Accountability and The Leader Army as Important Elements for Soldier Confidence

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The NCO corps has always been a source of leadership and guidance for lower enlisted soldiers. Soldiers trust NCOs in the field, which is why they are being incorporated into the military courts. Many soldiers fear “JAG” (Judge Advocate General) because they believe JAG will take their rank, pay, or incarcerate them. However, what many don’t know is that JAG also represents soldiers in military court, and who better to assist them with their legal matters than their paralegal NCOs? In this writing, I will inform you about the qualifications and job acquisition process for JAG officers and NCO paralegals, the benefits they receive from their jobs, and the role they play in assisting soldiers with their military court matters.

JAG is an organization that operates like a court system and works for the government. The practitioners, who are given the title Judge Advocates, are licensed and qualified attorneys representing the Army and Army soldiers in military legal matters. To become a JAG officer, one must meet the basic requirements:

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• U.S. citizenship is a requirement.

• Meet the requirements for a security clearance

• Successfully complete the physical standard and the army physical fitness test.

• Graduation from an ABA-accredited law school is a requirement.

Applicant must be a member of a federal court’s bar.

Training to become a JAG officer consists of two steps. The first step is completing a 6-week course at DCOC (Direct Commissioned Officers Course) in Fort. Benning, GA. This is followed by a 10.5-week course in Charlottesville, known as TJAGLCS (The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center). Upon completion of these courses, these officers serve as full-time or part-time practitioners for military courts. JAG officers can be promoted within six to twelve months from their commission date.”

The MOS of a paralegal specialist in the military is 27D. Their role involves providing support to judges, judge advocates, and unit commanders in legal and judicial affairs. The responsibilities of a 27D include:

Providing paralegal support to commanders.

• Preparing and presenting legal documents in court-martial and article 15 actions

• The line of duty determinations are being reviewed.

• Providing assistance with family law matters such as power of attorney, wills, and separation decrees.

The requirements to become a 27D are as follows:

• The minimum required ASVAB (CL) score is 105.

A clean record, apart from minor civil offenses.

• Absence of prior negative mental health issues

• Meet the physical requirements and also meet the height/weight requirements

The training program includes the following:

• 10 weeks of introductory training

• AIT (Advanced Individual Training) lasts for 10 weeks.

Soldiers receive compensation for housing, medical care, food, special pay, and 30 days of paid vacation. They gain knowledge in legal terminology, army judicial process interviewing, preparation of legal documents, and interviewing witnesses. During AIT, paralegals earn credits towards the American Bar Association or their bachelor’s degree, acquiring 10 semester hours upon completion of AIT.

NCO paralegals, similar to JAG officers, are currently undergoing courses to obtain their degree. They possess the most educated MOS in the ARMY, with many already having their degree and enlisting to pay off student loans and eventually access the officer corps as a judge advocate. These NCO’s have also undergone the same soldier training as their peers, thus understanding the daily life of basic soldiering. While they cannot offer legal advice to clients or friends, they can share their knowledge of regulations. Additionally, NCO’s assist JAG officers by providing legal documents in court and offering insight into Army customs and standards from lower levels that may be unfamiliar to them. Moreover, NCO paralegals are frequently utilized as pay officers to compensate foreign residents who have experienced injuries, loss of life, or property damage caused by American service members.

When combined, JAG officers and NCO paralegals form a powerful and harmonious team. The officer possesses knowledge of the law while the NCO understands the soldier’s perspective. Soldiers often seek guidance from the NCO due to their shared background, but it is important for them to stand their ground and provide information about regulations or direct them to a JAG officer. The Army provides specific roles for commissioned and enlisted soldiers to protect and prosecute fellow soldiers in the military, recognizing that military law differs from civilian law.

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Accountability and The Leader Army as Important Elements for Soldier Confidence. (2022, Oct 07). Retrieved from

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