Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Newly Accepted JAG Reserves

Good Afternoon! Recently accepted into JAG Reserves and w newjag1702/24/17
No questions, but congratulations. Hindsight being 20/20 I w kramer71602/24/17
I had a promising screener interview but I got medically dis dharamsala02/24/17
What was your medical issue if you dont mind sharing? And di newjag1702/26/17
ABORT ABORT ABORT anonattempt03/08/17
I take anti-depressants. dharamsala03/08/17
I was offered Army JAG but declined to accept, which I kicke trollfeeder02/24/17
His post says JAG "Reserve" t3success02/25/17
Army will recruit for regular Army and reserves at the same trollfeeder02/25/17
Thanks all for the Congrats! JAG was always something I was newjag1702/25/17
What did you say in the interview as to why you wanted to be t3success02/25/17
So you have a full time job too? What is it? How much of you perkinwarbeck02/25/17
First: During interview and my personal statement, I was tot newjag1702/25/17
I was a JAG in the Army Reserve for 11 yrs, got out in 2013. porochi02/28/17
Hi Porochi: Thanks for your posting--curious about the "c newjag1703/01/17
In a nutshell every Army unit has a certain number of positi majorkong03/01/17
Interesting! That makes sense--So it sounds as if you reach newjag1703/02/17
Can't really speak to JAG specifically as that wasn't my fie majorkong03/02/17
MAJ Kong is right about career progression. In my JAG unit porochi03/02/17
Porichi: Thank you so much for such a detailed posting--i newjag1703/04/17
I do. I'm proud of my service. But it wasn't what I expecte porochi03/07/17
Did you know of any attorneys in the reserve who signed on f bankofmouse03/08/17
There are tons of civilian attorneys who are in reserves/nat tom_foolery03/08/17
Porochi: Seriously, thank you so much for the detailed pe newjag1703/10/17
I was also accepted in the Dec 16 board as a reservist. I w data03/22/17
You guys provided some really nice advice. I got accepted in antonjart03/22/17
I know a bit about this. Once you are through with training data03/22/17
Thank you, this is reassuring! antonjart03/22/17
When I was in JAGCNET (Army JAG's intranet site) listed mobi porochi03/28/17
Good Evening All: First off, congrats Data! Well as I exp newjag1703/28/17
I took the OPAT a few weeks ago. It was surprisingly easy. data03/28/17
Awesome, Data: I downloaded all of the Opat material and too newjag1703/28/17
Good Evening All: Passed my OPAT this afternoon which was newjag1703/30/17
Congratulations on passing! I would agree that the shuttle data03/30/17
Thanks, Data! Everything you said about the shuttle was righ newjag1703/30/17
You'll be an Officer so it's Branch, not MOS. Your Branch is porochi03/30/17
All good to know Porochi! Thanks! Yep Im definitely a milita newjag1703/31/17
Oh and just out of curiosity, how are you supposed to refer newjag1704/01/17
By their rank. Private PFC Specialist Corporal If th majorkong04/01/17
WO-1 = Mister or Miss CWO-2 and higher = Chief porochi04/02/17
Chief is acceptable in informal situations (similar to calli majorkong04/03/17
You're right about the nomenclature. I was a USAR JA so almo porochi04/04/17
Good Evening All: I submitted my huge "hard-copy" packet newjag1704/18/17
Did he say whether his deployments were voluntary or if he w data04/19/17
Hi Data: That info is totally consistent with what I have newjag1704/19/17
My USAR JAG unit was involuntarily mobilized twice while I w porochi04/19/17

newjag17 (Feb 24, 2017 - 4:55 pm)

Good Afternoon!

Recently accepted into JAG Reserves and would be more than happy to answer any questions regarding application process and the often frustrating lack of accurate information on the web posted by people.

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kramer716 (Feb 24, 2017 - 5:26 pm)

No questions, but congratulations. Hindsight being 20/20 I wish I would have tried to go the JAG route. Good luck to you.

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dharamsala (Feb 24, 2017 - 5:37 pm)

I had a promising screener interview but I got medically disqualified.

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newjag17 (Feb 26, 2017 - 2:59 pm)

What was your medical issue if you dont mind sharing? And did you attempt a waiver?

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anonattempt (Mar 8, 2017 - 11:18 am)

ABORT ABORT ABORT

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dharamsala (Mar 8, 2017 - 6:16 pm)

I take anti-depressants.

