Serving in the Air Force as a legal officer you will serve in the Judge Advocate Generals Office for the Air Force. Working in the Air Force Judge Advocate Generals Corps you will likely work in a legal office that has from three to ten Judge Advocates, or lawyers, working in it. You will work to advise Air force personnel on legal matters, and be the primary counsel on issues and cases dealing with military personnel. You will work as both the prosecution and the defense on cases that deal with Air Force and Military Personnel. Judge Advocate General Officers are legal attorneys that act to represent the Base Commander in issues regarding the Uniform Code of Military Justice. While this is similar in some respects to Civilian law, there are many notable differences.
As a working Air Force JAG you will start immediately working with people on a wide variety of issues, both legal and criminal. You will be a prime person involved in litigation, from simple issues to serious crimes including violent crime, rape and even murder. You will serve at the convening authority’s pleasure, and most of the time you will have as convening authority your base commander. On occasion, you may be required to travel into the field and assume JAG responsibilities on TAD basis in the field, or on the battlefield. You will represent your client, whether you serve on the defense or on the prosecution. When you represent the prosecution then the client you represent is the convening authority, whomever they may be.
Training for Judge Advocate General candidates involve people who are already practicing attorneys, having passed the Bar somewhere in the United States. After passing the civilian bar exam, then candidates for the JAG force in the Air Force Attend training at the JAG training facility at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. The basic JAG course lasts approx. 8 weeks and is intensive training for military lawyers to learn the procedures and basics to becoming a legal representative for the United States Air force. After completing the JAG school in Alabama, a prospective JAG Air Force Attorney will be assigned to a JAG office somewhere in the United States, or to an overseas Air Force JAG office.