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The Direct Appointment (DA) Program enables licensed attorneys to be appointed directly into the Navy JAG Corps. This is a small program designed to supplement the Navy JAG Corps with experienced and capable trial-level litigators and lawyers licensed to practice law before a Federal Court or the highest court of a State, Territory, Commonwealth, or the District of Columbia.

Who Is Eligible

To be eligible for appointment in the Navy JAG Corps DA Program, you must:
(a) be a United States citizen of good moral character;
(b) be younger than 42 years of age at time of commissioning;
(c) be a graduate of a law school fully accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA);
(d) be admitted to practice before a Federal Court, the highest court of a State, Territory or Commonwealth or the District of Columbia; and
(e) meet the physical and medical requirements for commission in the Navy. If you have any questions about the medical qualifications or physical fitness standards, please contact a Navy recruiter.

  How it Works

Becoming a judge advocate is a two phase process. The first phase is to apply for a Professional Recommendation to become a judge advocate. If you are Professionally Recommended you then apply for a commission as an officer in the U.S. Navy. Once accepted into the program, DA participants begin their Navy training.

DA participants first attend the five-week Navy Officer Development School (ODS) in Newport, RI. The next step in the training pipeline is the ten-week Basic Lawyer Course at Naval Justice School (NJS), also in Newport, RI. Upon graduation from NJS, new judge advocates report to their first duty station.

For more information, visit the Path of a Navy JAG Corps Officer.

   Application Deadlines

The Direct Appointment Program application is now available. Applications must be turned in by Friday, 9 February 2018. You must request a structured interview no later than Friday, January 26, 2018, and your interview must be completed by the deadline of Friday, February 9, 2018. Any requests for a structured interview made after Friday, January 26, 2018 will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If you have questions about the application process, please contact us using the contact us button on the JAG Careers website.

Tips for a Successful Application

  Application Process

Submitting an application doesn't mean you joined the Navy. Applicants are under no obligation whatsoever until they are offered and accept a commission with the Navy at the end of both phases.

Phase One: Apply for a Professional Recommendation

Prior to the application deadline you must complete three steps:


1. Complete the online Navy JAG Corps Online Application. If you have difficulties accessing the online application click here.


2. Complete an interview. You may schedule and complete your interview before you have submitted your application. Information for scheduling a Navy JAG Corps interview is available here. Your interview must be completed before the application deadline, and you are responsible for contacting the appropriate office to schedule your interview. Your application will not be considered without a completed interview.


3. Ensure your letters of recommendation have been submitted. Letters of recommendation can be uploaded and submitted with your online application or they may be emailed separately to All letters of recommendation must be received by the application deadline. Letters should be addressed to the "President of the JAGC Accessions Board".

After the application deadline, a board meets to Professionally Recommend applicants. Approximately ten weeks after the application deadline, results are announced via a status change on the application website. In addition, selected applicants are notified individually and will move on to Phase Two.

Note: If you are not selected, you may reapply by each deadline as long as you remain eligible. You must submit a new application. The structured interview will remain on file for three years from the interview date. No other structured interview is required or authorized during this three year period.

Phase Two: Apply for a Commission in the U.S. Navy

If your application is selected, you will be considered Professionally Recommended for commissioning and begin Phase Two. In Phase Two, the final selection of applicants is conducted by Navy Recruiting Command. During this phase the following things will occur:


1. A Navy recruiter will work with you to complete the commissioning requirements, including a medical examination and security investigation. Upon successful completion of these requirements, you will be offered a commission.


2. If you accept your commission, you will then take the oath of office for a commission and sign a Service Agreement.

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