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trollfeeder (Feb 24, 2017 - 8:06 pm)

I was offered Army JAG but declined to accept, which I kicked myself for until I found a good job.

Did you get it through oci? I remember it was an interview, and thenot the offer came a few weeks later. Are you going active right away?

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t3success (Feb 25, 2017 - 7:53 am)

His post says JAG "Reserve"

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trollfeeder (Feb 25, 2017 - 9:09 am)

Army will recruit for regular Army and reserves at the same time. Some lso's will offer active duty to reserves right off the bat.

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newjag17 (Feb 25, 2017 - 12:28 pm)

Thanks all for the Congrats! JAG was always something I was interested in--I seriously considered it about three different times but really liked what I was doing in civilian world--DA and an Adjunct Prof at a college.

I initially made the Alternate List posted in late Dec 2016 then got elevated to Primary a few weeks ago. No prior military exp but a ton of litigation exp as a Senior DA. Processing once accepted takes months--earliest training component would be next Jan for me! Processing is paperwork, medical, and a new physical test OPAT.

Oh and unlike a lot of applicants, I just applied to Reserves. Many apply to both AD and Reserves so when you see final Acceptance lists, theres a lot of double named listed so Acceptance rates are pretty low since same applicants are occupying coveted slots on both lists. (I had seen posts suggesting JAG competition wasnt that high--thats def not true at least currently)

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t3success (Feb 25, 2017 - 5:58 pm)

What did you say in the interview as to why you wanted to be a JAG?

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perkinwarbeck (Feb 25, 2017 - 6:04 pm)

So you have a full time job too? What is it? How much of your time do you expect this to take up? I wonder if it could be an option for me to do along side my Fed Agency job. I'm 33 so still under the age cap for a few years.

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newjag17 (Feb 25, 2017 - 6:34 pm)

First: During interview and my personal statement, I was totally honest: I have always been committed to public service and serving something higher than myself. I said that I thought I could apply my skills to assisting the military, both its members and the institution itself. My FSO asked why I didnt pursue AD and again I was honest: I was really divided between JAG and becoming a State prosecutor and not having a desire to relocate, opted against AD at that time but was still always drawn to JAG service hence my path to Reserves. He seemed very satisfied with that answer.

As to other question, Im a full-time State prosecutor, and I talked to several Reserve JAGs who said that Govt. Attorneys seem to have an easier time balancing JAG/Civilian gigs. Also, I learned that the opportunities in JAG are pretty interesting in that the more you want to take on, the more you can. As to age, not a factor since Im 42 and was accepted with an age waiver. Only thing about applying older is if you cannot complete 20 years in by 62, you must opt out of retirement (pension not benefits) which I had no problem doing since I wasn't joining for the pension. I had seen a lot of diff. posts about age so thought Id share that aspect.

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porochi (Feb 28, 2017 - 8:48 pm)

I was a JAG in the Army Reserve for 11 yrs, got out in 2013. Even Reserve JAG can become a big time commitment, esp. the longer you stay in. The Army wants to see career movement, so don't think you can camp out in the same Reserve unit in your hometown until retirement. After a few years in your first unit, you'll need to move up and out. And in the Reserves it's up to you to find those slots. That means a lot of soldiers at Company grade level, CPT, and above, will have to change units, change jobs and find themselves driving, flying, etc. hundreds of miles each drill weekend to drill at some unit far from home. And don't forget Active Duty time, Annual Training, Active Duty for Training, etc., etc. All in all, Reserve JAG duty can translate into a major time suck if you want to stay in for 20 yrs. and retire. After all the training in fascinating subjects like the Law of War, Operational Law and various Field Exercises of all stripes, what I ended up doing, for real so-called JA practice, probably 85% of the time was drafting wills for old military retirees taking advantage of their lifetime benefit of free legal services. I got out once the shine wore off and it started to become a pain in the ass.

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newjag17 (Mar 1, 2017 - 11:56 am)

Hi Porochi:

Thanks for your posting--curious about the "change units, change jobs" and "up to you to find those slots". Having no prior military experience, can you expand and elaborate on all that for me (and others) with as much detail as you'd care to share?
My goal in posting here was to share and receive as much info as possible about the JAG experience, and it sounds like there is wealth of info you have.
Thanks!

