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  • Options in the National Guard?/JAG aspirations?

    Hello Everyone,

    I am posting on here because I unfortunately can't get a straight answer elsewhere online or from my local recruiter. I am a Junior in college and have 72 credit hours currently (90 after this semester). I want to at some point pursue a career as an Army JAG (maybe get lucky and have some financial aid? Law school unfortunately isn't cheap). My recruiter is telling me that I should enlist as an E-3 in the Army Reserves and then drop a JAG packet my senior year of college. Not that I'm against the enlisted route, but I feel that this is a long way around to reach my goal. Is there any way that I can complete OCS over the summer and be on some sort of inactive status so I can complete law school and go straight into JAG? If not, what is the best way for me to become an officer in the National Guard? Even if it still doesn't work out, I'd love to serve my state and country. Thanks for your help!

    V/R,

    Kyle

  • #2
    Re: Options in the National Guard?/JAG aspirations?

    You cant apply to become a JAG officer until you have a JD and have passed the bar (any state). Enlisting now could have benefits of both financial and professional natures, although that is not a requirement to become a JAG later.

    What are your goals for service? Serving as a JAG is significantly different from serving as a basic branch officer, and significantly different from serving as an enlisted Soldier. They each have their place, and each are honorable paths, and many of us end up on one path then another. Let's clarify your own goals before we give advice as to the "best" path.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Options in the National Guard?/JAG aspirations?

      Originally posted by Kilotango View Post
      Hello Everyone,

      I am posting on here because I unfortunately can't get a straight answer elsewhere online or from my local recruiter. I am a Junior in college and have 72 credit hours currently (90 after this semester). I want to at some point pursue a career as an Army JAG (maybe get lucky and have some financial aid? Law school unfortunately isn't cheap). My recruiter is telling me that I should enlist as an E-3 in the Army Reserves and then drop a JAG packet my senior year of college. Not that I'm against the enlisted route, but I feel that this is a long way around to reach my goal. Is there any way that I can complete OCS over the summer and be on some sort of inactive status so I can complete law school and go straight into JAG? If not, what is the best way for me to become an officer in the National Guard? Even if it still doesn't work out, I'd love to serve my state and country. Thanks for your help!

      V/R,

      Kyle
      As usual LTC Ritchie is spot on in his advice. There is no guaranteed JAG route in any component of the Army. If you are seeking to serve and gain the educational benefits I would recommend enlisting as a 27D Paralegal. You will gain some valuable legal experience and make the contacts necessary for the recommendations and such from the attorneys. You will also gain networking from the variety of Lawyers that serve as reserve JAGS ranging from judges, prosecutors and guys in private practice.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Options in the National Guard?/JAG aspirations?

        Enlisting now may give you some decent educational benefit throughout the rest of your collegiate career.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Options in the National Guard?/JAG aspirations?

          I honestly want to be an officer first. My career goal in the long run is to be a lawyer, and any way to accelerate that would be wonderful but I definitely want to serve. National Guard sounded like the best of both worlds since I could train with my unit while still in law school. The G.I bill would help pay for law school while I was drilling in the guard correct? I don't mean to sound like a freeloader but I'm trying to avoid student loans like the plague... I've been fortunate so far to pay for my undergrad without any debt. I have an option from the local Marine Corps OSO who is offering a slot in the PLC-Law program where I would be allowed to finish law school then immediately join the Marine Corps JAG. That being said, I have one grandfather who was a Ranger and the other an MP. Army has a special place in my family and I would rather stick to Army than the Corps.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Options in the National Guard?/JAG aspirations?

            Not to be anti-sentimental, but that PLC Law program seems to be just what you are looking for. Unfortunately, we don't have anything like it. Remember, you could always transfer to the Army later on, after you become a Naval/Marine JAG.

            Interestingly, my boss (the state OSM), attended law school while serving as a 11A in the Guard, so I guess it would be silly to say it can't be done. Does ROTC have a presence at the college you are attending?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Options in the National Guard?/JAG aspirations?

              Originally posted by Mongoose772 View Post
              Not to be anti-sentimental, but that PLC Law program seems to be just what you are looking for. Unfortunately, we don't have anything like it. Remember, you could always transfer to the Army later on, after you become a Naval/Marine JAG.

              Interestingly, my boss (the state OSM), attended law school while serving as a 11A in the Guard, so I guess it would be silly to say it can't be done. Does ROTC have a presence at the college you are attending?
              They do, but it was my understanding that I had already completed too many credits (Junior standing or 72hrs) and would not be able to complete the training necessary to utilize the ROTC component. I was Air Force ROTC actually but found out the Air Force's JAG through ROTC program involved picking a career and then applying. Not quite what I had in mind.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Options in the National Guard?/JAG aspirations?

                Why don't you join as OCS enlist option (when get the 90hrs) and go to the next available OCS class? Then you can branch IN or whatever you like then complete your degree, go to law school, pass the bar, then turn in a JAG packet. It's just a Re-Appointment packet from IN to JAG. I just completed one for someone here in our state and that is exactly what he did. He went through college and drilled as 11B for a while then did OCS, branched 11A, continued going to school and now is boarding for JAG. I think you have already made up your mind on what you want to do and that's go to OCS! You will be able to get some monetary benefits too being a Guard officer that will help with school.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Options in the National Guard?/JAG aspirations?

                  Originally posted by Kilotango View Post
                  They do, but it was my understanding that I had already completed too many credits (Junior standing or 72hrs) and would not be able to complete the training necessary to utilize the ROTC component. I was Air Force ROTC actually but found out the Air Force's JAG through ROTC program involved picking a career and then applying. Not quite what I had in mind.
                  As long as you give the program two years, you can do ROTC as an undergrad, grad, or Law student.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Options in the National Guard?/JAG aspirations?

