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  • MOS options for JAG Officers

    Are JAG Officer permitted to have a secondary MOS? I am very interested in MI and would like to do both if possible.

  • #2
    Re: MOS options for JAG Officers

    No. MI is a basic branch, whereas JAG is a special branch. The two don't mix well.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: MOS options for JAG Officers

      Sir,
      I'll admit that this is a entirely different ball of wax, but the thread title brought me here and some of my peers may make the same mistake in searching this forum.

      I am a Marine Judge Advocate with one year remaining on my first tour. I pinned on Captain in Nov 2011 and have 5 years total TIS (however, commissioned through OCS in 2007 before law school, back on active duty in Aug 2010 to present, so only 2 years active). As you may know, Sir, Marine Judge Advocates and our training pipeline are different from the other services in that we aren't part of a restricted / professional corps / staff corps MOS. We're sent to OCS and The Basic School to become unrestricted line officers like all of our peers, aviation and ground alike. Supposedly it makes us better prepared to serve as staff officers, legal advisors down-range, and provisional rifle platoon commanders. Supposedly. The reality is that, even though many of us were expecting to get deployed as soon as we hit the fleet, deployments have dried up and many, myself included, have spent our entire time in the courtroom. I love being a Marine. I like being a lawyer. But having missed Afghanistan by serving the past year and a half in a non-deployable defense counsel billet, I can safely say that being a lawyer for the Marine Corps is not how I plan to spend the next 20 years.

      Which brings me to my question, Sir. What is the likelihood of an 0-3 being able to transfer into a combat arms unit in the ARNG, particularly in the Southeast? I realize that billets start to thin across the board and no one wants to be stuck with the green 0-3, but I was hoping that age, physical factors, and peformance on active duty (albeit in an unrelated job) might count for something. I'm 27, still cranking out a 300 PFT on both the Army and Marine tests. My fitness reports are strong, but those and personal awards are all reflective of Judge Advocate specific performance. I've got limited operational experience, and my only real selling point to a unit commander w/ regards to combat arms skills is graduating from TBS with honors (which is admittedely a very weak position in lieu of combat experience these days). Still, I figured that an ARNG unit short of its manning levels might be willing to give me a shot.

      I've also see a few threads mention resignation of commissions to pursue enlistment, and I was curious as to the feasibility, process, and effects of this. I've heard of it being done, but don't know anyone who has done it or actually knows of someone who has done it.

      Thank you in advance for your assistance, Sir. Any guidance you may have is much appreciated.

      Capt B
      Last edited by tsb1985; September 8th, 2012, 02:42 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: MOS options for JAG Officers

        If you wish to resign your commission and enlist, then you are welcome to do so. You'd start at grade E5, and attend AIT for your assigned MOS.

        If you have a due-course (basic branch) commission through OCS, then you would be eligible for appointment as a basic branch officer (e.g., Infantry). As you've noted, whether any TAG would approve of such an appointment is a different matter altogether. Just because the regulation allows something doesn't mean the TAG must approve it in any particular instance.

        I recommend having this conversation with your state's OSM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: MOS options for JAG Officers

          Originally posted by matthew.ritchie View Post
          No. MI is a basic branch, whereas JAG is a special branch. The two don't mix well.
          The original question concerned the possibility for JAG Officers to have a secondary MOS. The poster had inquired regarding MI, and I do not know whether your response was specific to MI or to all basic branches as a blanket rule. My particular interest is QM/Logistics particularly with regard to emergent and disaster situations.

          In general, however, much as I am drawn to the civilian-soldier idea, I am concerned about practicing more law on top of a private firm job. The attraction of joining the National Guard is to balance the deskbound nature of my professional life; does it make sense to add more legal commitment to the mix? Could you comment, sir, on the motivation of JAGs to have entered the National Guard as JAGs, and to the quality of their experience? Do JAGs ever become branch officers, that is, leave the legal specialty behind completely?

          As a sidenote, from the information I have gathered, I am too old to join the National Guard in any capacity other than that of a JAG.

          Lechsie
          Last edited by Lechsie; November 9th, 2012, 06:05 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: MOS options for JAG Officers

            Originally posted by Lechsie View Post
            The original question concerned the possibility for JAG Officers to have a secondary MOS. The poster had inquired regarding MI, and I do not know whether your response was specific to MI or to all basic branches as a blanket rule. My particular interest is QM/Logistics particularly with regard to emergent and disaster situations.

            In general, however, much as I am drawn to the civilian-soldier idea, I am concerned about practicing more law on top of a private firm job. The attraction of joining the National Guard is to balance the deskbound nature of my professional life; does it make sense to add more legal commitment to the mix? Could you comment, sir, on the motivation of JAGs to have entered the National Guard as JAGs, and to the quality of their experience? Do JAGs ever become branch officers, that is, leave the legal specialty behind completely?

            As a sidenote, from the information I have gathered, I am too old to join the National Guard in any capacity other than that of a JAG.

            Lechsie
            JAG is an MOS. That is your branch, no you do not do other jobs, not in the Army anyways.

            Do people leave JAG and re branch?, I am sure it has happened, but it is just under impossible on the difficulty scale.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: MOS options for JAG Officers

              Originally posted by Lechsie View Post
              The original question concerned the possibility for JAG Officers to have a secondary MOS. The poster had inquired regarding MI, and I do not know whether your response was specific to MI or to all basic branches as a blanket rule. My particular interest is QM/Logistics particularly with regard to emergent and disaster situations.

