The National Guard is a dual state and federal military force, having both state and federal military missions. Its unique state mission places its National Guard members under the command of the state governor, while federal missions place them under the leadership of the President. Members of the National Guard most often serve under the control of their governor while training for their unit's federal mission - the unique mission each unit performs when mobilized for active duty service as a Reserve Component (RC) unit. When necessary, the governor may call forth National Guard members in response to natural disasters, man-made disasters or attacks, and to provide security and assistance to the local population.
Each state has different positions and needs for Judge Advocates. If a vacant position exists in a state and you are selected to fill that position, you may serve in a wide variety of positions such as a staff attorney for the Joint Force Headquarters-State, a Brigade Judge Advocate, a Command Judge Advocate to a Special Forces unit, a contracts attorney, a prosecutor, or a trial defense attorney in our newly created Trial Defense Service. In your federal status, you may deploy in support of U.S. military operations overseas or domestically in support of Homeland Defense. The unique civilian/military experiences that National Guard Judge Advocates bring to the table are invaluable to these units and missions.
Training requirements. Both Active Component (AC) and RC Judge Advocates must complete 18 consecutive weeks (unless portions are waived or bifurcated as discussed below) of U.S. Army officer and military legal training. The training consists of 1.5 weeks of initial officer training at Fort Lee, Va.; 10.5 weeks of military legal training at the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School in Charlottesville, Va.; and six weeks of basic U.S. Army officer leadership training at Fort Benning, Ga. Those with prior commissioned service may have the Fort Benning phase of training waived, and Reserve Component JAs may also bifurcate (split) the training phases between Charlottesville and Fort Benning for good cause. All training must be completed within one year of appointment unless a waiver is approved allowing for an extended training completion timeline.
Candidates. To be appointed as a National Guard Judge Advocate, you must be a licensed attorney, complete the application process, be approved for U.S. Army RC JAGC service by The U.S. Army Judge Advocate General (TJAG), and be appointed by the state. If a position is available within the state you desire to serve, you will interview with a Judge Advocate from within that state. If the state JAGC personnel determine you would be a valuable asset to it Corps, your application packet (go to "Join JAG (Recruiting)" link at www.jagcnet.army.mil) will go before a RC Accession Board at the Office of The Judge Advocate General (OTJAG). If you are approved for service in the RC JAGC, you will receive an approval letter and your packet will then be considered by a Federal Recognition Board within the state and if approved, you will be appointed in that state's National Guard.
Pre-qualified candidates. If you received a letter from the U.S. Army JAGC stating that you were pre-qualified for service as a RC Judge Advocate, you must be a licensed attorney and complete an abbreviated application process. If a position is available within the state you desire to serve, you will interview with a Judge Advocate from within that state. If the state JAGC personnel determine you would be a valuable asset to its Corps, your packet is not required to go before a RC JAGC Accession Board if your application is processed within one year of the pre-qualified notification letter. You must still be considered by a Federal Recognition Board within the state and if approved, you will be appointed in that state's National Guard.
Benefits. Along with receiving federal service benefits, many states offer additional benefits to its National Guard members. These additional benefits may include anything from home loan benefits to cost-reduced or free college tuition. Some states offer their own recruiting incentives as well. For National Guard Judge Advocates, because of state service requirements, some states require that you be barred in the state in which you serve while other states may waive that requirement.
You can click the link of the state in which you're interested in serving on the side bar. Most links will provide you with that state's National Guard JAGC organizational email address. The JA contacts within the state can provide you with any further information regarding service in the Army National Guard JAGC. If you do not see the state listed in which you are interested in serving, please click the link for "NGB-JA Recruiting".
Thank you for your interest in the Army National Guard Judge Advocate General's Corps!