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majorkong (Mar 1, 2017 - 6:57 pm)

In a nutshell every Army unit has a certain number of positions that they can man, and each one of these positions is designated by a soldiers job type (MOS if enlisted, Branch if commissioned) and by Rank. Typically, under the regulations, they don't want people filling slots that they are not authorized to fill either by rank or job. When I was in the rule was you could serve in a slot that was either 2 grades above or one below your current rank, so long as you were MOS or Branch qualified for said position.

This isn't really a big deal when you are a lower enlisted soldier or a junior officer in a big field in the reserves, like say quartermaster for instance (the Army Reserves is mostly a support role, very few line combat units in the reserves, so more paper pushers and bullet counters, less trigger pullers). However, if your in a smaller job field, like say JAG, once you pick up rank beyond CPT its going to be increasingly difficult to find a unit that A) has a MAJ or above slot for a JAG officer, AND B) has that slot currently unfilled. Unit politics can also play a roll in all of this because unit commanders have the authority to decline your request to fill a slot on their unit roster, even if your perfectly qualified for it.

When I was in, I knew several MAJ's and LTC's who drilled with unit's half way across the country from their homes of record, just because it was the nearest unit they could get a slot with in their rank and branch. Most of them lost money once you factored in airfare and hotel expenses for the weekend.

ETA: I should also add that there is a way to drill with a unit that you are not assigned to for a certain number of battle assemblies per FY, or there was. However, this practice is generally disfavored as it will probably reflect negatively when it comes time for your rater to compile your annual OER (Officer Evaluation Report)

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newjag17 (Mar 2, 2017 - 12:36 pm)

Interesting! That makes sense--So it sounds as if you reach the fork in the road between advancement and having to drill in a distant unit, the issue will arise unless you happen to luck out with a close one.

Any insight/info on JAG work-life as a Reservist?

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majorkong (Mar 2, 2017 - 1:45 pm)

Can't really speak to JAG specifically as that wasn't my field when I was in. However, I think it all depends on the needs of your unit and your own professional goals. When I was in it was at the height of the GWOT tempo, and I held a very in demand MOS. Balancing any kind of civilian life/career was impossible at that time because I was constantly either A) Deployed, B) Assigned TDY to support training for other units deploying, or C) On orders to complete various schools that the Army requires at various stages of your career.

Now that the mission tempo has cooled down somewhat I have to imagine things are better and more stable for reservists, but of course that can all change at a moments notice if we decide to ramp up our involvement again in certain hot spots.

If you enjoy being a reserve JAG, but you find yourself dealing with some of the issues I mentioned in the previous post, you might want to look into transferring to your state's national guard when you become eligible for such a move. There are downsides to this as well, (specifically there is much less opportunity to move up in rank). However, many state's also have some additional benefits and protections for state employees (I'm assuming you qualify as such as a DA) who are also guard soldiers, plus you'll at least be able to stay within the confines of your state on drill weekends.

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porochi (Mar 2, 2017 - 9:25 pm)

MAJ Kong is right about career progression. In my JAG unit we had 1 Major leave to drill at a unit in New Orleans, nearly 1000 miles away. Another left for a unit in Las Vegas, even further, and most MAJ and above had to travel at least 200-300 miles and incur lodging expenses on their own dime to drill at other units. Why? Because once you hit Sr. Captain level, typically after 7-8 yrs in, you need to find a higher graded slot with more responsibility so you can get the next promotion, to Major. And it's the same for the next ranks, LTC and higher. On the Active side of the house, officer promotion and movement are generated for you, you move when they say to move and they pay for it. But on the Reserves, you are your career manager and in the small branches like JAG you'll have to hunt and peck for the next slot and compete for it. And the higher you go, the fewer the slots and more competition. And if you don't get promoted, 2x passover, you're out. And it happens, especially now with the operational tempo down and the military still in sequestration, meaning capped funding. So if you want to make it a career, be prepared to fight for scraps. Units on the east coast have more opportunities locally, esp. JAG (JA in military parlance, Judge Advocate). More people, larger urban areas so more units. I was way out west where there were fewer units and even fewer JA slots. It was hard to find that next slot if you couldn't travel far due to family obligations, work, etc. Most got out after a few years. The unemployed or underemployed could make it a career. Oddly, the worst lawyers actually made promotion. The good ones were tied down with civilian jobs and couldn't take the time away to travel halfway across the country and drill with some remote unit. But an out of work atty. sure could.

