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Judge Advocate General of the Navy

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Judge Advocate General of the Navy

Judge Advocate General of the Department of the Navy
Seal of the Office of the Judge Advocate General
Vice Admiral Nanette M. DeRenzi, JAGC, USN

since 20 July 2012[1]
Department of the Navy
Office of the Secretary
Reports to Secretary of the Navy
Chief of Naval Operations
Seat The Pentagon, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Appointer The President
Term length No fixed term
Constituting instrument 10 U.S.C. § 5148
Formation 1880
First holder Colonel William Butler Remey, USMC
Deputy Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Navy
Website Official Website

The Judge Advocate General of the Navy (JAG) is the highest-ranking uniformed lawyer in the United States Department of the Navy. The Judge Advocate General is the principal advisor to the Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations on legal matters pertaining to the Navy.[2] The Judge Advocate General also performs other duties prescribed to him (or her) under 10 U.S.C. § 5148 and those prescribed under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.


The Judge Advocate General of the Navy, according to the United States Navy Regulations, has three principal roles: Staff Assistant in the Office of the Secretary of the Navy, commanding the Office of the Judge Advocate General (OJAG), and is Chief of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps.

The Judge Advocate General maintains a close working relationship with the General Counsel of the Department of the Navy, the senior civilian lawyer in the Department of the Navy.

The Judge Advocate General:[3]

  • provides or supervises the provision of all legal advice and related services throughout the Department of the Navy, except for the advice and services provided by the General Counsel;
  • performs the functions required or authorized by law;
  • provides legal and policy advice to the Secretary of the Navy on military justice, administrative law, claims, operational and international law, and litigation involving these issues, and;
  • acts on other matters as directed by the Secretary of the Navy.

The principal deputy to the JAG is the Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Navy who is dual-hatted as Commander, Naval Legal Service Command (NLSC).

Nomination and appointment

The Judge Advocate General is nominated for appointment by the President with the advice and/or suggestion of the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Navy, and must be confirmed via majority vote by the Senate. The Judge Advocate General is appointed to a four-year term of office but they historically serve for three. The Judge Advocate General has also historically been a naval officer, however, statute states that a Marine officer can be appointed to the position as long as they meet the requirements stated in the section.[2]

Previously, the Judge Advocate General was appointed as a two-star Rear Admiral. In 2008, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 advanced the position of the Judge Advocate General to that of a three-star vice admiral or lieutenant general.[4][5]

Other than age and years of military service, there is no other statute of limitations on how many times the JAG can be renominated for appointment to that position if the President so chooses, however the JAG normally serves one term.

List of Judge Advocates General of the Navy

Name Photo Branch Term began Term ended
1. Col William Butler Remey USMC 1880 1892
2. CAPT Samuel Conrad Lemly USN 1892 1904
3. CAPT Samuel Willauer Black Diehl USN 1904 1907
4. CAPT Edward Hale Campbell USN 1907 1909
5. CAPT Robert Lee Rusell USN 1909 1913
6. CAPT Ridley McLean USN 1913 1916
7. CAPT William Carleton Watts USN 1917 1918
8. RADM George Ramsey Clark USN 1918 1921
9. RADM Julian Lane Latimer USN 1921 1925
10. RADM Edward Hale Campbell USN 1925 1929
11. RADM David F. Sellers USN 1929 1931
12. RADM Orin Gould Murfin USN 1931 1934
13. RADM Claude Charles Block USN 1934 1936
14. RADM Gilbert Jonathan Rowcliff USN 1936 1938
15. RADM Walter Browne Woodson USN 1938 1943
16. RADM Thomas Leigh Gatch USN 1943 1945
17. RADM Oswald Symister Colclough USN 1945 1948
18. RADM George Lucius Russell USN 1948 1952
19. RADM Ira Hudson Nunn USN 1952 1956
20. RADM Chester Charles Ward USN 1956 1960
21. RADM William Chamberlain Mott USN 1960 1964
22. RADM Wilfred Asquith Hearn USN 1964 1968
23. RADM Joseph Bryan McDevitt USN 1968 1972
24. RADM Merlin Howard Staring USN 1972 1975
25. RADM Horace Bascomb Robertson, Jr. USN 1975 1976
26. RADM William Owen Miller USN 1976 1978
27. RADM Charles Eager McDowell USN 1978 1980
28. RADM John Smith Jenkins USN 1980 1982
29. RADM James Joseph McHugh USN 1982 1984
30. RADM Thomas Edward Flynn USN 1984 1986
31. RADM Hugh Don Campbell USN 1986 1988
32. RADM Everett Don Stumbaugh USN 1988 1990
33. RADM John Edward Gordon USN 1990 1992
34. RADM William Leon Schachte, Jr. USN 1992 1993
35. RADM Harold Eric Grant USN 1993 1997
36. RADM John Dudley Hutson USN 1997 2000
37. RADM Donald J. Guter USN 2000 2002
38. RADM Michael F. Lohr USN 2002 2004
39. RADM James E. McPherson USN 2004 2006
40. RADM / VADM Bruce E. MacDonald USN 2006 2009
41. VADM James W. Houck USN August 14, 2009 July 20, 2012
42. VADM Nanette M. DeRenzi USN July 20, 2012 incumbent

See also


  1. ^ "New Leadership Takes Helm of Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps" (JAG Corps Public Affairs) July 20, 2012.
  2. ^ a b [1] 10 USC 5148. Judge Advocate General’s Corps: Office of the Judge Advocate General; Judge Advocate General; appointment, term, emoluments, duties.
  3. ^ United States Naval Regulations, Sections 0330 & 0331, Accessed on 2011-03-24.
  4. ^ [2] Pub.L. 110-181: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008
  5. ^ [3] Pub.L. 110-181: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 full text

External links

  • U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps official website
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