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  • Army JAG (Active Duty and National Guard)

    I am a former Active Duty Infantryman finishing up my final semester of graduate school. I have been both out of Active Duty and involved in the National Guard in Texas for almost two years. I start law school in the fall and I am very curious about JAG. I have a basic understanding of the recruitment process and what it is JAG does; however, I am struggling between going Active Duty or National Guard/Reserves, as I am unsure of the difference between the two (other than the obvious full time/part time distinction). I love the thought of going back to Active Duty, but I am also excited to get out there in the civilian world, perhaps as a U.S. Attorney or something similar, and make a difference, while still participating in JAG part-time. Well, that and my wife isn’t what you call “thrilled” at the thought of me going back full-time.

    In Active Duty it is my understanding that once you commission it is as a 1LT, and once you finish OBC, BOLC, and DOC you are eligible for CPT, generally between 6 and 12 months after commissioning as a 1LT. Does this also apply for the National Guard or do I have to wait additional time? In Active Duty one is eligible to receive up to $65,000 in loan repayment, specifically for law school, is this still accurate? And, if so, does it apply for the National Guard as well? In Active Duty my understanding is the larger the post the more likely it is I’ll stay there a bit longer (i.e. Hood, Stewart, etc.), so does anyone know this to be fact? Does National Guard JAG meet at one specific spot in the state (i.e. I’m in Texas, so would we only meet in Austin), or are there branches of JAG scattered throughout the state? If I sign up with JAG through the National Guard, how long is the commitment?

    That should probably cover most of my questions for now. Thank you for your help.

  • #2
    Re: Army JAG (Active Duty and National Guard)

    I have my packet in the pipeline for VAARNG so I have info on some of your questions:

    Originally posted by ajones256
    In Active Duty it is my understanding that once you commission it is as a 1LT, and once you finish OBC, BOLC, and DOC you are eligible for CPT, generally between 6 and 12 months after commissioning as a 1LT. Does this also apply for the National Guard or do I have to wait additional time?
    Yes, for ARNG you come in as 1LT and are up for CPT in 6-12 months after completion of OBC.
    FYI, the current JAG training is 12 days at Ft. Lee, 10.5 weeks at Charlottesville for JAOBC, then 6 weeks at Ft. Benning for DOC. (For the 181st JAOBC that started last Sunday, BOLC II disappeared and the DCO course was extended from 4 to 6 weeks.)

    Originally posted by ajones256
    In Active Duty one is eligible to receive up to $65,000 in loan repayment, specifically for law school, is this still accurate? And, if so, does it apply for the National Guard as well??
    The new SLRP incentive is only for active duty, not for the ARNG.
    The loans can be from undergrad in addition to law school. From the FAQ on the JACNET site (https://www.jagcnet.army.mil/8525749...ument&noly=1):

    "The Army is authorized to repay the following educational loans: (1) Any loan made, insured, or guaranteed under part B of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. § 1071 et seq.); (2) Any loan made under part D of such title (the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, 20 U.S.C. § 1087a et seq.); (3) Any loan under part E of such title (20 U.S.C. § 1087aa et seq); or (4) Any loan incurred for educational purposes made by a lender that is – (a) An agency or instrumentality of a State; (b) A financial or credit institution (including an insurance company) that is subject to examination and supervision by an agency of the United States or any State; (c) A pension fund approved by the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness for the purposes of this program; or (d) A non-profit entity designated by a State, regulated by such State, and approved by the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness for the purposes of this program."


    Originally posted by ajones256
    In Active Duty my understanding is the larger the post the more likely it is I’ll stay there a bit longer (i.e. Hood, Stewart, etc.), so does anyone know this to be fact?
    Not sure about this since I'm working on an ARNG position. There is an Army JAG group on Facebook that has quite a few active duty JAGs...try posting there. There are quite a few different discussions in the group on many topics.

    Originally posted by ajones256
    Does National Guard JAG meet at one specific spot in the state (i.e. I’m in Texas, so would we only meet in Austin), or are there branches of JAG scattered throughout the state?
    (remember this answer for law school...it works for 99.9% of the questions):
    It depends.
    In this case it depends on the state. I'm sure larger states (TX, CA, NY, etc.) are likely to have multiple locations while smaller states will only have one. You should contact the JAG OSM for Texas and try and get connected with a TXARNG JAG to get more details on specific locations.