As far as work life balance, the work itself, esp. the training, can be very interesting, at least I found it so. I loved going to the JAG School on the campus of UVA in Charlottesville, VA. High speed training and many interesting short courses you can take there. But real life JA work, at least in my unit, was mostly providing legal assistance to old military retirees who wanted to re-do their will or get an advanced directive. There were some separation boards where I was either the prosecutor (called the Recorder) or a quasi-judge, called Legal Advisor. They're somewhat like a Courts Martial but instead of convicting a soldier and sending him to Ft. Leavenworth they'd boot him out of the Army with an Other Than Honorable (OTH) or General Discharge. Those could be quite interesting, when they came around, although most of the cases were soldiers who popped hot (dirty UA) during a random drug test. I did board out one officer who refused to mobilize with his unit to Iraq. Bastard should have been courts martialed but in the reserves that is complicated, UCMJ jurisdiction can be altogether quite different on the Reserve side of the house as compared to the Active duty side. You'll learn how and why, too long to explain here. But suffice it to say, if you want to play like Tom Cruise and courts martial Jack Nicholson, go active, of if you get in a Reserve Unit and land a JA slot there, volunteer to mobilize and go active for a stint, otherwise you won't get any courts martial experience on the reserve side. They board them, which is not nearly as much fun. And s***heads who do stuff like miss movement (scared to go to Iraq, in a garrison unit, I'm still very mad about that one) just get a General Discharge and get sent packing. But that's a very rare bird indeed, if your reserve JA life is anything like mine you'll write wills, POA's and living wills for some retired SGT or MSG, who is seeking to update his estate plan for the umpteenth time, because, hey, its free. Enjoy.

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newjag17 (Mar 4, 2017 - 3:31 pm)

Porichi:

Thank you so much for such a detailed posting--it's exactly that type of info that is so hard to come by on the web. JAG was and is something I've always been interested in--I totally assumed that the most "holistic" JAG experience would have required AD but comes with downsides too and always just a personal choice. Honestly at this point, I am already having to waive off military retirement since I can't get 20 years in before 62 which is totally fine with me. Would you say that IF somebody wanted the experience both training and actual JAG experience even if not "Few Good Men"-level, you would recommend it all things being equal and in your opinion? For me, I spend a huge amount of time in Court already as a prosecutor so I know for me, I'm certainly not going to feel deprived if I dont get assigned to true court-martials, etc. If they happen, fine but not really expecting it which also is fine. As I told them in my interview, I actually can enjoy any legal assignment (Legal Services, wills, divorces, admin) since I have always been drawn to JAG. If at end of initial 8yrs is it? I cannot find any local Units etc based upon the issues you described, I would definitely re-evaluate. It sounds though that overall you would recommend it providing one has realistic expectations on both the daily work and challenges with promotion?

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porochi (Mar 7, 2017 - 11:45 pm)

I do. I'm proud of my service. But it wasn't what I expected, I felt like a bench warmer who never got in the game. Reserve JA duty turned out to be almost all Legal Assistance doing estate planning and advising Private Snuffy on how to go about getting a divorce. I'd go to the JAG School for training and learn sexy stuff like the Law of War, Operational Law, Trial Advocacy (moot courts martials) then return to my Reserve unit to write more wills and advise more Private Snuffy's on how to divorce their baby mamma. Wash and repeat. After 11 years I got out. But if your employer is tolerant of your military service, volunteer for Active Duty mobilizations. Mostly it's going to be CONUS (continental U.S. posts) filling in at an active duty JAG shop, but there you can get real world Active Duty JA experience. Military Justice, Operational Law, etc. But be prepared, often the USAR mobilized JA augmentees get parked in Legal Assistance. Doing what? Writing wills for retired MSG's and advising Private Snuffy on how to divorce his baby mamma. If you volunteer for Active Duty, volunteer for at least a 6 month mobilization. That's long enough to get a taste of the other JAG shops, military justice (courts martials) Administrative Law, Operational Law. It is harder these days to find those mobilizations though, the operational tempo is down, I mean, we no longer have 160,000 troops in Iraq and 100,000 more in Afghanistan. So the overseas slots are taken by Active Duty JA's and there's not as much need for Reserve JA augmentees. So you might find yourself stuck doing the estate planning merry go round for a long time. Wearing the uniform though, is an honor. That is worth it. Good luck.

