recommended the creation of a law specialist
category in the restricted line. The report
concluded that this category would benefit the
Navy more than the creation of a JAG corps.
Authorized to procure 300 lawyers in June
1946, the Navy began the Law Specialist Pro-
Until late 1967 many unsuccessful attempts to
establish a JAG Corps were made. At that time
a subcommittee of the House Armed Services
Committee scheduled a hearing on provisions for
the establishment of a JAG Corps in the Navy.
The Judge Advocate General of the Navy pre-
sented convincing testimony at the hearing. His
testimony showed that membership in a legal
corps would give the Navy lawyer a sense of
professional identity and provide a potent career
The proposed legislation made the full course
from subcommittee hearings through a receptive
Congress to final passage within a little more than
2 months. On 8 December 1967 President Johnson
signed Public Law 90-179, which established the
JAG Corps as a staff corps of the Navy.
Military justice is only one of the many areas
of responsibility y handled by Navy lawyers. Judge
advocates provide legal advice in the fields of
international law, admiralty, administrative law,
claims litigation, and investigations. They also
provide legal services to service members and their
dependents in areas such as taxation, promotions,
Activity in these fields and in military justice
is constantly expanding and changing. The largest
change, concerning expanded rights to military
people, occurred with passage of the Military
Justice Act of 1968. This act expanded the rights
of the accused to receive legal counsel before
special courts-martial. It also inaugurated the use
of military judges to preside over special courts-
JAG Corps members serve in the offices of
the Secretary of Defense; Secretary of the
Navy; Chief of Naval Operations; and the Chief
of Naval Personnel. Other offices in which they
serve include the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery,
Chief of Naval Research, Comptroller of the
Navy, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Additionally, Judge advocates are assigned to
the staffs of the Navys various area coordinators
to handle legal work generated within that area.
Locally, they serve on the staffs of fleet, force,
and type commanders and at many naval bases,
stations, and schools.
Since 1969 the JAG Corps has been organized
into four basic components: the Office of the
Judge Advocate General, staff and activity judge
advocates, law centers, and a training component.
Under that organizational structure, the corps
experienced problems in personnel distribution,
uniformity of funding and support, and stan-
dardization of operations. These problems
impeded the corps efforts to give the best service
it could provide.
Following an extensive study of the problems,
the Naval Legal Service was established in 1973.
Its mission was to control the legal services
program and provide command direction for all
Naval Legal Service activities and resources
assigned. It was also to perform other functions
or tasks related to the Naval Legal Service as
directed by the Chief of Naval Operations.
Headquartered in Washington, the Naval Legal
Service was authorized 18 offices and 15 branch
offices throughout the world.
Technically, Naval Legal Service offices serve
as legal service centers in areas that have a major
concentration of naval activities. Within the limits
of strength authorizations, these offices provide
a full array of legal services to commands that
have no judge advocate assigned. A primary
purpose of the establishment of the Naval Legal
Service was to bring all trial and defense counsels
under the direct authority of the Judge Advocate
General. This step made the Naval Legal Service
independent of court-martial convening
Even though it is a relatively new organization,
the Navy JAG Corps continues to expand. The
passage of legislation by Congress and the
increased need for legal services by Navy members
result in increased responsibilities for the JAG
Although not in the same vein as some of the
supporting elements previously discussed, the
Navys Security program helps to prevent the
disclosure of sensitive information. It deserves
careful attention by all naval personnel.
The word security, like many other words,
has several meanings. Expressed simply, for naval
purposes, SECURITY = PROTECTING CLAS-
SIFIED INFORMATION. Security requires
active Navy support of Presidential Executive
Order 12356 governing classifying and safe-
guarding national security information.