Saturday, July 05, 2008

When you wish upon a third star

We have long supported a third star for each of the Judge Advocates General. Now our wish for three third stars is well on its way to being granted.

Over the past week, the Kabul Klipper has become a third star information clearinghouse. He noted here that the President has nominated Rear Admiral MacDonald for a third star and here that the President has nominated Major General Rives for a third star.

Amidst the soggy remains of last night's fireworks here at Casa CAAFlog, I was left wondering, "What about General Black?" Fortunately, a Friend o' CAAFlog has called my attention to this Air Force Times piece from yesterday reporting that "Army judge advocate general Maj. Gen. Scott C. Black is also expected to be nominated soon for his third star."

15 comments:

Hogan H said...

By the way, how about the Cost Guard JAG? He should receive a second star. The same way the senior Marine JAG officer should, even being part of Navy dep.

Anonymous said...

Why would the SJA to to the Commandant be a 2 star? He is a staff officer who reports to the Commandant. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs just RECENTLY had his JAG elevated to ONE star. Why would a member of the JCS have a 2 star when the Chairman has a one star? The SJA to CMC has some sway in the process of the Marine JAs but at the end they are just the same as other officers. There is absolutely no parity in job descriptions between a service TJAG and the SJA to CMC. These comparisons and demands for similar treatment are misplaced.

Hogan H said...

Anonymous,

I don’t think so. First you overlooked the JAG CG.

And as you even said the CJC JAG was elevated from Colonel to ONE star. So he was elevated from O-6 to O-7. If you were elevated from O-6 to O-7, why not elevate the SJA to CMC from O-7 to O-8 (two star)? The argument is the same.

And there are not such thing alike but different, because in the end all the Military are the same, and fight for one goal: defense of the country.

Finally I don’t think that job description applies because if so why promote the JAG’s from the Services to three stars? I do believe that was correct the promotion, but should also applies to the JAG CG and SJA to CMC from O-7 to O-8.

Anonymous said...

I do not follow, the Chairman has a one star lawyer while his Marine rep on the Joint Chief's staff has a 2 star? Makes no sense. The service JAGs were promoted to avoid marginalizing their views which happened as 2 stars. In the DC world 2 stars are common and have little pull where 3 stars have considerably more. That also brings the uniform JAGs closer to parity with GC. The argument is not the same for SJA to CMC as the SJA to CMC is nothing more than the lawyer to the CMC. Navy JAG is not the lawyer to CNO. CNO, by the way, a 4 star the same as CMS has an 0-6 lawyer. So by your logic the CNO should now have a 2 star. Why does CMC get a 1 star and CNO gets a Captain? It also has a lot to do with the number of FOGOs allowed. SJA to CMS does not maintain budgets for buildings and what not, recruiting, etc. So, in actuality the argument is not even close to being the same. As far as the CG goes, haven't really studied it but since CG like USMC are not staff and are line officers it may have something to do with that. It is possible but unlikely that a CG or USMC judge advocate could get a star in a position not as a lawyer.

Anonymous said...

Since Coast Guard isn't part of DoD it isn't even a close argument. SecDef can not nominate TJAG to CG for a second or third star. If DHS wants to push it they can but apparently it's not a priority for them. So TJAG to CG and all other TJAGs is comparing apples to something not an apple.

Anonymous said...

WHy not make the SJA to the Salvation Army a 3 star too?

Hogan H said...

Dear Anonymous

“I do not follow, the Chairman has a one star lawyer while his Marine rep on the Joint Chief's staff has a 2 star? Makes no sense.”

But before, as you said, it did make sense when the Chairman had an O-6 while his Marine rep had O-7

“The service JAGs were promoted to avoid marginalizing their views which happened as 2 stars. In the DC world 2 stars are common and have little pull where 3 stars have considerably more. That also brings the uniform JAGs closer to parity with GC.”

I do agree fully.

“The argument is not the same for SJA to CMC as the SJA to CMC is nothing more than the lawyer to the CMC. Navy JAG is not the lawyer to CNO. CNO, by the way, a 4 star the same as CMS has an 0-6 lawyer. So by your logic the CNO should now have a 2 star.”

No.