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bankofmouse (Mar 8, 2017 - 11:09 am)

Did you know of any attorneys in the reserve who signed on for non-JAG officer careers? I'm interested in joining reserve but not terribly interested in being a JAG.

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tom_foolery (Mar 8, 2017 - 1:19 pm)

There are tons of civilian attorneys who are in reserves/national guard who are in non JAG jobs. Would be a great segue to get out of law. Lots of great opportunities.

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newjag17 (Mar 10, 2017 - 4:21 pm)

Porochi:

Seriously, thank you so much for the detailed perspective! Based upon a few Reserve JA's I chatted with online during the application process, they all said that if a Reservist wants the true, complete JAG experience that comes with Active Duty, it's all about mobilizing for an extended period. For example, this one Reserve JA who is a full-time law professor indicated to me that a colleague of his was able to mobilize into a Trial Counsel (prosecution) position at Ft. Hood in Texas for a year assignment. Sounds great IF you could swing that with your full-time gig plus domestic situation (house, family, etc). I like what you said though about the training and honor of service irrespective of the actual "sexiness" of the work in typical Reserve roles.
As far as the processing part for those interested, I recently took my medical and vision tests--I have to say the processing, appointments, and assorted logistics were very well done. After JARO sets it up online for those accepted into JAG, an applicant goes through DODMets site completing a medical survey and contacting the assigned optometrist and medical location to take your exam. I did both of mine the same day--the vision part was at a really nice private Optical shop. The staff was super friendly although they cannot and will not provide you with any specific information about your test results, the military thresholds, etc. They make it clear they are there to conduct the assessment then e-mail the results to the DOD. As far as my vision testing, I absolutely have to wear contacts/glasses without which I am like a bat but corrected to about 20/20 or so, therefore, I will be interested to see if I need a waiver. My FSO, whom I have maintained contact with since I interviewed to kind of check-in in the event I had questions, indicated that vision waivers are pretty common in JAG especially since we are not trying to fly a plane. After the vision test, I went to one of those places that seems to do emergency walk-in care, drug testing etc. The staff was super nice, the facility very organized. Testing including basic vitals, a hearing test, etc although nothing invasive like blood. I had to take with me the detailed medical survey from DodMets site.
As of today, all of the exam info has been loaded onto the DodMERB site which is the primary Review Board that will provide a decision within the next couple of weeks. Apparently, the decision can be "Qualified", "Needs additional records or testing", or "Disqualified" meaning which you would need a waiver which depends upon a myriad of factors--the site even says that asking "What If" scenarios or how many waivers are granted, etc is pointless since it is almost impossible to generalize given the differences in branches, jobs, conditions, etc.
Signing out for now but let me know if you have any questions and wish me luck!

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data (Mar 22, 2017 - 9:38 am)

I was also accepted in the Dec 16 board as a reservist. I would echo almost everything in this thread so far. The things that newjag17 said about the application process are all true and my response to interview questions were very similar to his. The FSO was very happy to hear that I specifically WANTED to not be AD so that I could also have a civilian career and not move around every two years.

Regarding porochi's description of what JA Reservist life / career management is like, just about everything he has said is similar to what I have heard from the 4-5 JAG reservists I have talked to since being accepted. I think the only exception may be that since I am based on the east coast, there are more local units to join rather than having to deal with long travel. The one thing I would say I am confused about is the cost of travel and lodging. I was told that if you end up joining a unit that is more than 100 miles away, you would be provided with mileage reimbursement and lodging on battle assembly weekends. Is this not true?

Regarding the screening / in-processing: my experience so far has echoed newjag17's. My opto visit was almost identical to his (bad vision included, but should be within the limit), and my DoDMERB was similar in that it was at an urgent care facility that also does immigrant medical screening tests. Unfortunately it took all day, but it got the process moving along.

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antonjart (Mar 22, 2017 - 2:26 pm)

You guys provided some really nice advice. I got accepted into the RC as well, but would love much to get into Active Duty ASAP. I was told about numerous billets available for RC JAGs to pick up. Do you guys know anything about this?

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data (Mar 22, 2017 - 4:17 pm)

I know a bit about this. Once you are through with training, there are many opportunities to mobilize as a RC JAG. There are many, and they range in duration from 2 weeks to 1 year. the locations are all over the world. The majority are in the US or Germany, and a few are in combat zones.

