What is Life like for a Judge Advocate Officer?

What is Life like for a Judge Advocate Officer?


The career as a judge advocate officer can be a lucrative one indeed. Many people reading this probably are familiar with the old show JAG – which show was literally about judge advocate officers. You could say it was the military’s version of Law and Order. Though, like Law and Order, your life as a JAG will not be so overly televised.

However, you will become an expert at law. After you pass an Air Force medical evaluation, you will then be put through various law training programs. Despite what people might think, judge advocate officers actually can learn to practice almost any kind of law out there.

Here is a small list of the kind of specialties you can look forward to:


  • Criminal law
  • Government contract & commercial law
  • International law
  • Labor law
  • Operations law
  • Legal assistance
  • Medical law
  • Cyber law
  • Claims & tort litigation

As you might imagine, having the ability to wield the knowledge of the law in any of these categories is extremely appealing for a civilian life’s resume. That is if you choose to leave the Air Force in favor for a more civilian based life.  Many JAGS choose to remain lifelong soldiers, serving an illustrious career in the military and reaping the massive benefits such services can give them.

Not only will you learn any of the specialties that I mentioned above, but you will also the intricate laws that govern the air and space itself.

As the years go on, this field is going to become even more fascinating. It does not take much of an imagination to see the explosion in aerospace legal needs growing dramatically just a few years down the road from now.

With pioneers such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezo’s Blue Origins, the private space sector will be in need of experts in aerospace legalities as well. Let’s not forget about the crazy asteroid mining plans that the guys at Google are cooking up either.

If you take the private sector out of it though, there is still a growing need of good judge advocate officers in the aerospace world. Between rising global tensions, accidental downing of planes and miscommunications between militaries, a good JAG will be sorely needed.

Also, the Air Force has been doing more and more experiments with space (testing new airplanes and whatever Plane X is). This area will likely see significant economic growth in the future.

For the right person who is willing to put in the hard work and dedication it takes to learn these skills and to really obtain this knowledge, the career of JAG is a perfect fit for you.

It is at one prestigious and lucrative both military wise and in private life. It is one of the many skills that the Air Force can give you that really do transfer into non-military situations.

However, as with anything, the career of being a judge advocate officer is what you make of it. Nothing more, and nothing less.

Thanks, jkorthodontics for helping us with this post!