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In this post, I discuss the administrative law block and week 8 of the Army’s JAG School.

administrative law

Photo by Fort Meade P.A. is licensed under CC 2.0. This content uses referral links.

Week 8 of the Army’s JAG School is now complete, and we are currently working through our last major academic block of instruction. We have just two more full weeks of class plus a half-week the week of graduation.

Administrative Law and Week 8 Classes

On Monday morning of this week, we took our exam over operations and international law. Then in the afternoon we had a few briefings over some other aspects of operations and international law that are not testable. The faculty simply thought they would be beneficial for us to know.

On Tuesday, we started administrative law, our last major academic block of instruction—though we have a few more legal assistance issues to cover. Administrative law is a fairly large body of the law with which judge advocates must regularly interact.

This week we covered topics such as administrative investigations—often known as 15-6 investigations because of the Army Regulation that governs them—administrative separations, reprimands, and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)—though the final topic heavily overlaps with legal assistance.

This is a particularly important block of instruction for me as a member of the National Guard. The National Guard rarely conducts courts-martial, so service members that are separated for misconduct are almost always done so through the administrative process.

Administrative law is still a very important area of the law for active duty members, however, as they also separate the vast majority of their soldiers administratively. Even though the option of courts-martial is much more readily available to members of the active component, administrative separations are much simpler and easier and are therefore usually the preferred method of separations for most non-serious infractions. No one is court-martialed, for example, for failing a PT test. They are generally administratively separated, usually with an honorable discharge.

Determining financial liability for losses is also an important part of administrative law and is a matter of great importance to the entire Army. As a member of the National Guard, I have already had the opportunity to experience the ubiquity of Financial Liability Investigations of Property Loss—or FLIPLs—as commanders are forced to account for equipment used by those who only work one weekend a month, two weeks per year.

Sports

It is a tradition at the JAG School for the students and faculty to engaged in athletic competitions that resemble the competitive environment of college intramural sports. The traditional competitions are ultimate Frisbee, ultimate or flag football, and softball.

The student/faculty football game was cancelled this year because of inclement weather earlier in the semester—though there is still a scheduled football game between the JAOBC students and the graduate students. (The graduate students are those at the JAG School, usually majors from all service branches, earning an LLM in Military Law.)

This week, we played the faculty in ultimate Frisbee. I had never seen this game played before, and so it was interesting to watch. It’s kind of like football but played with a Frisbee. The faculty was very good at this game, and we were beaten pretty badly. I’ve seen them playing during the lunch break, so it appears they practice a lot.

Next Week

Next week we continue to work through the administrative law block. We will have our test toward the middle of the week and then continue to work through some legal assistance topics that we have left over, as we have already covered some aspects of legal assistance earlier in the course.

I provide a more expansive account of my experience at the Army JAG School in my book The JAG School Survival Guide: Succeeding at the Army’s Judge Advocate Officer Basic Course.

The views and opinions expressed in this post are the author’s own and do not reflect the official policy or position of the United States Army, the National Guard Bureau, the Arkansas National Guard, the Department of Defense, or the United States Government.


See also:

Week 7 of the Army JAG School
Week 9 of the Army JAG School

Categories: Military

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