My understanding is that you simply select one that you would like to do and apply / volunteer. There are also supposedly other lists that get circulated within the units asking for volunteers.

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antonjart (Mar 22, 2017 - 10:34 pm)

Thank you, this is reassuring!

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porochi (Mar 28, 2017 - 12:29 am)

When I was in JAGCNET (Army JAG's intranet site) listed mobilization opportunities. Don't know if they still do. Iraq/Afghanistan were pretty active back then and there were lots of deployment opportunities. The operational tempo has slowed considerably but with our new Commander in Chief, expect it to increase.

Iraq, circa 2006, became a jobs program for many Army Reservists. I spent many a drill weekend (now called Battle Assembly) listening to fellow officers salivate about their next 04-05 deployment, what with hazard duty pay, family separation allowance, BAQ/BAH, tax free income, damn, they were making bank. It was disturbing on a lot of levels. Eisenhower was right.

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newjag17 (Mar 28, 2017 - 12:56 am)

Good Evening All:

First off, congrats Data! Well as I expected I received an initial DQ for my vision from DodMerb. In no way was I surprised, however, my corrected vision is 20/20 with no other issues. I have never had any optical-related problems and never did LASIK (too many horror stories from people). So...I immediately contacted both my FSO (who is great btw) as well as JARO (whome I have found to be very responsive and helpful despite being swamped I am sure). I attempted googling every combination of "JAG Vision Waiver" imaginable and encountered the same contradictory information I seemed to find when first researching JAG Reserves. My FSO (who is a Major) told me not to worry at all--he indicated vision waivers were not uncommon at all in JAG. JARO was a bit more vague since they had not received the actual exam results from DODMerb. Apparently, the initial waiver process is handled by JARO--I had assumed I had to write a plea for one or something but not so at least for now. It sounds like JARO receives the exam results, reviews it themselves, then submits a waiver request to DodMerb on the applicant's behalf. I did notice on the DodMerb site, my status had changed from the disheartening "Disqualified" to a more positive "Awaiting Waiver Submission".
My FSO also said not to stress too much and just let it "run its course". I plan on finishing up my paperwork and submitting within the next week and a half plus am planning to go this Wednesday to the OPAT--I will post about that once completed. I also will keep everyone updated on my Vision Waiver Hunt.

As far as post-training opportunities, one of my mentors was telling me that if a Reserve JAG wanted to travel and deploy, there were definitely opportunities. I have no idea how one would manage that holding a full-time gig, but I suppose that would depend on the individual. He told me that one of his classmates took an assignment as a Trial Counsel (prosecutor) for a year at Ft. Hood--I would imagine that translates into Active Duty.

You guys send me positive vibes, and I'll keep posting as things develop!

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data (Mar 28, 2017 - 1:29 pm)

I took the OPAT a few weeks ago. It was surprisingly easy. I was slightly intimidated by it just because it includes mostly exercises that nobody really does on a regular basis, but the minimum requirements for JAG are the lowest, and they are basically just checking that you are fit enough for an office job. When I went, I was one of 6-7 people doing it (most were kids in high school enlisting), but everyone there qualified at the highest level even though only one guy needed to.

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newjag17 (Mar 28, 2017 - 4:30 pm)

Awesome, Data: I downloaded all of the Opat material and took it with me to Crossfit--my coach ran me thru it and said I should ace it so good to know your experience.

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newjag17 (Mar 30, 2017 - 1:06 am)

Good Evening All:

Passed my OPAT this afternoon which was great to get out of the way. I showed up at the local recruiting office and the personnel there were very friendly which made sense given they are assigned to "Recruiting." Like DATA, the other guy there to take OPAT was in high school. It was kind of strange doing most of the tasks in the actual office--the first task was throwing the mini-medicine ball which created an entertaining and bizarre moment when the other guy threw it and instead of catching it, this Sgt. just let it bounce where it smashed the hell out of his colleague's picture frame and came close to doing the same thing to the laptop monitor. The next task was the standing long jump followed by the dead-lift then shuttle running. The whole exam has levels designated by color depending on what your MOS is. For example, JAG is MOS 27A and classified as "Gold Level" which is moderate physical demands. The next level up is Grey followed by Black (the most physically demanding jobs). While I aced the first three tasks on Black-level, I over-sprinted on my shuttles mistakenly thinking the running was a lot less than what it was.
I ended up fading near the end and cleared the Gold-standard but would not have qualified at the higher level. Advice to anybody: PACE yourself haha and also you may want to prep a bit if you are not used to doing shuttles. Basically, they set up two cones and have you interval run with the intervals continuing to shorten to where you have to run faster and have less rest between. I believe you have to clear something like 36 shuttles if I was reading the scorecard correctly. After the exam, they processed the high school guy pretty quickly, but JAG had its own demands so the Sgt. had to send my results in an e-mail and follow the JAG-established reporting protocol.
Overall, not bad at all--I return to my vision waiver waiting!

