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Thread: Can't believe it but we might be getting back in! Need help and opinions!

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    #1

    Confused Can't believe it but we might be getting back in! Need help and opinions!

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    I haven't posted on here much but I'm struggling with a decision and I think some outside perspective from a military community would be helpful (sorry if its long)!

    My DH was active duty Army from 05-09 and in the National Guard from 09 to 11. Ultimately he decided to get out of the Army and go to law school because it was the best decision for us and our family. I was so happy with his decision to get out which is why I never thought I'd be facing a decision like this again.

    We decided that he should apply to Navy JAG as a back up since we know how hard it is to find a job as a lawyer in this economy. I found out that the acceptance rate is 4-8% for Navy JAG and while I have a lot of faith in my husband's abilities, I didn't think he'd be selected. Well of course he was which is great but now we are faced with a huge decision about whether or not to accept the commission!

    Also we thought he would have time to apply and hear back from the city district attorney's office (something else he really wants to do) before he had to make the decision about whether or not to accept the commission but as it turns out JAG wants his decision by Oct 1. I know he wants to do it but there are a lot of considerations. Here are a few of the big ones:

    First of all, we both agree that this would be a start to his law career but we agree that it would not be his whole career. The transition to civillian life was really hard on him and he is just getting comfortable being a civilian so I'm worried it will be hard on him when the time comes to get out again.

    Second, we are getting ready to start trying for a baby. The thought of being a new mom and moving away from my entire support system is stressful to say the least.

    Third, I have a great job in a pharmaceutical company that I would probably be crazy to give up. I only have my masters but I'm already on a PhD track and if I stayed with this job, I'd most likely be the primary earner for our family. I'm worried about finding a new job and I'm worried that if I choose to stay home with a new baby for a couple of years that my skills would be out of date when I decided to get back into the workforce.

    While there is a lot to consider, I know the experience in JAG would be wonderful for him and his career and I'm so proud of him for being selected in such a competitive market. I know these are things everyone probably thinks about when making the decision to join the military or not but I'd really appreciate everyone's thoughts about how to make this decision!
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    #2
    What an amazing opportunity. Stinks he can't find out about the other job first though, makes it much more difficult. We like military life so it'd be a no brainer for us, but you guys have a lot more going on it seems. Good luck with your decision! I'm not sure if it'd be worth it if he doesn't plan on doing the 16 years or whatever to retire just to get back out, but that's something you guys have to decide. Can you support your family if it takes him a while to set up a job? You still have a month to wait on the district attorney too... hopefully he'll get a call soon.
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    #3
    A pros and cons list is good but I think in this situation you may have to weigh out just how important some of those things are to you as well as how good they would be for you of course... Finding a job is hard and it sounds like he's being given a great oppurtunity for a good, stable job. Also, what makes him not want to go career? Do you think it's something that could have been unique to the Army?
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    Quote Originally Posted by *Stephanie* View Post
    What an amazing opportunity. Stinks he can't find out about the other job first though, makes it much more difficult. We like military life so it'd be a no brainer for us, but you guys have a lot more going on it seems. Good luck with your decision! I'm not sure if it'd be worth it if he doesn't plan on doing the 16 years or whatever to retire just to get back out, but that's something you guys have to decide. Can you support your family if it takes him a while to set up a job? You still have a month to wait on the district attorney too... hopefully he'll get a call soon.
    Thanks for your response! It definitly is an amazing opportunity its just hard to make such a big decision with such little time. I have been supporting us for the last 3 years so I could keep doing that but who knows how long it will take him to find a job! Hopefully we do hear back from the DA but as we know, the government isn't known for being quick to act!
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    Quote Originally Posted by HerAirmansLove View Post
    A pros and cons list is good but I think in this situation you may have to weigh out just how important some of those things are to you as well as how good they would be for you of course... Finding a job is hard and it sounds like he's being given a great oppurtunity for a good, stable job. Also, what makes him not want to go career? Do you think it's something that could have been unique to the Army?
    Yeah we should definitly try a pros and cons list, its just hard to know how to weigh each pro and con. We both really want to settle in the Philadephia area near our families so I can't see us staying much longer than 4 years. Also my career isn't one that works well with the military life. If he does do JAG, he will have the opportunity to go reserves afterwards which is another pro so he could potentially put his time in with the reserves.

    I never thought I'd say this but I think I actually miss military life a bit! I can see us doing it again but I don't want to make the wrong decision for our family just because we are bored with the status quo and are looking for some adventure.
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    Also does anyone know someone in JAG or know anything about JAG? I'm just not totally sure what it will be like to be a Navy JAG officer vs a Army Infantry officer.

    Also has anyone else made the transition from Army to Navy? What are the differences?
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    #7
    My very good friend's husband is a Navy JAG, any specific questions?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beach View Post
    My very good friend's husband is a Navy JAG, any specific questions?
    I'm mainly intersted in understanding what the lifestyle is like. New lawyers in the private sector work crazy hours, would it be the same in the Navy? Also how likely is it that he gets to work in an area of law that intersts him?

    Also I think there is about 4-5 months of training. Would I be able to attend with him? I would probably only move to RI if I could live with him, otherwise I'd stay home during his training. I believe the Naval JAG school is 12 weeks in RI and the Officer Development course is 5 weeks in RI.

    Also what types of jobs do people take after their 4 years are up if they don't make a career out of Navy JAG?
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    as for what they do--- depending on the base -- sometimes very little- they rarely see the inside of a court room, and they only deal with military issues and the UCMJ-

    I have a JAG friend and he works 8-4 monday thru friday and in the 6 years he has been a JAG officer has nover ever been in a court room. He says it is so easy and he is bored alot-
    he has been involved in a couple of drug things an AWOL and a domestic violence thing, but it is rare.

    he also moves every 2 years and is currently in AK.

    he is planning to resign his commission because he says being AD is hurting his legal career and wants to get back to doing what he loves to do --- being an actual laywer ( his words not mine).

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