View Full Version : Usmc Jag

07-13-10, 01:54 PM
Hi all!

I'm new to this board. My boyfriend and I have been together 2 years, live together, and planning to get married right after law school and before TBS. He's a 2nd Lt, just finished OCS last summer before entering law school, where he is inactive reserves until he graduates and passes the bar.

I wanted to join the forum to do a little research on what to expect. I've met spouses of JAG officers from different branches, and spouses of Marines, but I have yet to talk to a Marine JAG spouse. I feel like it's a very unique situation - they're Marines first and foremost, unlike JAGs in other branches, but their MOS is very particular and has different requirements and experiences than other Marines.

If you are the spouse of a Marine JAG, I'd love to hear from you! I've got a rough idea of what to expect from TBS, then I know we would head up to Newport for the NJS, but what are the typical postings for a Marine JAG after that? I've been told they frequently will do one or two assignments where they are not practicing law - what was your experience? Did your husband/wife get deployed? For how long?

Also, he was told during OCS that he gets some amount of choice in his duty stations. Have you found this to be the case? Which are the more favored stations?

Sorry for the onslaught of questions - any and all advice is welcomed! I just especially would love to talk with a wife of a Marine JAG who has gone through this!

Sgt Leprechaun
07-13-10, 02:25 PM
This should be an interesting thread if it gets going. By all means, keep us posted, we have too few folks doing this.

Also, we'll try and get your profile changed up as soon as we can. No worries.

Oh...Welcome aboard!

07-13-10, 02:26 PM
Cate, Lep is one of the good guys. He absolutely adores Lawyers so he will take care of you.

Sgt Leprechaun
07-13-10, 02:34 PM
Ohhh, maaaaannnnn....

07-13-10, 02:40 PM
Thanks guys!

Soft spot for lawyers or not, you both would love my guy - he's the son of a Vietnam Marine (who received 3 purple hearts), and he's grown up around a bunch of retired Marines. USMC is in his blood, and he's one of the most morally centered people I've met. He'll make a great JAG, and he's already an excellent Marine.

He's doing amazingly well in school, has started a Military Law Society and now is founding a Military Law Review at his law school (if anyone's a lawyer and interested in supporting it, I'm sure he'd be thrilled to get in touch with you). His organization hosts fundraisers to send care packages to troops, and three of them ran the Miami International Triathalon as a relay to raise money for disabled vets - and they won! He's now doing a fellowship working in disabled Marine veterans rights, trying to make sure they get the benefits they're entitled to. I couldn't be more proud, and I'm glad that I'll get to be part of the USMC extended family. Life sure won't be boring on this path we've chosen!

Sgt Leprechaun
07-13-10, 02:41 PM
Wow, impressive! I certainly wish him the best.

07-13-10, 03:01 PM
your man seems to be a great guy and he has been raised a Marine so you can't go wrong. And he runs a "WORTH WHILE" event and wins. Dang I am pushing for him. Keep the faith maybe we will meet someday. I live real close to Quantico where he will go for OCS.

Gunny out

Rocky C
07-13-10, 03:59 PM
Hi all!

I'm new to this board. My boyfriend and I have been together 2 years, live together, and planning to get married right after law school and before TBS. He's a 2nd Lt, just finished OCS last summer before entering law school, where he is inactive reserves until he graduates and passes the bar.

Your From Rhode Island Now Living in Miami???
That's Great :thumbup:.
Welcome Aboard!!!

Godfuddah Rocky.

PS. Don't you Miss Cassertas Pizza and Iggys Doughboys ? :D

07-13-10, 04:12 PM
PS. Don't you Miss Cassertas Pizza and Iggys Doughboys ? :D

Oh my goodness, YES to Casertas - every couple of months I have a pizza shipped (yes, they'll ship them), but I'll have to figure out Iggy's (lived there for 15 years before leaving for college, and no idea, sorry!). I do miss Del's Lemonade and real fresh clam chowder. And Dunkin Donuts on every corner!

Lived in DC for awhile, then I followed my Marine to Florida where he's in law school, just like I'll be following him for the next 20 years or so. At least the next move (and all of them after) will be paid by the USMC.

07-13-10, 04:20 PM
I'm a JA, although I'm only a little further along than your b/f. I attended OCS last summer as well (after my 2L year) so he and I would have been there at the same time. I've since graduated law school and am studying for the bar and waiting for TBS. Is he doing a "summer fun" internship this summer? If not he should definitely apply for that next summer, as well as for the post-bar/pre-TBS internship when he gets to that point.

I'm fortunate to know a number of JA's who have been on active duty or are currently on active duty. I can answer some of the questions you asked based on what I've learned from them, although not from a spouse's point of view.

