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  • NGB Timeline

    My application packet has been submitted to NGB, and I was told by my recruiter that the Board would be meeting this month (I understand they only meet ever so often, as needed). My recruiter also told me it should be about 90 days before I hear something. Assuming that the Board does meet this month to review my packet, is this timeline accurate in anyone's experience? And once I do hear something, assuming it is positive, what is the typical timeline for being commissioned and beginning training?

    Ideally, I had my hopes of beginning DCC at the next training session, June 8, 2014. As my application process has been dragging on (going on 13 months now), this seems less and less likely. Even if the Board does review me this month, should I continue to hold out hope for starting this June, or just forget about it and look to the next training groups? For all I know, the June 8 group may already be full. The group that begins after that looks like it would have me in Charlottesville in the heart of winter 2014/15 - not exactly ideal for someone from the deep south, but it is what it is.

    Thanks in advance for any input.

  • #2
    I would treat the timeline the recruiter gave you as an educated guess. NGB is not exactly a Swiss clock. If all the appropriate people are in their offices and reviewing that type of file on the right day, it could be a 30-day turnaround. You never know. Once you are federally and state recognized, that's it. You're commissioned. You just show up for drill the next month. No ceremony, no nothin'. What state are you from? I'm from Alabama, and I had to do JAOBC in the February course. It was so cold that our Camelbacks froze solid during PT at 0400 in the mornings. That sucked, but it really wasn't a bad course otherwise.

    It's possible that you'd get into the June class, but it's more realistic to expect October or even February '15. Not only do you have to worry about spaces in the class, but also the state's funding levels, who else they have to send to the course, etc. October starts a new fiscal year, so funding considerations are different. Frankly, though, they can't even put you in a reservation until you're commissioned and in-processed at the unit. Fall/winter is not a bad time to be in Charlottesville, VA. Fort Benning in June would be far more miserable than Virginia in January, I promise you. The snakes are hibernating in the winter, and you can see the feral pigs from further away when the underbrush has died back a little. Plus, the mosquitoes and biting flies have mostly gone dormant in the cold weather, too.

    Be physically fit when you show up to the course, too. Preferably closer to a 300 on the PT test than to a 180. Not that the course is that grueling, but it's so much easier to not be playing catch-up. Start doing pushups, situps, and running now.

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    • #3
      Thanks - I believe I have been state recognized (LA), and the federal recognition is the last step (all according to recruiter, but this is a general recruiter, not a JAG specialty recruiter, so who knows). That is a good point with the funding levels - coupled with the available space for trying to get in a class at the last minute, my hopes of starting in June are quickly evaporating. Oh well. If I was unable to begin training until later this fall or even next winter, would I still begin monthly drill once commissioned, even if that happens several months before my training?

      Fortunately all the other lawyers in my office are either JAG or retired JAG, so I have no problems with flexibility - but would still like to begin as soon as possible. My wife and infant son are tentatively planning on coming with me to the Charlottesville phase and the late summer/fall would be a better time of year for them to be there, though we're a little on the fence after reading this forum - that is probably a topic for a later time though.

      I've been training off and on since I started applying. I consistently hit about a 220 on the PT, but my training has been pretty stagnant for the last few months. I'll have to kick it up a notch as I get closer. Thanks for the advice.

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      • #4
        Is your wife a full-time mother? Several folks in my OBC class had their spouses with them for the Charlottesville phase, but keep in mind you'll be living in a hotel for several weeks. Some of the spouses were fine with that, but some of them were cabin-fevered by the time OBC ended and wished they'd stayed home. I had a 2 y/o and an infant when I went, and my wife stayed with them rather than coming to C'ville, but she was also employed full time. They came to visit for a week over spring break (my wife's a teacher). She was a military kid, though, so she was emotionally equipped to handle my being away for three months.

        You would, indeed, drill with no training whatsoever. I went to drill from August to February and basically just watched other people do their jobs and tried to absorb knowledge. I was unfit for any real tasks at that point. People understand that lieutenants are clueless. If your other office members are JAGs, put on your uniform at the office one day and have them look you over. I walked in my first drill and pretty much immediately looked like an idiot because my bootlaces weren't tucked in and my beret looked like a third grader put it on me. Figure out what unit you'll be in and get the appropriate shoulder patch when you're buying your uniform. Get your officemates to teach you how/whom to salute, how to stand in various positions (attention, at ease, parade rest, etc.), and how to report to your SJA when you arrive at that first drill. Now that you can have your uniform sewn (instead of velcro patches), go ahead and get your uniform all sewn together. If you live near an active duty Army installation, the seamstress on post will know how to do it. If not, get your officemates to show you how it should all go together so you can tell the seamstress.

        You WILL, in some way, shape, or form look like an idiot at some point during your career as a lieutenant, but it's best to keep that to a minimum.

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        • #5
          I had a little ceremony when I swore in. The State JA did the honors. Shook my hand on a Wednesday and said see you this Saturday, so civilian clothes for first Drill. Most JAs Drill 3-8 months before going to JAOBC, you WILL be clueless during these Drills and after JAOBC recognize how many mistakes you made. Don't sweet it. Read as much as you can about uniform wear, customs, and rank online. Then have you fellow JAs help you out. I'm with SabreKahn, Fort Benning is a special type of Hell in the summer. But for this horrible winter, DCC in February is probably the way to go (if you have any choice in the matter), then DCC in June as a second choice. I would wear the Velcro patches until DCC, then have them sewn on at Ranger Joes. I couldn't bring my family to C-Ville, but now that I look back I wouldn't have wanted them there the whole time. You need to spend time with your classmates and exploring all the great food venues in C-Ville, I mean time on your studies.

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