My Meeting with the JAG Officer


10-Year Member
Aug 5, 2007
Because the last thread was closed, I have made a new one, and seek your advice. The officer told me that the punishment I received was administrative, not judicial; therefore, would not be detected under a background check. If I still mention this incident to the academy, will the admire my honesty if I let them know it was only administrative.
How many times and in how many ways do you have to ask this? Was one locked thread for previously asking it six different ways not enough? :mad:


What is so amazingly difficult to understand about that? :mad:

If what happened to you was "Administrative", they'll toss it over their shoulder like they would a late parking ticket. If, however, you DON'T put it down and they DO find it, now you have to contend with the possibility of someone wondering if you were trying to hide it or something else. It's easier to move on to one of the other 20,000+ applications than it is to read your mind. ANSWER THE QUESTION FACTUALLY FOR THEM OR RISK THE CONSEQUENCES OF THEM ANSWERING IT FOR YOU.



Let's see how long THIS one goes for....

ETA: Oh, I'm no JAG, but I did take law classes both at USNA and for my MBA, and it seems to me a record is flagged based upon the OFFENSE, not the PUNISHMENT. If you are busted for grand theft and they punish you by making you write "I will not steal" 50 times instead of time in the hooskow, the record will show a bust for theft regardless.

Where's Bill when you need him? :rolleyes:
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I am going to continue to recommend full disclosure. You will do an interview. You have no idea what the interviewer will ask. I normally phrase my question, "Have you ever had a run in with the police?". To this you would have to answer "yes". I would then ask you the particulars, and, finally what you had learned from the episode. The minute you start stating that it wasn't your fault, that it was an administrative issue, that the CO had downgraded your punishment, etc etc the quicker my eyes would roll into the back of my head and I would commence to lower my evaluation commensurate with the length of time you talked.

Bottom line. It happened. Tell them. Don't make excuses. Tell them what happened, and of the utmost importance, don't downplay it as incidential, tell them what you learned from it, and why it will never happen again. As we have gathered from your questions, it has been a big part of your growing up. Deal with it in your applications.
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The very last thing you want to come across as is a Sea Lawyer before you've even gotten your nomination. USNA69 is a bona-fide and practicing BGO, and both he and I are USNA Alumni who have been through the same process you are going through. LISTEN TO WHAT WE ARE TELLING YOU.

Answer the question truthfully and you will most likely be amazed at just how quickly the issue is glossed over. Just be prepared to answer as USNA69 suggests which, if what you're saying is true, should be easy to do.

One more word of advice on answering, though: Don't go slamming the legal system, law enforcement, the government, etc. Explain how you have learned to be more careful next time (and hopefully there won't be a next time) and how you now better understand the finer points of some laws most people take for granted. Slam LE, the .gov, or the judge and you'll cement your chances of NOT getting anywhere.
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EG, the voices of experience have spoken. You can begin practicing for an academy life by taking these orders from your superiors. Just say, "Aye Sir" & "No excuse Sir" & you'll be set.

I wish there was a way to calm your fears on this matter. Too bad that we can't come out of this computer, take you out for a pizza & talk face to face. But alas, we're stuck in here so no pizza for you. :biggrin: IF we could, we'd try to get you to see that you can use the experience in your favor. By the telling of it & what you've learned and how you've moved on from it. Using it as a positive experience instead a negative will go far in earning you some brownie points towards your honor & respect if done in the correct way. As Z said, don't go freaking on the government & the laws. It would be hard for a Congressman or anyone to give you that needed nomination if they felt you would not serve your country with 110%.
don't go freaking on the government & the laws. It would be hard for a Congressman or anyone to give you that needed nomination if they felt you would not serve your country with 110%.

Also, don't use the crying whining parents of the mids who had a piece of mold on their bread last week as an example of how to acknowledge diversity. I certainly hope the mids are acting more mature than their parents. As a parent of an ex mid, I apologize for their selfishness and short sightedness. Their actions are not an example of how you should treat this. Just like Jamz and Zap have stated, cowboy up, take the responsibility, don't offer excuses, and show how you are a better person who will never do it again.
Zaphod and Jamzmom are right on with this.....

Attitude is everything - suck it up, talk about it as a learning experience and don't dwell on it. Whatever you do - do not say anything even remotely negative about the legal system or whoever else was involved.

You may never even be asked about it - on the WP application there is a spot for you to explain and I would just be honest.
Explaining it honestly without blaming other people or editorializing the legal system. Don't make a mountain out of a molehill.

Now that the rest of the posse has spoken, let me expand this lesson for you some more.

I am, as you may have imagined (and bloody unfortunately, I might add) over twice your age. I began learning the lessons we're trying to teach you now while I was at NAPS and USNA, but I didn't REALLY learn them until later (more's the pity).

I have been laid off, fired, divorced, lost a parent, lost a friend, turned down for my dream career (twice for nuke school and once for a civilian job), been seriously screwed over by a person who claimed to "love" me (no, not the ex-wife), been on the verge of bankruptcy, watched a family member dodge jail for something similarly stupid as your case, etc., etc., etc.... In other words, I've been around the block a few times. It hasn't been a bed of roses, but I'm grateful it hasn't been worse.

The lesson? The only reason I haven't suck-started one of my handguns is because I learned that when life gives you lemons, it is far better to make lemonade than to sit still and worry/whine. Once you learn that lesson, you will be surprised to find out how many of these "setbacks" and "screwovers" are actually BLESSINGS in disguise (yeah, sometimes the disguises are VERY good, but that's life).

Learn it now so you are ready for when REALLY bad things begin to happen. It will make them easier (but not necessarily easy) to deal with. You will also earn a lot of respect from those who will see you get knocked down, but then get up, square your shoulders, and keep going.

You are not defined by this one incident in your life unless you LET yourself be defined by it. It's up to you.
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Another question:

When you enter the academy, you take an oath where you declare that you will follow the honor code. If I failed in telling them about the infraction during the admissions process, how can they expel you by saying that its an honor code violation if you weren't even given the oath yet?
^^^^Who told you it would be an honor offense?

It probably would not. However, you seem to have portrayed yourself on this forum as, what we call in the Navy, a seal lawyer. Sea lawyers try to skirt the truth on technicalities and, and, as such, often end up afoul of the honor system. We are trying , unsuccessfully, it appears, to avert that possibilty beforehand.
No sir. Not true. If I was going to lie, I would have to problem telling you guys right now. I did say that I was going to be truthful on this subject, so take my word for it. I was just pondering on that subject when it popped into my mind about the code. Never mind
If you have decided to tell the truth, then you have nothing to worry about.
"If I failed in telling them about the infraction during the admissions process, how can they expel you by saying that its an honor code violation if you weren't even given the oath yet?"

Ahhh, this is great. Is there a chance that's some leg pulling going on here? Otherwise, I'm at a loss for an explanation.

In either case, thanks for the laughs.