From what my JA friends who have graduated from TBS have told me, how you get your duty station assignment is largely dependent on your staff. Some classes they put all the JA's in a room with a list of available duty stations and say figure it out. If people can't agree then they resort to class rankings (i.e. the highest rank JA picks first and so on down the line). Other classes they do it just like all the other ground contracts and you submit a "dream sheet" with West Coast, East Coast or OCONUS and the staff picks the specific duty station for you. The available duty stations are generally going to be those of any other Marine Officer - Okinawa, Japan, Kaneoho Bay, HI, Camp Lejeune, NC (or the supporting air stations nearby), Camp Pendleton, CA, MCRD San Diego, CA, MCAS Miramar, CA, MCAS Yuma, AZ, 29 Palms, CA, MCRD Parris Island, SC MCAS Beaufort, SC, MCLB Albany, GA, MCB Quantico, VA or the Pentagon. There's always the possibility that some random opportunity pops up as well at a Navy base or joint command.

As far as deployments go, according to my friend who just got out of NJS and is a prosecutor out at Camp Pendleton, most of the new JA's are being told they will deploy within about a year. Although not every new JA will deploy within a year, depends some on where you are stationed. Also by the time your boyfriend graduates law school the optempo could be very different than it is today. At any rate they generally like you to get a year of military justice experience before deploying. There are also opportunities to deploy with MEUs and with the unit deployment program to Japan. The length of deployment depends on who you are attached to for the deployment. If you are attached to the regimental staff or anything higher it will likely be for an year. If you are on a MEU or attached to an infantry battalion, your deployment will likely be 6-7 months (although in some cases during OIF JA's were spending 6 months at battalion and 6 months at regiment for a total of a year).

As far as B billets go, Marine JA's are unrestricted line officers so we can hold non-legal billets (and usually are encouraged to do 1 or 2 like you said). There's one JA from my law school who has been a series commander at MCRD San Diego since he graduated NJS and has never held a legal billet. That's an example of one type of non-legal billet a JA could have. A JA could also be a platoon commander at OCS, an SPC at TBS, be a Civil Affairs Officer, Foreign Affairs Officer, or Regional Affairs Officer or right now even try out for MARSOC if one was so inclined. Occasionally a JA will also command a Headquarters and Service Company.

If you have any other questions let me know, and I can run them by some of my active duty JA friends. As far as your next step goes there's a really good blog written by a Marine JA who's at TBS right now. He gives a lot of good information about what it's like and what to expect. He also gives some really valuable information on what time he averages getting there each day and getting home, as well as how many nights a week he spends at TBS. He's also posted a link to his wife's blog on there, so you might check it out or e-mail her to get some more perspective: http://ryanshrout.blogspot.com/

Rocky C
07-13-10, 04:25 PM
Oh my goodness, YES to Casertas - every couple of months I have a pizza shipped (yes, they'll ship them), but I'll have to figure out Iggy's (lived there for 15 years before leaving for college, and no idea, sorry!). I do miss Del's Lemonade and real fresh clam chowder. And Dunkin Donuts on every corner!

Lived in DC for awhile, then I followed my Marine to Florida where he's in law school, just like I'll be following him for the next 20 years or so. At least the next move (and all of them after) will be paid by the USMC.

YES!!! Del's, Coffee Milk, Iggy's is near Scarborough Beach, ( Look at My Pictures, there is the sign ), Hot Wieners from Olneyville. The list goes on and on.

I'll stop teasing now.:D
Great to talk to someone from RI.
Good Luck to you Both.


07-13-10, 04:36 PM
Georgiadawg, many thanks! He was in A3 last summer, graduating early August, so if you were in that group I was at your graduation! Congrats on graduating law school and good luck with the bar exam (end of this month, yes? Get off the internet and study)!

He was registered for the internship program this summer at Parris Island, but funding got cut for 1Ls so he's doing a fellowship (helping a pro bono attorney who helps disabled vets) through his school instead and taking extra classes. He'll be graduating with an LLM and a JD at the same time because of it, with no extra loans. He plans on doing the USMC JA internship program next summer, and I'm hopeful he'll get put at SouthCom so he can stay with me, but I'm fully aware that you can never count on these things.

Don't know about the post-bar/pre-TBS internship as that's when we plan on getting married, and I'm not sure how happy they'd be to give him time off. The whole purpose for us doing it at that time is that it's the ONE TIME in the next 6+ years when we can be guaranteed that he's not loaded up with his commitments with law school, the bar, or the Marines for at least a few weeks.

As a JA, will you be moving as frequently throughout your career as infantry and other MOS? Multiple deployments? I'm fully prepared for moving all the time and for him to be deployed (though obviously dreading it), but I had heard that it wasn't unusual for Marine JA to get to their 3rd or so duty station at a major base and just stay there for 5+ years. Thoughts?

07-13-10, 07:47 PM
Thanks, and my fiancee would tell me the same thing about getting off the internet and studying! (Yes it's at the end of July). I was in D Co., but I had several friends in A Co., not sure what platoons though.

