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married with a kid - should I join?

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  • married with a kid - should I join?

    I have never been able to kick the idea of serving in the JAG, even if only part-time. I called the recruiter's office today and was told that, if I was accepted, I would not see my family during the initial 6 weeks (more akin to basic training) and for the 10.5 weeks of JAG school, it was likely I would see them only on weekends.

    Are there any young parents who have done this who can talk to me? I just want to know if it would be a good idea or not, and what it was like for you, spending that much time away from your spouse and child.

  • #2
    Pretty accurate answer by your recruiter.

    Old guy parent with younger kids and husband that just finished up my JA training. Your six weeks is at Fort Benning, GA. Fort Benning is a special type of hell in the summer. It is dorm living (2/room) but with separate showers (its a dump). You will have all your weekends off, but don't plan on seeing your family unless training falls on a holiday. It is just too difficult to work the flights out without that third day. The training itself think basic training light so be in shape and within the weight limit when you so up. As you are already an officer you can pretty much take anything with you to DCC (except alcohol) so you'll have your lap top and cell phone. Fort Benning's website has a DCC (Direct Commission Course) page - look for Echo Company 3-11. There is also a Facebook page search for Echo Company, 3-11 IN, Direct Commission Course.

    The Charlottesville, VA is 11 weeks is 6-7 hours a day of power point law school. No playing hide the ball like regular law school, instead its designed to stuff you head full of new legal knowledge. You have your own room, shower, and weekday maid service -- think regular hotel room. You have the weekends off and if you pay the difference (which is not much) your family can stay with you the whole time or visit on one or more occasions. I would not recommend that they stay the entire 11 weeks but visit once or twice.


    • #3
      If your wife/kids want to come for the Charlottesville phase, and they don't mind being crammed into a hotel room with you for that long as you get up at 0500 and come home late from "mandatory fun," then I'd say bring them along. There were several times I wished my family was there on the weekends. On the other hand, my wife came up for a week and was bored out of her mind most of the time. Two kids in a one bedroom suite is pretty much a disaster, and if you have more than two the hotel won't allow it.

      Skype and cell phones make the time away easier. Make sure your spouse is on board, though. My wife grew up in a military household, so she was emotionally prepared for temporary single parenting (as much as she could be). We are also pretty non-co-dependent with a really stable marriage. It was tough, no doubt, but plenty of Soldiers have survived much worse.