You even started to make my point on saying “Why does CMC get a 1 star and CNO gets a Captain? It also has a lot to do with the number of FOGOs allowed. SJA to CMS does not maintain budgets for buildings and what not, recruiting, etc.”

If an O-8 does not make noise enough, an O-7 does not make any noise at all. Although I concede that SJA to CMC is not the same as the TJAG’s, it is convenient that the one grade difference be sustained.

“As far as the CG goes, haven't really studied it but since CG like USMC are not staff and are line officers it may have something to do with that. It is possible but unlikely that a CG or USMC judge advocate could get a star in a position not as a lawyer.”

They are lawyers. For an example the CG JAG’s was as an editor on the Harvard Law Review when he was at Harvard Law School.

“Since Coast Guard isn't part of DoD it isn't even a close argument. SecDef can not nominate TJAG to CG for a second or third star. If DHS wants to push it they can but apparently it's not a priority for them. So TJAG to CG and all other TJAGs is comparing apples to something not an apple.”

So the CG does not matter???

Anonymous said...

I agree, CMC should have an 0-6 the same as the CNO but the Marines have decided that they want a one star lawyer. It has nothing to do with parity. THe Marines, today could take away an infantry 3 star and make that a lawyer billet. They chose not to. If, as you concede, the SJA is not the same at TJAG why would the rank be the same because they are both lawyers? What if a shipdriver went to law school, does the degree get them the star? The services just can't create FOGO billets. The three 3 star billets were an exception that did not take away another 3 star from end strength. Hell, lets have 15 flag officers. Navy JAG did have a 1 star for a while why not just make a few more? Maybe if the CG JAG was editor of the law review at Chicago he could promote but Harvard? No way! What happens to the next CG JAG that isn't an Ivy leaguer? Does that JAG get demoted back down as the criteria seems to be law school performance? And as far as the CG is concerned I never said they don't matter I just said comparison of the two ends at the fact both JAGs are lawyers. But if it satisfies you I will recommend to Secretary Gates that he nominate the CG JAG for 3 stars.

CAAFlog said...

The assertion that "the SJA to CMC is nothing more than the lawyer to the CMC" is factually untrue. The SJA to the Commandant of the Marine Corps is dual hatted as the Director of the Judge Advocate Division. In that capacity, the SJA to CMC exercises substantial supervisory responsibility over Marine Corps judge advocates and legal services specialists.

While the Judge Advocate General of the Navy is also the Judge Advocate General of the Marine Corps (and while the first Navy JAG was a Marine -- oorah!), the SJA to the Commandant while wearing his Director, Judge Advocate Division hat executes a supervisory role that more closely parallels that of a Judge Advocate General than that of the legal counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In my experience with the military commissions, it was also quite common to see congressional hearings treat the SJA to the CMC on par with the three Judge Advocates General. Most hearings that I saw with more than one of the Judge Advocates General also included the SJA to CMC as a witness. I can't remember a single one that featured the legal counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs as a witness.

Anonymous said...

CAAFlog, 2 weeks ago Admiral Dalton testified before Congress on GTMO.

CAAFlog said...

And note that RADM Dalton testified as a FORMER legal counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. And she testified as a retired officer -- no doubt appearing in mufti before SASC.

Anonymous said...

The distinction based on Marine JAs being line officers is hollow. Air Force JAs are line officers--only the Army and Navy segregate their judge advocates so strictly. The assertion that SJA to CMC is a mere staff officer is also false, and the commenter there showed his prejudice, or ignorance. Someone with experience would know the billet is closer to that of a judge advocate general. This is not about a buildings-and-grounds budget.
The one-rank distinction is appropriate, important and ought to be maintained.

Anonymous said...

Is the dual hatting of the SJA to the CMC an administrative function imposed by CMC or by Congress? The fact that Congress "treats" him like a JAG does not make him equal.

Anonymous said...

Annonymous--if they are the same then they should be the same rank. WHy say one rank difference is appropriate? Why is his title, which everyone seems to dismiss, SJA to CMC and not TJAG of the Marine Corps?

Anonymous said...

I saw a piece of correspondence today from the SJA to CMC, his signature block does not include his dual has as Director of the Judge Advocate Division.