    Originally posted by ajones256
    If I sign up with JAG through the National Guard, how long is the commitment?
    Just like any ARNG position, you are in for eight (8) years, six drilling and two IRR. Many people choose to drill for those last two years instead of going to IRR.
    Last edited by upnorthguy; February 10th, 2010, 09:44 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: Army JAG (Active Duty and National Guard)

      Wow, that pretty well answered all the questions, thank you. Per the extension on DOC and removal of BOLC II, what's the difference between the two? Am I correct is assuming that BOLC II is more of a Regular Army school, while DOC is a bit easier (understanding that they're primarily working with Doctors and Lawyers and not Infantryman), or am I just way off the mark?

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      • #4
        Re: Army JAG (Active Duty and National Guard)

        BOLC II is gone as in disappeared, vaporized, poof...for all new officers.
        I'm not sure how the other OBCs are integrating some of the events from BOLC II.
        Since the first group of JAGs will be going through the longer DCO course in a few months, I don't know exactly how it will change.

        Land nav, BRM, first aid, etc. are the types of things from the old DCO course. I'm sure some of the BOLC II content will make it into the additional two weeks- just not sure what that will be as of now.

        So far, two JAGs in the 181st (1LT Luyties and 1LT E. Wilson) have posted a few times on armystrongstories.com. Keep an eye on that in the coming months and/or leave them a comment asking for more details once the new DCO course is happening.
        Last edited by SFC_Wilson; April 26th, 2011, 02:41 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: Army JAG (Active Duty and National Guard)

          Oh, wow, so not just with the JAG Corps, but with the whole Army. It'll be interesting to see how they integrate BOLC II into the DCO Course. Well, hopefully I won't have too much of a problem getting into the JAG program, but from what I hear even of you do get picked up it can be a year before you're slotted for JAOBC. I wonder how much prior service is weighed for those attempting to make there way into JAG... I guess I'll find out. It's all part of the game. Thanks for the information and advice, hopefully I'll be seeing you on the dark side.

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          • #6
            Re: Army JAG (Active Duty and National Guard)

            Just a couple of thoughts. NG JAGs are commissioned as 1LTs. Unlike the active component, we are not automatically promoted to CPT at the end of six months. In fact, you need a minimum of 2 years TIG. You are given one when you are commissioned. So, you have to wait at least a year plus the time it takes for federal recognition. In Maine, we are not quick to UVP someone to CPT. Up here, you can expect to be a 1LT for at least 3 years.

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            • #7
              Re: Army JAG (Active Duty and National Guard)

              For someone that is already commissioned, once accepted into law school is there a way to become part of the JAG corps early (ARNG)? I'm shooting to start in the fall if all goes well. Already did BOLC and will be a CPT before school is done, but it'd be nice to work with the JAG office while in school. Are there any programs out there?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Army JAG (Active Duty and National Guard)

                Originally posted by OCScandidate
                For someone that is already commissioned, once accepted into law school is there a way to become part of the JAG corps early (ARNG)? I'm shooting to start in the fall if all goes well. Already did BOLC and will be a CPT before school is done, but it'd be nice to work with the JAG office while in school. Are there any programs out there?
                Theoretically, yes, but I don't recommend it. You could resign your commission and enlist as a 27D Legal Specialist, go to AIT, and then serve with the JAG while completing law school. There is no JAG-SMP.

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                • #9
                  Re: Army JAG (Active Duty and National Guard)

                  Thanks again Sir,

                  Ya, that route is not the way to go for me :-) I've been a paralegal for the last few years and am ready to move ahead at this point. I'll keep chugging along until I graduate.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Army JAG (Active Duty and National Guard)

                    Major Ritchie,

                    I was on Jagcnet and was looking at the rank structure for JAGs which brings me to this question:

                    I have 10 years total in the service, 2 years commissioned. If I go to law school and it takes me 3-4 years to get my degree which puts me at a CPT with 1-2 years behind me, what rank would I possibly be accepted for in the Jag Corps? I'm figuring 5-6 years as a commissioned officer which I think at 7 they promote you to CPT according to their explanations.

