Judge Advocate 4402

Judge Advocate 4402

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Quince Bisard

5 min read

Personnel in this MOS provide services required in the operational, managerial, legal, administrative, typing, clerical and courts-martial reporting/transcribing areas necessary for the proper functioning of a legal services support section (LSSS), legal services support team (LSST), Office of the Staff Judge Advocate (OSJA), or other agencies/commands in support of a Marine Judge Advocate.

What is an 4502?

Judge Advocates provide legal advice and support to commanders, Marines, Sailors, and their families to promote the readiness of the force and contribute to Marine Corps mission accomplishment. As company grade officers, Judge Advocates ordinarily serve as Litigators, Legal Assistance Attorneys, Victims’ Legal Counsel, Assistant Review Officers, or Command Legal Advisors. Litigation opportunities exist as trial, defense, and victims’ legal counsel in courts-martial; as Special Assistant United States Attorneys in United States Federal Court; and as recorders, counsel for the respondent, or victims’ legal counsel in administrative discharge boards. Judge Advocates either conduct or supervise investigations into claims for and against the United States and other matters required by regulations. Judge Advocates provide command legal advice on matters including military justice, administrative law, civil law, standards of conduct, ethics, operational law, and international law.

Are there any prerequisites to becoming a Communication Strategy and

Operations Officer

The 4402 Judge Advocate MOS is assigned as a PMOS to an officer who has:

(1) Obtained a Juris Doctor from an American Bar Association accredited law school; completed TBS at Quantico, VA; completed the Basic Lawyer Course at the Naval Justice School, Newport, RI; and is a member in good standing of a federal bar, or of the highest court of a State or the District of Columbia.

(2) Been certified by the Judge Advocate General of the Navy in accordance with Article 27(b) of the UCMJ to serve as a trial or defense counsel in courts-martial.

Where do I go after TBS?

After TBS, officers must complete the 70 day Basic Lawyer Course at the Naval Justice School in Newport, RI. The purpose of the course is to train active duty lawyers of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard with no prior military legal experience to perform the duties of a judge advocate or law specialist, by providing training in the areas of military criminal law, military evidence, military justice procedures, and civil and administrative law. This course also provides a thorough background in military evidence, procedure, crimes, non-judicial punishment, jag manual investigations, administrative discharge procedures, claims, legal assistance, basic court- martial advocacy techniques and other areas of practical concern to lawyers entering the practice of military law. This course is divided into four parts: Procedures (Preliminary criminal law offenses under the UCMJ, drafting of specifications, and defenses); evidence (military rules of evidence); and civil law [Judge Advocate General (JAGMAN) investigations, administrative separations, Privacy Act, and Freedom of Information Act].

What is it like being a Communication Strategy and Operations Officer?

The support provided by Judge Advocates is required aboard every major Marine Corps installation and in units across the MAGTF. A typical first-tour assignment for a Judge Advocate is as Trial Counsel, Defense Counsel, Legal Assistance Officer, Assistant Staff Judge Advocate, or Review Officer in support of an LSSS, LSST, OSJA, or other agencies/commands in support of a Marine Judge Advocate. As a Judge Advocate, you may be assigned to prosecute or defend cases before general and special court martial in accordance with the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ); serve as recorder or counsel for the respondent before administrative discharge boards; prepare and render pretrial advice and recommendations in courtsmartial cases; review and render legal opinions and recommendation on records of trial, reports of investigations, administrative discharge proceeding, administrative reports, and on claims in favor of or against the Government; serve as appellate counsel for the defense or Government before the U. S. Navy Court of Military Review and U.S. Court of Military Appeals; render legal opinions and advice concerning government jurisdictional matters, labor relations, real estate interests, commercial contracts, civil process, and suits for and against the Government; render legal assistance to military personnel and dependents, including the preparation of legal documents such as wills, powers of attorney, agreements, deeds, tax returns, etc., and serve as an instructor/lecturer in military law.

Marines and Military Law in Vietnam: Trial by Fire. Gary D. Solis
The Law of Armed Conflict: International Humanitarian Law in War. Gary D. Solis
A Question of Loyalty: Gen. Billy Mitchell and the Court-Martial that Gripped the Nation. Douglas Waller
The Peers Inquiry of the Massacre at My Lai. William R. Peers
Thank You for Arguing, Third Edition: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of
Persuasion. Jay Heinrichs

  • 4405, Master of International Law (LtCol to Maj) NMOS (4402)
  • 4406, Master of Environmental Law (LtCol to Maj) NMOS (4402)
  • 4407, Master of Labor Law (LtCol to Maj) NMOS (4402)
  • 4408, Master of Procurement Law (Maj) NMOS (4402)
  • 4409, Master of Criminal Law (Col to Maj) NMOS (4402)
  • 4410, Master of Law (General) (LtCol to Maj) NMOS (4402)
  • 4421, Legal Services Specialist (MGySgt to Pvt) PMOS
  • 4422, Legal Services Court Reporter (MGySgt to Cpl) NMOS (4421)
  • 4430, Legal Administrative Officer (III) (CWO5 to WO) PMOS

Sources/Credits: Please note that the information above was derived from and in most cases taken directly from the "Marine Officer MOS Assignment Handbook". The Basic School. Camp Barrett. March 3, 2019. All credit goes to the great staff at TBS for putting this together.

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