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News | Dec. 8, 2017

The Navy JAG Corps Turns 50

By Navy Judge Advocate General Public Affairs

The Navy Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps celebrates 50 years of service and excellence on Dec. 8, 2017. "From the time the Navy created the 'law specialist' program . to the JAG Corps we know today, the Navy's legal team has made a difference every day - providing steady counsel and advice to keep us from running aground ethically and on the right course always," said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer.

The JAG Corps hosted a commemorative event on Dec. 7 at the U.S. Navy Museum in Washington, D.C. Retired and active-duty judge advocates, as well as other local colleagues, enjoyed remarks from community leaders before cutting a cake to mark the historic anniversary.

"The Navy JAG Corps is a profession with purpose. Every day, around the world, judge advocates are contributing to the Navy mission, shouldering a weighty responsibility with honor and humility," said Vice Adm. James W. Crawford III, who currently serves as the Navy's 43rd JAG. "I am proud to have worked alongside so many dedicated, talented professionals, both past and present."

On Dec. 8, 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed legislation that formally created the JAG Corps of the Navy. It established active-duty lawyers as a distinct professional group - naval officers focused on the delivery of a wide range of legal services. Since its inception, the JAG Corps has grown and evolved to meet the demands of an ever-changing world. From the establishment of Naval Legal Service Command (NLSC), to the creation of the Victims' Legal Counsel Program, to the expansion of operational law, the JAG Corps has been ready to respond to emerging issues. Today, the mission of the JAG Corps is to provide commanders, Sailors, and Navy families with targeted legal solutions that enable effective naval and joint operations.

"The rich history of the JAG Corps is a source of great pride for all of us," said Rear Adm. John G. Hannink, deputy JAG and NLSC commander. "Our current judge advocates are making their own mark on our legacy, and the future of the JAG Corps has never been brighter." "We do not work alone," he added. "Judge advocates practice alongside enlisted personnel and civilians in order to support the worldwide fleet. We share this milestone with all of them."

Today's JAG Corps includes more than 1,300 accomplished Reserve and active-duty judge advocates practicing in many disciplines, including international law, military justice, administrative law, admiralty and maritime law, environmental law, legal assistance, information operations and intelligence law. The JAG community's identity statement - dedicated to service, committed to excellence - illustrates the strong work ethic shared by judge advocates and their colleagues, as well as the high standards to which they adhere in their daily work. 

To learn more about the 50th anniversary of the JAG Corps, or about the services provided by judge advocates and their colleagues, visit For the latest news about the worldwide JAG community, follow and
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