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Army JAG Questions

What is Army JAG?

Judge Advocate General or JAG for short is a group in the Army that is made up of lawyers to assist soldiers in legal situations. The JAG position was founded on July 29th, 1775 by George Washington and serves enlisted military soldiers with things such as court martial, filling out paperwork, and other services the soldier may need that involves military issues. The position of a JAG officer is appointed by the president and is subject to the advice and consent of the senate. If a soldier finds the need to obtain help from a JAG Lawyer, he/she may need to consult the Experts before proceeding.

If a soldier receives a DUI off post and it is still in court proceedings, can the commanding officer still court martial the soldier for the DUI?

The commanding officer can make the decision to court martial the soldier for the DUI even if it happened off base due to the soldier being considered on duty 24 hours a day 7 days a week. If the case is closed then the commanding officer may have a harder time bringing court martial charges against the soldier, but if the case is still open then the commanding officer can make the decision to court martial the soldier.

Can a soldier use JAG to file separation and divorce papers for a soldier and what should the soon to be former spouse do to fight against this in court?

Military JAG Lawyers cannot represent soldiers in court regarding a separation or divorce. They can help the soldier fill the paperwork out, but cannot go into court and represent the soldier. The soldier is more than likely using the JAG as a threat. The soon to be former spouse may retain a divorce lawyer in his/her state and file a response and have the lawyer represent them in court.

Can a military wife contact a JAG Lawyer to assist in a divorce and if not what should the military wife do if the soldier is verbally and mentally abusive even when he/she is deployed to Iraq?

Military JAG Lawyers do not assist in filing the divorce papers due to that being a civil issue. The spouse should contact the commander of the soldier and report the actions to them. If the spouse cannot get a hold of the lawyer then he/she may need to contact the rear element commander of the unit in which the soldier is attached to get a hold of the battalion commander in Iraq. If there is no rear element commander on the base then the spouse will need to contact the base commanding general. Once the spouse contacts the proper people, they will then address the issues with the soldier and proceed from there.

If a spouse of a military soldier wants to file charges against the spouse and his/her partner for adultery, would the spouse go to JAG or what would he/she need to do?

Adultery is a crime under the UMJC and is prosecutable. The spouse that would like to file the charges would need to go to the commander of their spouse’s unit, and if they cannot do this then they would need to proceed in contacting the battalion commander or higher to file the complaint. Going to JAG may not do any good if he/she cannot contact the unit commander. The military will proceed in doing an investigation into the accusations and gather evidence to either support the charges or clear the soldier of the charges.

Soldiers and their family may need the help of a JAG Lawyer while they are enlisted in the military. If this need arises, the soldier may not know what questions to ask or what steps to take to either defend themselves or file various types of paperwork. The soldier may need to seek advice to figure out what exactly a JAG Lawyer can or can’t do or where a JAG Lawyer has authority to represent the soldier. The Experts may be able to advise the soldier in regards to a JAG Lawyer.
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