Officers in the professional categories, like JAGs, are directly appointed and are not required to complete a commissioning source such as Officer Training School (OTS) or the Academy of Military Science (AMS). Instead, applicants who have never held a commission in one of the armed forces attend the Air Force's Commissioned Officer Training (COT). COT is located at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, and is approximately five weeks long. It is designed to familiarize you with military service, including Air Force organization and customs and courtesies.
For more information about COT, visit
After you have submitted your application materials, our office will work with you to schedule an interview with an active duty Staff Judge Advocate (SJA) at a base near you. The SJA will write a recommendation memorandum based on your application materials and the interview. The SJA will submit the recommendation directly to our office. Our office will then provide your application materials and the SJA's recommendation to The Judge Advocate General for a decision on whether you will be permitted to join our Corps.
Total Force Advisor to The Judge Advocate General
1420 Air Force Pentagon
Washington DC 20330
The Judge Advocate Staff Officer Course (JASOC) is nine weeks long. All applicants who have not completed the full in-residence course are required to attend JASOC. It is located at Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, Alabama. The course is designed to provide you with a foundation in the principles and concepts of military law and Air Force legal procedures. JASOC teaches you how to be an Air Force judge advocate.
You must attend both OTS (if required) and JASOC within 12 months of your appointment. Although it is possible to attend OTS and JASOC back-to-back, it is not likely. OTS is a 9-week class. JASOC is also a 9-week class scheduled three times per year, generally beginning in February, July, and October. Most reservists attend OTS and then attend JASOC several months later. The courses fill up quickly so it is sometimes difficult to attend OTS immediately.
OTS and JASOC are formal military training programs, and you should approach them as such.
During OTS you will be living in military dormitories, and visiting friends/family may not stay with you in your room. Moreover, you will have very little free time, and you may also be restricted to the base. You should plan to be occupied with military duties constantly during the entire five-week course. Because the opportunities to visit are so limited, it is generally not a good idea for your family to travel to Maxwell AFB during OTS. During JASOC, you may have some free time on some weekends; although you will be busy with course work, you may be able to manage some time with visiting family or friends.
Needless to say, OTS and JASOC are intended to train YOU, so the Air Force will not pay to transport/house your family with you at OTS or JASOC. If you decide to bring them, you must bear all expenses.
If you are interested in the IMA program, there are opportunities at Air Force bases around the world. If you would like to stay closer to home, we will make every effort to assign you to a base as close as possible for your first assignment. You do not stay at one location your entire career. As you gain seniority, it becomes more likely that you will be assigned to a location further away from home. If you are interested in the Air National Guard, contact the state you are interested in to discuss assignment opportunities.
You do not need a physical during the application process. If you are selected for membership in our Corps, you will work with a recruiter to schedule an accession physical, most likely through a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS).
This is a more complicated question than you might think. Reservists can qualify for many types of pay. For instance, while in drill status reservists receive "drill pay," also known as inactive-duty training pay. Whenever serving on full-time active duty, including annual training, reservists receive basic pay and some allowances. Reservists' pay is calculated based on the number of days served and on the status of the reservists when performing duty.
Approximately twenty percent of all Air Force judge advocate deployments are filled by judge advocates from the Air Reserve Component. In recent times, the Air Force has not involuntarily activated a judge advocate or paralegal to deploy; we have had great success relying on Air Reserve Component judge advocates to volunteer for deployments. Virtually all Air Reserve Component JAGs who deploy have several years of experience, but it is fairly safe to say that there will be opportunities for you to deploy during your judge advocate career.
Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) judge advocates are assigned as reserve members of active duty Air Force legal office. IMAs report to an active duty supervisor at their assigned office (usually the active duty Staff Judge Advocate).
In the IMA program (sometimes referred to as "Training Category B"), reservists perform:
- Two weeks of annual training
- 12 additional training days
The scheduling of these days is flexible, and is arranged between the IMA and his or her active duty supervisor. This flexibility allows great latitude in scheduling for both the IMA and the active duty office.
One limit to this flexibility, however, is that IMAs must generally perform their duty during the work week (this is when active duty Air Force legal offices typically operate).
Some Judge advocates are assigned to traditional Air Force Reserve units, and belong to a reserve legal office, with a reserve unit commander and a reserve Staff Judge Advocate.
In the unit reserve program (sometimes referred to as "Training Category A"), reservists:
- Attend monthly "Unit Training Assembly," which is generally held on the same weekend each month
- Perform approximately two weeks of annual training each year
This duty schedule is less flexible than that of the IMA program; by the same token, however, the unit reserve program provides the opportunity for weekend work, which is generally unavailable in the IMA program.
The National Guard is the modern form of the citizen's militia reserved to the states by the Constitution. The Air National Guard has both a state and federal mission: it provides trained, well-equipped personnel who can augment the active force during national emergencies or war, and provide assistance during natural disasters and civil disturbances.
Air National Guard duty schedules are similar to that of the unit reserve program. Members:
- Attend a monthly "drill," which is generally held on the same weekend each month
- Perform approximately two weeks of annual training each year
This duty schedule is less flexible than that of the IMA program; by the same token, however, the Air National Guard provides the opportunity for weekend work, which is generally unavailable in the IMA program.