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data (Mar 30, 2017 - 11:25 am)

Congratulations on passing! I would agree that the shuttle run was somewhat difficult to gauge, and I am a very strong runner. The problem is that it is difficult to know exactly how fast the next level is going to be and balancing speed with how much you exert yourself. Once you fall behind, it can be really hard to catch back up, and if you go too fast, you're going to start getting fatigued earlier than you should. By the time I was done (the instructor just ended our test once we meet the highest qualification), I was struggling to sprint, turn around, and get ready for the next interval. I was clearly running fast enough, but the turn and brief stop really throws and interesting wrench into it.

Good luck with your waiver processing.

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newjag17 (Mar 30, 2017 - 7:17 pm)

Thanks, Data! Everything you said about the shuttle was right on--please let me and everyone else know how your processing goes!
Oh btw everyone, my JAG mentor (what I call a fairly new Reservist I ran into online prior to applying whom has been a source of incredible information and support) provided me with some interesting insight that I certainly didn't know. Apparently, before you are able to accept a JAG Reserve commission you must have been "accepted" by a Unit. It sounds almost like pledging a fraternity--he indicated that there is absolutely no guarantee you will have a slot at a Unit close to your home residence or even home state. For instance, he lives in Virginia and is attached to a Florida Unit which really surprised me. He indicated that for new JAGs, we apparently need a TPU and are not yet qualified for "embedded" duty I suppose which entails more experience and autonomous functioning. He screen-shotted me a sample of opportunities he had access to since he is in JAG. There are opportunities all over the United States, and they designate what kind of gig it is--Trial Counsel, Admin Attorney, etc. Anyway, he said that JAG picks up his airfare and supplies lodgings, but he has to pay for his rental car every-time he goes to Florida.
Again, the more information I learn the better and will keep passing it along!

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porochi (Mar 30, 2017 - 11:28 pm)

You'll be an Officer so it's Branch, not MOS. Your Branch is Judge Advocate (JA). Technically yes, your MOS is 27A but don't refer to your MOS if you're on Officer. A sure fire way to reveal you're a newbie. You'll learn more about customs and protocol when you're in. Like never walk with an open umbrella when in uniform, scares the horses. Ask a MSG or above why, they'll know. And if you're at a dining in or other military reception, don't leave until the highest ranking officer has left. I just spared you from some embarrassing moments I didn't learn of until I was in. Oh, and never salute or call an NCO sir or maam.

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newjag17 (Mar 31, 2017 - 10:28 am)

All good to know Porochi! Thanks! Yep Im definitely a military newbie so appreciate all of that type of info.
No more "MOS" references fron me:)

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newjag17 (Apr 1, 2017 - 1:11 pm)

Oh and just out of curiosity, how are you supposed to refer to an NCO if not sir or ma'am?

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majorkong (Apr 1, 2017 - 3:30 pm)

By their rank.

Private
PFC
Specialist
Corporal
If the NCO is an E-5 thru E-8* (SGT, SSG, SFC, or MSG) just Sergeant will usually suffice unless you're trying to be overly formal or courteous.

*If they are a 1SG you refer to them by that title, First Sergeant

Sergeant Major or Command Sergeant Major, if they are in such a role.

WO's and CWO's are Mister or Miss/Mrs.

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porochi (Apr 2, 2017 - 11:54 pm)

WO-1 = Mister or Miss

CWO-2 and higher = Chief

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majorkong (Apr 3, 2017 - 12:12 am)

Chief is acceptable in informal situations (similar to calling a 1SG "Top"), but Mr./Mrs./Ms. is the technically correct nomenclature. Most tech CWO's probably prefer being called chief, but I know many aviation CWO's who will correct those that address them as chief.

