Judge Advocate General of the Navy

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Judge Advocate General of the Department of the Navy
Judge Advocate General - Department of the Navy.png
Seal of the Office of the Judge Advocate General
Vice Adm. John G. Hannink.jpg
Vice Admiral John G. Hannink, JAGC, USN

since 12 September 2018[1]
Department of the Navy
Office of the Secretary
Reports toSecretary of the Navy
Chief of Naval Operations
SeatThe Pentagon, Arlington County, Virginia, United States
AppointerThe President
with Senate advice and consent
Term lengthFour years
Constituting instrument10 U.S.C. § 5148
First holderColonel William Butler Remey, USMC
DeputyDeputy Judge Advocate General of the Navy
WebsiteOfficial 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 them 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[edit]

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[edit]

Name Photo Branch Term began Term ended
1. Col William Butler Remey William Butler Remey.jpg 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 Rear Admiral E.H. Campbell, Judge Advocate General, (4-30-25) LCCN2016839775.tif 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 George Ramsey Clark Rear Admiral USN (NH 51646 ).jpg USN 1918 1921
9. RADM Julian Lane Latimer NH 48222 (29187285076).jpg USN 1921 1925
10. RADM Edward Hale Campbell USN 1925 1929
11. RADM David F. Sellers AdmSellers1934 (cropped).jpg USN 1929 1931
12. RADM Orin Gould Murfin Orin Gould Murfin.jpg USN 1931 1934
13. RADM Claude Charles Block USN 1934 1936
14. RADM Gilbert Jonathan Rowcliff GJ Rowcliff.jpg USN 1936 1938
15. RADM Walter Browne Woodson Walter Browne Woodson.jpg 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 Ira Hudson Nunn.jpg USN 1952 1956
20. RADM Chester Charles Ward Chester Charles Ward.jpg USN 1956 1960
21. RADM William Chamberlain Mott William Chamberlain Mott.jpg USN 1960 1964
22. RADM Wilfred Asquith Hearn Wilfred Asquith Hearn.jpg USN 1964 1968
23. RADM Joseph Bryan McDevitt Joseph Bryan McDevitt.jpg 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 James Joseph McHugh.jpg USN 1982 1984
30. RADM Thomas Edward Flynn Thomas Edward Flynn.jpg USN 1984 1986
31. RADM Hugh Don Campbell Hugh Don Campbell.jpg USN 1986 1988
32. RADM Everett Don Stumbaugh Admiral Stumbaugh.jpg USN 1988 1990
33. RADM John Edward Gordon Admiral Ted Gordon.jpg USN 1990 1992
34. RADM William Leon Schachte, Jr. William Schachte.JPEG USN 1992 1993
35. RADM Harold Eric Grant Harold E. Grant.jpg USN 1993 1997
36. RADM John Dudley Hutson John D. Hutson.jpg USN 1997 2000
37. RADM Donald J. Guter Donald Guter.JPEG USN 2000 2002
38. RADM Michael F. Lohr RADM Michael F Lohr, Judge Advocate General of the Navy.JPEG USN 2002 2004
39. RADM James E. McPherson James E McPherson.jpg USN 2004 2006
40. RADM / VADM Bruce E. MacDonald VADM Bruce E. MacDonald.jpg USN 2006 2009
41. VADM James W. Houck VADM James W. Houck.jpg USN August 14, 2009 July 20, 2012
42. VADM Nanette M. DeRenzi VADM Nanette M. DeRenzi.jpg USN July 20, 2012 June 26, 2015
43. VADM James W. Crawford, III VICE ADMIRAL JAMES W. CRAWFORD, III.jpg USN June 26, 2015 September 12, 2018
44. VADM John G. Hannink Vice Adm. John G. Hannink.jpg USN September 12, 2018 Incumbent

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://jag.navylive.dodlive.mil/2018/09/12/navy-jag-corps-holds-change-of-office-ceremony-2/
  2. ^ a b [1] Archived 2009-04-30 at the Wayback Machine. 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[edit]