Wednesday, April 11, 2018

A to Z Challenge - J is for Judge Advocate General (JAG)

Judge advocates are attorneys who perform legal duties while serving in the US Armed Forces. They serve as judges in military courts, as well as prosecutors and defense attorneys in court-martial (military criminal) proceedings.

They are officers, and recruits must attend Officer Candidate School, similar to basic training, before they can serve in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, or Coast Guard.  Because the Uniform Code of Military Justice is different from civilian law in many respects, a judge advocate undergoes an orientation and then education in Military Law.

Besides prosecuting, defending, and presiding over courts-martial, military attorneys advise commanders on issues involving many areas of law, including the law of war, the rules of engagement, other operational law issues, government contract law, administrative law, labor law, environmental law, international law, claims against the government (such as the Federal Tort Claims Act), and information law (such as the Freedom of Information Act).

Military attorneys also advise individual service members, military retirees, and their families regarding personal civil legal problems they may have, including drafting wills, avoiding creditors, and reviewing leases.

They practice in military, state, and federal courts. A judge advocate attorney does not need to be licensed to practice law in the state in which he or she practices because they are part of a separate, military system of justice.

Along with completing the educational and licensing requirements of the legal profession, you must also be able to meet the same standards as any prospective officer:

-You must be a citizen of the United States.
-You must be able to pass a security clearance.
-You must start your studies so that you will be licensed to practice law and ready for entry into active duty before you are the age of 42 years (35 years for the Air Force).
-You must meet all the physical fitness requirements for your chosen branch of the military.

What's next for K?
K is for K-Ration.  What's a K-Ration?  Are there different types?  In which branch of military service will you find them?  Would YOU eat one?  Come back tomorrow and find out!


  1. I only know JAG from the TV show and I can never remember what it stands for :) I suspect it's not a very accurate representation ;).
    Tasha's Thinkings - Movie Monsters

    1. Well, now you know it stands for Judge Advocate General! I've met a few and they've all been very good attorneys.

  2. Like Natasha above, I've only come across this in TV shows so anything I "know" about it is probably wrong

    1. True. Television isn't known for 100% accurate portrayals.

  3. Curious, why the different age for air force?

    1. I'm curious too but I really don't know. Good question!

  4. This is reminding me of that TV show JAG, which others have mentioned. I used to enjoy that show.