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porochi (Apr 4, 2017 - 12:54 am)

You're right about the nomenclature. I was a USAR JA so almost all my interaction with warrants was with the ones in the JAG corps, there all but WO-1 went by Chief.

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newjag17 (Apr 18, 2017 - 7:41 pm)

Good Evening All:

I submitted my huge "hard-copy" packet to JARO and had the post-office put every layer of protection on it possible--tracking, Priority, you name it! It arrived safely and have now done everything I can on my side--just have to wait out the Vision Waiver.

One of the non-attys I work with is in the Reserves, and he put me in touch with a JAG Reservist who has been in since 2004. I had a 30 min conversation with him yesterday that was very enlightening. He said back when he joined in 2004, JAG was much easier to get into since many JAG prospects didn't like the idea of deployment--he said he had deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan during his time. He said with the decrease in overseas operations, more people want to join so applications have surged for both AD and Reserve slots.

He said that it is really interesting work--I asked him about some of the postings I had read about JAGS not really doing any meaningful legal work to which he laughed and said he didn't know what units they were attached to, but there was more than enough to occupy anybody from what he has and does experience.

He mentioned the initial training is fun and that 1LTs would start off (he is a Major and supervises a Reserve JAG Unit I believe he said) doing Legal Assistance but also there were Separations, Admin Hearings on disputed evaluations, etc. He indicated that there were all sorts of opportunities for "mobilizations" and being embedded within a Unit.
He said that in his current role, he easily spends time during the week working on JAG-related projects but can submit payment requests for at least some of the work.
He had nothing but positive things to say and offered me a chance to come visit their facility which I plan to do.

As always, I try to obtain as much information as possible about JAG Reserves to pass along.

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data (Apr 19, 2017 - 11:45 am)

Did he say whether his deployments were voluntary or if he was deployed as part of a unit / called to go specifically? From everyone I have talked to, I have yet to hear of a JAG Reservist who was told he had to go anywhere; they all have gone on their own when the time was right for them, their career, and their families. Trying to figure out how realistic this is.

One of the people I have met along the process has been in JAG reserves for about 10 years now. Since then, he hasn't gone anywhere for more than 2-3 weeks, and Germany was the furthest he has bee, although he was in Iraq and Afghanistan in the early 2000s before being commissioned, when he was in the NG.

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newjag17 (Apr 19, 2017 - 7:23 pm)

Hi Data:

That info is totally consistent with what I have heard--the Major I talked to this week did deploy, but I didn't specifically ask him if that was voluntary or not. The current impression I have received is that we would have to have another huge multi-theatre type conflict (War on Terrorism) before it came to involuntary deployment of Reserve JAGS. Again, if anyone on here has other information, feel free to share. What I have been consistently told by my main JAG mentor is that even if deployments pick up over the next few months or years, there are generally more than enough voluntary JAG Reserves wanting to deploy such that it would not be an issue.

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porochi (Apr 19, 2017 - 8:02 pm)

My USAR JAG unit was involuntarily mobilized twice while I was in (2002 - 2013). Both times we "back-filled" an active duty Staff Judge Advocate's office that was deploying with their Division, so both mobilizations were CONUS where we ran an active duty JAG shop for a year. But even then, our Commander called for volunteers within our unit because there were fewer JAG shop positions to fill than there were JA's in my unit.

During the 11 years I was in the Army Reserve JAG Corps I didn't know of a single JA who was mobilized involuntarily and who could not have had a volunteer take his/her place if the soldier did not want to deploy for whatever reason. Back then we had over 100,000 soldiers deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan. That is not true today, so the operational tempo is way down, but it is ticking up from what I understand. So there could be more deployment opportunities in the future.

When my USAR JAG unit was not deployed we handled occasional Reserve Separation Boards and were attached to the Staff Judge Advocate's office at a nearby active Army post where we saw overflow legal assistance clients on drill weekends, which was mostly doing wills and providing basic legal advice, it was much like working in a legal aid clinic. If you get in, hunt for those Active Duty mobilization opportunities so you can get "real-world" JAG experience, but your family life and civilian job will take a hit. It's a trade-off. But do it if you can.

And you'll need those Active Duty mobilizations to stay competitive for promotion, especially if you want to stay in 20+ years and get promoted to LTC and above. Shoot, now even to make Major you're competing against JA's who have mobilization duty in their OMPF (Official Military Personnel File).

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