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ROTC and JAG Corps

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:17 am
by SodaHead
I'm currently a second-year UG @ UT-Austin and will be entering the fall semester as junior.

If I want to eventually enter the JAG Corps, would I be well-advised to join ROTC for my final two years; even if I am no longer eligible to receive scholarship money?

Or is there a simpler route that allows me to join ROTC while in LS?

Re: ROTC and JAG Corps

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:04 am
by 4LTsPointingNorth
ROTC isn't a pipeline into the JAG Corps.

Doing 2 years of ROTC and accepting a commission will only delay you becoming a JAG because you will have to complete your initial military service obligation before being able to attend law school.

You can direct commission into JAG after law school assuming you meet the requirements and get hired.

Re: ROTC and JAG Corps

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:07 am
by Wipfelder
4LTsPointingNorth wrote:ROTC isn't a pipeline into the JAG Corps.

Doing 2 years of ROTC and accepting a commission will only delay you becoming a JAG because you will have to complete your initial military service obligation before being able to attend law school.

You can direct commission into JAG after law school assuming you meet the requirements and get hired.


I don't think this is exactly the case. I saw lots of people applying for the FLEP program before their initial service obligation expired. I'd recommend commissioning, especially if you aren't getting scholarship for ROTC, because then you'll be 100% GI Bill/YR eligible after a 3-year commitment. If you chose to commission, you'd get to:

1. See if you liked the military.
2. Go to any law school in the country (that accepts you) for free.
3. Have possibly 2 shots at going JAG (FLEP, and then applying normally)

Re: ROTC and JAG Corps

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:30 pm
by Fivedham
I did four years of ROTC and commissioned out of undergrad before going to law school and eventually getting selected for a JA direct commission. (I served in the Guard in a non-JAG branch.) There are pros and cons of doing both. Pros are that you'll get a better exposure to the military and the "normal" part of the Army, and you might get scholarship assistance as part of ROTC. Cons are that ROTC isn't necessary to become a JA; they still make most people, even prior service officers, go to the direct commission course before JAG school.

You could do educational delay, provided that you get into law school before you commission. But you run the risk of not getting selected as a JAG when you're a 3L, then your legal career will get totally sidetracked when you have to serve in a basic branch for at least six years. I knew an AD officer to whom that happened and she was NOT a happy officer.

Or you could do what I did and split the baby; do ROTC and commission into a reserve component basic branch, serve part time during law school, then compete for a JAG commission after you pass the bar. The JAG board selection rate for prior service officers is much higher than the normal off-the-street pool.