The Judge Advocate General's Corps also known as the "JAG Corps" or "JAG" is the legal arm of the US Navy. Today the corps consists of a worldwide organization of more than 730 Judge Advocates, 30 limited duty officers (law), 500 enlisted members and nearly 275 civilian personnel, serving under the direction of the Judge Advocate General of the Navy.
The headquarters of the Judge Advocate General's Corps of the United States Department of the Navy is located at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C..
, the Continental Congress
enacted the Articles of Conduct, governing the ships and men of the Continental Navy
. However, soon thereafter, all of these ships were sold and the Navy
and Marine Corps
were disbanded. In July 1797
, Congress, after authorizing construction of six ships, enacted the Rules for Regulation of the Navy as a temporary measure. Then, in 1800
, Congress enacted a more sophisticated code adopted directly from the British Naval Code of 1749. There was little or no need for lawyers to interpret these simple codes, nor was there a need for lawyers in the uncomplicated administration of the Navy prior to the American Civil War
During the Civil War, however, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles named a young assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia to present the government's case in complicated courts-martial. Without any statutory authority, Secretary Welles gave Wilson the title of "Solicitor of the Navy Department," making him the first House counsel to the United States Navy.
By the Act of March 2, 1865, Congress authorized "the President to appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, for service during the rebellion and one year thereafter, an officer of the Navy Department to be called the 'Solicitor and Naval Judge Advocate General.'" The United States Congress maintained the billet on a year-to-year basis by amendments to the Naval Appropriations Acts. In 1870, Congress transferred the billet to a newly established Justice Department with the title of Naval Solicitor.
In 1967, Congress decided to establish the Judge Advocate General's Corps within the Department of the Navy. The legislation was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on December 8 1967, and ensured Navy lawyers' status as staff officers within the Navy, similar to physicians and chaplains.
The official insignia of the JAG Corps consists of two gold oak leaves, curving to form a semi-circle in the center of which is balanced a silver "mill rinde" [sic], In ancient France, the fer de moline, or millrind, was a symbol of equal justice for all under the law. The two counterbalancing oak leaves are identical and connote the scales upon which justice is weighed. Oak leaves denote a corps, and symbolize strength, particularly the strength of the hulls of the early American Navy, which were oak-timbered. In the milling of grains, the millrind was used to keep the stone grinding wheels an equal distance apart to provide consistency in the milling process. It, thus, symbolizes that the wheels of justice must grind exceedingly fine and exceptionally even. In the sixteenth century, this symbol was adopted in England as a symbol for lawyers.
The millrind can also be found in both the Staff Corps Officers Specialty Insignia and in the Enlisted Rating Insignia (LN Legalman).
Naval Legal Service Offices (NLSO)
- NLSO North Central Headquarters, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.
- NLSO North Central Detachment Great Lakes, Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois
- NLSO North Central Detachment Groton, Naval Submarine Base New London, Connecticut
- NLSO North Central Branch Office Newport, Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island
- NLSO North Central Branch Office Earle, Naval Weapons Station Earle, New Jersey
- NLSO North Central Branch Office Brunswick, Naval Air Station Brunswick, Maine
- NLSO Southeast, Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida
- NLSO Mayport, Naval Station Mayport, Florida
- NLSO Kings Bay, Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia
- NLSO Charleston, Naval Weapons Station Charleston, South Carolina
- NLSO Roosevelt Roads, Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, Puerto Rico
- NLSO Central, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida
- NLSO New Orleans, Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, Louisiana
- NLSO Fort Worth, Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas
- NLSO Memphis, Naval Support Activity Mid-South, Tennessee
- NLSO Gulfport, Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport, Mississippi
- NLSO Corpus Christi, Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas
Europe and Southwest Asia
Region Legal Service Offices (RLSO)
- RLSO Southeast Jacksonville, Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida
- RLSO Southeast Detachment Mayport, Naval Station Mayport, Florida
- RLSO Southeast Detachment Pensacola, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida
- RLSO Southeast Detachment Guantanamo Bay, Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba
- RLSO Southeast Detachment New Orleans, Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, Louisiana
Europe and Southwest Asia
Trial Judiciary Offices
- Northern Circuit, Washington, D.C.
- Central Circuit, Norfolk, VA
- Eastern Circuit, Camp LeJeune, NC
- Southern Circuit, Pensacola, Jacksonville, Mayport, FL
- Western Circuit, San Diego, CA; Bremerton, WA; Camp Pendleton, CA
- WESTPAC Circuit, Pearl Harbor, HI; Okinawa, Japan; Yokosuka, Japan
Judge Advocate General of the Navy
The Judge Advocate General of the Navy (JAG)
and the Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Navy (DJAG)
are appointed positions. They are both nominated by the President
and must be confirmed via majority vote by the Senate
. The JAG and DJAG are appointed to a four year term of office but they usually serve for three. The JAG and DJAG have historically been officers in the service of the Navy. However statute states that a Marine
officer can be appointed to either position as long as he meets the requirements stated in the section. By statute the JAG is appointed as a three-star vice admiral
or lieutenant general
while holding office and the DJAG is appointed as a two-star rear admiral
or a major general
. Other than age and years of military service, there is no other statute of limitations on how many times a JAG or DJAG can be renominated for appointment to that position if the President so chooses.
List of Judge Advocates General of the Navy