That sucks the internship got canceled, but I'm frankly not surprised with the budget the way it is, and him having just finished 1L. Hopefully he'll get it next year and get some fleet experience.

As far as the post-bar/pre-TBS orders go, I'm actually in the same boat. I'm getting married on 9/25, so I requested for a delayed post-bar start date so we could have a week to honeymoon and then a week to move. I'm supposed to start on 10/10, but I'm still waiting to get my orders on that. I don't know when FL gets their bar results back, but we don't get ours till late October, so I'll hopefully be on post-bar orders for about a month. We're supposed to be getting the application memo for the pre-TBS internship soon, and I'll put in orders for that when I get it. Hopefully they'll have enough money to make the post-bar internship and pre-TBS internship consecutive. I know it sounds confusing, but it's basically b/c the money for the post-bar internship comes from one set of funds while the pre-TBS money comes from another set of funds. So you have to get two different sets of orders. At any rate, all that to say that he might be able to skip the post-bar internship (or ask for a delayed start date like me) and still pick up the pre-TBS internship. We've requested Quantico so the future wife can go ahead and start looking for a job (nurse). With the wait for TBS I probably won't start until March so that would give us almost a year in Quantico. Y'all have a while though before you need to worry too much about that stuff though. It's good to start asking questions early though b/c JA's are sort of the red-headed stepchildren of the officer programs.

As far as moves during a JA's career, I can't really answer that b/c most of the JA's I know are Capt's on their first tour. I'm sure it could work out that you move every 2-3 years, but you could also probably manage your career to stay in the same place for a few years. For example, if after the first tour he took a 2-3 year billet as permanent staff at OCS, followed by a 2-3 year legal billet at Quantico or the Pentagon, you could stay in NOVA for 4-6 years. Same thing would work with MCRD Parris Island and MCAS Beaufort or MCRD San Diego and Camp Pendleton. It will just depends on what's available at the time and how well is monitor does for him. Hope this helps, now back to studying as ordered!

07-14-10, 08:02 AM
I was just wondering what is a Marine JAG? My husband works on TBS but I have never heard of a JAG. I didn't mean to just jump into ya'lls conversation like this but I saw the topic and I thought it was interesting and I'm still pretty new to the Marine Corps myself and I am trying to learn about everything especially now. Thanx and sorry again

Phantom Blooper
07-14-10, 08:06 AM
Judge Advocate General


Lawyer or Judge....:evilgrin:

07-14-10, 08:11 AM
O ok thank you sorry again

07-14-10, 08:37 AM
Gdawg- When my fiance went through TBS in early 2009 they were backed up (not as bad as now) but JAGs were getting pushed through above flight and ground contracts. With the back up here in Pcola I know they are re-designating flight contracts or holding them off, could help you get through faster :) Slide 35 .O {color:black; font-size:149%;} a:link {color:#996600 !important;} a:active {color:#3B812F !important;} a:visited {color:#AFBF39 !important;} design

07-14-10, 12:24 PM
Georgiadawg, sounds like you've got a very similar plan to ours. We plan on getting married mid/late August or the beginning of September after he takes the bar, and he also won't know until late October if he passed (but of course, he will).

Had never heard about the post-bar/pre-TBS work - that would be perfect! Any suggestions on how to apply for that? His OSO here isn't always easy to contact, and not very helpful, thus the missed internship this summer. We've lived in DC and absolutely love the area, so it would be great if he could get stationed temporarily at Quantico or the Pentagon while we wait for TBS. Ideally, we'd actually like to end up back in the DC area, though we're not opposed to any of the duty stations (though some would definitely be preferable to others). Fingers crossed the Marines send us a few places, then stick us back in NOVA indefinitely!

07-19-10, 03:55 PM
Sorry it's taken me a few days to get back to you Calindi. Marine Corps Recruiting Command (MCRC) should get in touch with him sometime in the fall about summer fun for next year and in the fall of his third year for post-bar stuff. I think they e-mailed all of us around November about it. It's best if possible to work through the OSO, but if he's not getting what he needs or hasn't heard anything by later next fall, the next step is to get in touch with the deputy SJA at MCRC who heads the whole program up or with one of the Lt's who assists him. If your b/f needs their contact info I can PM it to you. The OSO's have a lot on their plate with all the other candidates and the whole JA pipeline is a little obscure, so sometimes you do just have to go to MCRC to get what you need. From what I hear the summer fun experience is really good so hopefully he'll get to do that next year.

If you haven't seen it, here's a link to the MCRC SJA page on JA officer programs. It has FAQ's and other stuff like that: https://www.marines.usmc.mil/sja/PLCOCC_Law.htm

08-22-10, 08:55 AM
Just found this forum and had a question. Can the duty station of a JAG determine how often/long one is deployed? Is the East or West Coast more known for deployment? For example, does Lejeune deploy more Jags than Pendleton?