switching to JAG

    A former TAC that I know was a Captain that branched Engineer when he later switch to the Nurse Corps. He took a reduction back to O-2. Nothing wrong with what you doing if your career goals have changed.

    Keep researching but are you tied just to one state or are you willing to relocate?

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    • #3
      Re: Switching to JAG

      1. Yes, there is demand. It varies widely by State, since each State has different force structure.
      2. Competition for promotion heats up at the O4 level, and particularly at the O5 level. All JAG slots are O3 at minimum, and unless you have significant civilian experience, you'll enter as an O2.
      3. OCS and JAG appointment are two different things. Tell me what you want out of your Army career, and I'll tell you which path to pursue.
      4. Perhaps, so don't say anything until you have made hard choices and have your act together.
      5. Our JAGs tend to like what they're doing. It's not glamorous -- fill-in-the-blank wills, counseling on benefits, reviewing investigations, advising commanders on disciplinary and administrative actions -- and you will not likely have a "you can't handle the truth" experience like in that movie. Nevertheless, you directly impact Soldiers' lives, so there's fullfillment and personal satisfaction.

      Ask your OSM or commander for contact information for the FTM State JAG, or the O6 chief JAG. They may have more targeted guidance for you.

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      • #4
        Re: Switching to JAG

        JAGS are awesome......they have a very demanding career field.

        You'd probably access as a CPT.
        Last edited by Chaplain4me; May 3rd, 2011, 10:39 AM.

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