Can you handle the truth? Air Force JAG Corps looking for recruits

  • Published
  • By 71st Flying Training Wing
  • Staff Judge Advocate's Office
Looking for a new challenge? Need a change of pace? Maybe the answer is in the Air Force JAG Corps.

There are many reasons why an officer would want to become a Judge Advocate. As an attorney in the Air Force, a JAG officer's career is a diverse and challenging one.

A JAG officer has the ability to work with several different types of law, including criminal law or military justice, civil law, contract law, environmental law, labor and employment law and international law, just to name a few. Officers looking to pursue a career in the law while serving their country and fellow servicemembers can do so as an attorney in The Judge Advocate General's Corps.

There are several routes to becoming a JAG officer. After completing Reserve Officer Training Corps, a commissioned officer may go to law school during an approved educational delay, or a third-year law student can receive a direct appointment and attend Officer Training School.

Of particular interest to active-duty officers are the Funded Legal Education Program and the Excess Leave Program.

The FLEP is a paid legal studies program for active-duty Air Force commissioned officers. It's an assignment action and participants receive full pay, allowances and tuition. FLEP applicants must have between two and six years active duty enlisted or commissioned service by the day they begin law school and must be a captain or below the first day of law school.

The ELP is an unpaid legal studies program for Air Force officers. Participants in this program do not receive pay and allowances, but remain on active duty for retirement eligibility and benefits purposes. ELP applicants must have between two and 10 years active duty service as of the day they begin law school and must be a captain or below the first day of law school.

Both the FLEP and ELP programs require attendance at an American Bar Association approved law school. Upon graduation and admission to practice law before any state's highest court, candidates are eligible for designation as judge advocates.

Selection for both programs is competitive. To be considered for FLEP or ELP, applicants must have submitted all application forms, applied to an ABA accredited law school -- acceptance is not required at the time of application for FLEP or ELP -- received their Law School Admission Test results and completed an interview with a Staff Judge Advocate. Certain deadlines apply for each program, and interested servicemembers can read chapters 2 and 3 of AFI 51-101, Judge Advocate Accession Program, for more information.

Being a JAG in the Air Force is a challenging and rewarding experience. For more information and application materials, visit, or contact Capt. Eric Merriam at or 1-800-JAG-USAF. Individuals can also visit for FLEP and ELP details.

Interested servicemembers are also strongly encouraged to contact Maj. Rob Rushakoff, 71st FTW Staff Judge Advocate, or Capt. David Bargatze, 71st FTW Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, at 213-7404.