              In general, however, much as I am drawn to the civilian-soldier idea, I am concerned about practicing more law on top of a private firm job. The attraction of joining the National Guard is to balance the deskbound nature of my professional life; does it make sense to add more legal commitment to the mix? Could you comment, sir, on the motivation of JAGs to have entered the National Guard as JAGs, and to the quality of their experience? Do JAGs ever become branch officers, that is, leave the legal specialty behind completely?

              As a sidenote, from the information I have gathered, I am too old to join the National Guard in any capacity other than that of a JAG.

              Lechsie
              I've never seen it happen. Many were basic branch officers and then became JAG. Being re-appointed as a basic branch officer can happen.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: MOS options for JAG Officers

                Originally posted by ParalegalNCO1 View Post
                Do people leave JAG and re branch?, I am sure it has happened, but it is just under impossible on the difficulty scale.
                To do that, the JAG would need to earn a basic branch commission, either through ROTC or OCS (West Point has other regulations which would prohibit attendance there). So, it's reasonably possible in a technical sense, although as a practical matter I've never seen anyone even try.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: MOS options for JAG Officers

                  Originally posted by matthew.ritchie View Post
                  To do that, the JAG would need to earn a basic branch commission, either through ROTC or OCS (West Point has other regulations which would prohibit attendance there). So, it's reasonably possible in a technical sense, although as a practical matter I've never seen anyone even try.
                  I'm not positive they would have to attend further training. Once you receive a commission you cannot legally hold a lower commissioned grade at recommssion (if thats even a word). You and I talked about this on our other threads. It would be no different that a Navy O-3 getting out and coming into the guard. We would not be sending that guy to OCS, and he would not be able to enter at a lower grade. I would venture to say that I'm fairly certain that a JAG would just simply attend another OBC.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: MOS options for JAG Officers

                    Originally posted by ParalegalNCO1 View Post
                    It would be no different that a Navy O-3 getting out and coming into the guard. We would not be sending that guy to OCS, and he would not be able to enter at a lower grade. I would venture to say that I'm fairly certain that a JAG would just simply attend another OBC.
                    It is different, because a Naval officer from the fleet (not an officer of their JAG/chaplain/medical corps) still holds a due-course commission from Annapolis, NROTC, or the Navy's version of OCS. The special branches (JAG/chaplain/medical) are appointed under unique sections of law and regulation, for the value of their specialized technical expertise. They will never command troops in combat, and thus have a different set of requirements and expectations.

                    If you had asked me about this in 2007 I could have produced all the references in just a few minutes, but I've been out of the recruiting game too long for that sort of recall. I can pull all the research together in about two years, when I'm done with distance-learning War College, and finally have some free time again.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: MOS options for JAG Officers

                      As to a JA switching to a basic branch, I've seen it. One of our Captains was an Engineer officer with an ROTC commission. He went to law school, continued as an Engineer for a couple of years then switched to JA. An AGR position opened up, he was selected and required to rebranch, which he did. Again, as LTC Ritchie said, you need to have a commissioning source that is not a direct commission. Few in the JAG Corps want to leave, although we do occasionally work outside of the branch with permission. I'm the AGR JAG for Maine but am serving a 2 year tour with the US Embassy in Montenegro. It required a special waiver. So, if you go JA, expect to stay JA.

                      MAJ Hineman

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: MOS options for JAG Officers

                        Originally posted by MaineLawyer View Post
                        As to a JA switching to a basic branch, I've seen it. One of our Captains was an Engineer officer with an ROTC commission. He went to law school, continued as an Engineer for a couple of years then switched to JA. An AGR position opened up, he was selected and required to rebranch, which he did. Again, as LTC Ritchie said, you need to have a commissioning source that is not a direct commission. Few in the JAG Corps want to leave, although we do occasionally work outside of the branch with permission. I'm the AGR JAG for Maine but am serving a 2 year tour with the US Embassy in Montenegro. It required a special waiver. So, if you go JA, expect to stay JA.

                        MAJ Hineman
                        That's interesting. In your experience, do those opportunities exist in the USAR and at what scale relative to the ARNG?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: MOS options for JAG Officers

                          Originally posted by Polo08816 View Post
                          That's interesting. In your experience, do those opportunities exist in the USAR and at what scale relative to the ARNG?
                          They do and those positions are usually easier to get as a USAR Soldier as many of them are coded as IMA slots. With the slots being IMA, they bring their own funding and they don't have to have the parent command foot the bill for a lot of the cost (per diem, lodging ect).

                          I don't remember the site but NG/USAR Soldiers can apply for them online.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: MOS options for JAG Officers

                            Originally posted by RedLeg View Post
                            They do and those positions are usually easier to get as a USAR Soldier as many of them are coded as IMA slots. With the slots being IMA, they bring their own funding and they don't have to have the parent command foot the bill for a lot of the cost (per diem, lodging ect).

                            I don't remember the site but NG/USAR Soldiers can apply for them online.
                            Are you referring to something other than the GKO Tour of Duty site?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: MOS options for JAG Officers

                              Originally posted by Polo08816 View Post
                              Are you referring to something other than the GKO Tour of Duty site?
                              Found it by looking on the HRC site and the volunteer for a tour page. Most want medical or engineer officers but there were other openings.

                              Comment

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