                    If I am already a CPT but have less than 7 years of commissioned service, would I stay a CPT or be reduced? I'm thinking once I'm a CPT I stay one, but wanted to get a firm grasp on it before I start rushing (in case I should take my time).

                    Thank you sir!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Army JAG (Active Duty and National Guard)

                      I don't know if you'd be reduced. MAJ Ritchie should be able to answer that better than me. But, JAG does work like AMEDD - meaning like another branch of the military. In that you can easily gain/lose rank moving over.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Army JAG (Active Duty and National Guard)

                        Originally posted by OCScandidate
                        ...I have 10 years total in the service, 2 years commissioned. If I go to law school and it takes me 3-4 years to get my degree which puts me at a CPT with 1-2 years behind me, what rank would I possibly be accepted for in the Jag Corps? I'm figuring 5-6 years as a commissioned officer which I think at 7 they promote you to CPT according to their explanations.

                        If I am already a CPT but have less than 7 years of commissioned service, would I stay a CPT or be reduced? I'm thinking once I'm a CPT I stay one, but wanted to get a firm grasp on it before I start rushing (in case I should take my time).

                        Thank you sir!
                        Please note that this post is the military equivalent of calling a 1-900 number of a woman with a fake Jamaican accent -- for entertainment purposes only, you can't hold me legally accountable. I don't have any documents on you, all I have is what you have described above. Based on that, and presuming you haven't left out anything relevant, here's my assessment:

                        award of JD = 3 years of service credit
                        6 years commissioned service = 6 years of credit
                        TOTAL = 9 years, for the purpose of JAG appointment grade

                        So you'd have 7-13 years of credit. That would put your appointment grade as a JAG as captain.

                        Reference: AR 135-100, Section IV.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Army JAG (Active Duty and National Guard)

                          Thank you sir,

                          It looks like they don't give you the three years for the JD if you have 3 years commissioned service (it's like double dipping I think), so if it takes 3 years to complete and pass the bar, I'll have 5 years of commisioned service which puts me in the 1LT realm in their terms. I'm not sure if taking my time or at least waiting until the 7th year would be a wiser decision or if they'll take me as a CPT if I'm already a CPT. I emailed the Major on Jagcnet but haven't gotten a response. It's still years away, so it's nothing urgent...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Army JAG (Active Duty and National Guard)

                            Originally posted by OCScandidate
                            Major Ritchie,

                            I was on Jagcnet and was looking at the rank structure for JAGs which brings me to this question:

                            I have 10 years total in the service, 2 years commissioned. If I go to law school and it takes me 3-4 years to get my degree which puts me at a CPT with 1-2 years behind me, what rank would I possibly be accepted for in the Jag Corps? I'm figuring 5-6 years as a commissioned officer which I think at 7 they promote you to CPT according to their explanations.

                            If I am already a CPT but have less than 7 years of commissioned service, would I stay a CPT or be reduced? I'm thinking once I'm a CPT I stay one, but wanted to get a firm grasp on it before I start rushing (in case I should take my time).

                            Thank you sir!

                            You'll come in as a CPT, unless you have more than 7 years commissioned service. At that point, TJAG will decide as to what rank to access you in. Either CPT or MAJ (very rare). Once yo get approved by TJAG in the JAGC, you resign your commission and get accessed in the JAGC in what ever rank applied to you. I am a direct commissioned 1LT, but my DCJA, was a CPT in the Medical Corps, and was accessed as a CPT in the JAGC.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Army JAG (Active Duty and National Guard)

                              we had an ob/gyn physician who initially became an officer via state ocs 18 months, anyway she was quartermaster. She said there was no way they were taking her rank. Technically she is still quartermaster LTC, but works as doc as drilling and when deployed in NG.

                              Also had a PA CPT who was logistics and he was in the unit doing physicals and deployed as PA in the guard but technically still logistics in NG.

                              Also had a medical student who was an infantry Major (outranked me as a CPT/physician) at the time. Interesting dynamic. I would tell him what to do, but always addressed him as sir.

                              So there are always interesting things that go on in states, depends on who you know.
                              Last edited by BoopMD; April 4th, 2010, 03:57 AM.

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