                    Originally posted by Mongoose772 View Post
                    Remember, you could always transfer to the Army later on, after you become a Naval/Marine JAG.
                    The way you say this indicates that it is a guarantee or something. This is incredibly hard and its far from what I would call a "transfer"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Options in the National Guard?/JAG aspirations?

                      I suppose the devil is always in the details, and I guess when I say, "later on", I didn't mean to have it imply "20 minutes" later on. While a JAG packet is a absolute pain in the a$$, I would expect a fully credentialed, well performing JAG from another service to be courted quite briskly by any state with a JAG vacancy.
                      Of course, he may struggle to separate prior to completing service obligations, but afterwards I would suspect apples to apples it's easier to take a PS sister service JAG, than a law school graduate with no PS. What do you think?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Options in the National Guard?/JAG aspirations?

                        So, I heard something today that confused me. A recruiter for National Guard in my state posted on another forum that you can qualify for OCS in the National Guard if you have 60+ hours. But then later on it made it sound like that OCS would not be recognized if I were to transfer to active duty. Is there a difference in the two OCS's?

                        Secondly, If I do what MedRecruiter said above, I would have to enlist as an 11B and then apply for OCS to become an 11A? I can't just shoot for an 11A right out of the gate? Also, is there any MOS that would be a better prep to drop a JAG Packet than others? I hate to keep asking you guys questions but you're really the only people I've found that will shoot me straight. (Any of you in NC?)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Options in the National Guard?/JAG aspirations?

                          Originally posted by Mongoose772 View Post
                          I suppose the devil is always in the details, and I guess when I say, "later on", I didn't mean to have it imply "20 minutes" later on. While a JAG packet is a absolute pain in the a$$, I would expect a fully credentialed, well performing JAG from another service to be courted quite briskly by any state with a JAG vacancy.
                          Of course, he may struggle to separate prior to completing service obligations, but afterwards I would suspect apples to apples it's easier to take a PS sister service JAG, than a law school graduate with no PS. What do you think?
                          Expectations are like @ssh*les; everyone has one. Some states are so inbred that being competent and fully credentialed means nothing when someone is looking to appoint his sub-85 IQ friend into a particular position.

                          Originally posted by MedRecruiter View Post
                          Why don't you join as OCS enlist option (when get the 90hrs) and go to the next available OCS class? Then you can branch IN or whatever you like then complete your degree, go to law school, pass the bar, then turn in a JAG packet. It's just a Re-Appointment packet from IN to JAG. I just completed one for someone here in our state and that is exactly what he did. He went through college and drilled as 11B for a while then did OCS, branched 11A, continued going to school and now is boarding for JAG. I think you have already made up your mind on what you want to do and that's go to OCS! You will be able to get some monetary benefits too being a Guard officer that will help with school.
                          That is an awesome plan. Go 11A and then JAG. Best of both worlds.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Options in the National Guard?/JAG aspirations?

                            Originally posted by Kilotango View Post
                            So, I heard something today that confused me. A recruiter for National Guard in my state posted on another forum that you can qualify for OCS in the National Guard if you have 60+ hours. But then later on it made it sound like that OCS would not be recognized if I were to transfer to active duty. Is there a difference in the two OCS's?

                            Secondly, If I do what MedRecruiter said above, I would have to enlist as an 11B and then apply for OCS to become an 11A? I can't just shoot for an 11A right out of the gate? Also, is there any MOS that would be a better prep to drop a JAG Packet than others? I hate to keep asking you guys questions but you're really the only people I've found that will shoot me straight. (Any of you in NC?)
                            Your questions have been answered a number of times on the forum, but I will give you the quick version without the explanations. 1. Bottom line, ignore the 60 college credit thing. You will need a minimum of 90 to assess as an O9S, and honestly I recommend completing your education prior to attending OCS unless you plan on messing up your college progression with attendance for that and BOLC. 2. If you accept a commission with the National Guard or Army Reserve you essentially WILL NOT be "transfering" to active duty...at LEAST not in a Basic Branch. If you eventually graduate Law School and pass your Bar, well...all bets are off. The Army did have a program similar to the Marine Corps one you mentioned (I asked my JAG boss about it today actually), but no one was certain it still exsisted. 3. Federal OCS, Accelerated NG OCS, and Traditional NG OCS all meet the same exact standards. If you've been to one, it's as good as any other. The difficulty in AD isn't because of what OCS was attended. 4. You do NOT need to enlist as an 11B, and JAG is it's own specialty branch, so there is no "better" basic branch regarding an eventual JAG accession.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Options in the National Guard?/JAG aspirations?

                              Originally posted by Mongoose772 View Post
                              Your questions have been answered a number of times on the forum, but I will give you the quick version without the explanations. 1. Bottom line, ignore the 60 college credit thing. You will need a minimum of 90 to assess as an O9S, and honestly I recommend completing your education prior to attending OCS unless you plan on messing up your college progression with attendance for that and BOLC. 2. If you accept a commission with the National Guard or Army Reserve you essentially WILL NOT be "transfering" to active duty...at LEAST not in a Basic Branch. If you eventually graduate Law School and pass your Bar, well...all bets are off. The Army did have a program similar to the Marine Corps one you mentioned (I asked my JAG boss about it today actually), but no one was certain it still exsisted. 3. Federal OCS, Accelerated NG OCS, and Traditional NG OCS all meet the same exact standards. If you've been to one, it's as good as any other. The difficulty in AD isn't because of what OCS was attended. 4. You do NOT need to enlist as an 11B, and JAG is it's own specialty branch, so there is no "better" basic branch regarding an eventual JAG accession.
                              Exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you.

                              Comment

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