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The day is not far off when our law specialist group will be made up almost exclusively of inexperienced junior officers serving their three year obligated military tour of duty. While we can, at the present time, secure an adequate number of these “obligors”, if draft calls are terminated or greatly reduced, in all likelihood we shall be denied these members as well. This is a dismal but accurate picture and I think it fair to say that unless we can change this situation it will not be many years before Navy lawyers will be unable to meet the requirements for legal services set by Congress and by the Navy.

We have several ideas in mind which we hope will be beneficial and among them is the creation of a Judge Advocate General's Corps. Two years ago I made a survey among a number of junior officers who had been on active duty and recently returned to civilian life, requesting the reasons why they declined to make a career of the naval service. While disparity in income between the military lawyer and his civilian counterpart was advanced as a primary reason, of almost equal significance was the contention that the uniformed lawyer in the Navy lacked professional identity. Many of those responding to the survey were of the opinion that the establishment of a Judge Advocate General's Corps would afford them greater professional stature and recognition and place them on the same organizational basis as the other Navy Staff Corps. Just as the unrestricted line officer is justifiably proud of his naval profession so is the naval lawyer proud of his competence in the profession of law. The Navy however provides the uniformed lawyer with no identifiable status except that of a restricted line officer with the title of law specialist. After spending three years in postgraduate studies at his own expense and after having successfully survived a high bar examination attrition, these young officer-lawyers understandably feel that they are entitled to professional recognition greater than that which is now provided and which is equal to that of the other professional groups to which I have referred.

With the establishment of a Judge Advocate General's Corps, Navy legal officers would be accorded an outward manifestation of professional status which, in my opinion, would be of considerable significance in our efforts to recruit and retain young lawyers upon a carreer basis. To state it differently, I think the creation of a Corps would improve the esprit de corps of the group since they would have a cohesoin which is not now in existence and which should develop a pride in their professional organization.

The creation of a Judge Advocate General's Corps is not a new idea. In fact, it was considered at the time the Uniform Code of Military Justice was under consideration by the Congress. At that time the Judge Advocate General of the Navy suggested that the cretion of a Corps be postponed until such time as the merits or demerits of the special duty status of Navy lawyers could be tested. I am confident that the creation of a career legal group in the Navy was accomplished with some reservations as to whether or not lawyers on a career basis were actually required. This was a logical reaction since the Navy had for some eighty years transacted its legal business without a career legal service. Accordingly, the views of the Judge Advocate General were acceded to and a special duty category of officers rather than a Staff Corps was created. As I pointed out above, there can be no question at this time but that uniformed lawyers will be a permanent part of the career Navy and, in my opinion, the time has come to recognize that fact and give them the professional status and organization which other professional groups have enjoyed for many years.

I recognize that the creation of a Staff Corps for lawyers will not be a complete panacea for our retention problems. I do, however, feel that it will be a major factor among the several programs which we have in mind using and I urge your favorable consideratiou of this legislative proposal.

Admiral HEARN. With demands for legal services steadily rising, the Navy is confronted with an equally steady decline in experienced officer lawyers.

This legislation is urgently needed to assist in solving this problem.

Today and for a number of years we have been unable to attract into the career service a sufficient number of Reserve officers to replace procedure lawyers who are principally of World War II vintage. All of this group of senior officers will have retired within the next 5 years.

While we are able to recruit the 3-year reservists, principally because of their draft obligations, we have not been able to interest these young lawyers in making the service a career.

On average, over the past 5 years less than 10 percent have selected a legal career. This has not been sufficient to replace losses, and for the foreseeable future the situation will substantially worsen rather than improve.


For example, as shown on chart No. 1, which is attached to my prepared statement, in 1960 we had on board 332 Regular career ifficers. At the end of this fiscal year the number will be down to 260, and by 1972 the number will be 217. All this assumes that we will fontinue to augment with substantially the same measure of success is we have experienced since 1960.

Chart No. 2 attached to my prepared statement reports our experience and projected gains and losses for the period 1960-72.

At the present manning level, we need a bare minimum of 311 career fficers to man our captain, commander, and lieutenant commander billets. This does not take into account the necessary beginning base pf career lieutenants.

Chart No. 3 attached to the prepared statement reflects this shortge in each of these senior grades.

Approximately a year ago we sent inquiries to all service lawyers who were about to complete their obligated service, and co those who had returned to civilian life within the preceding 18 months, to ascertain why they had not selected the service as a career. Uniformly their responses listed two principal reasons.

First, the inability of the service to offer compensation commensurate to that available in civilian practice; and second, the lack of professional identity as lawyers in the Navy. It was their view that as special duty officers in the restricted line, there was a lack of recognition of their professional status.

This bill is designed to attack the latter problem. It is believed that with the establishment of the corps and affording these young lawyers a professional recognition similar to that enjoyed by doctors, dentists, and engineers, for example, a naval career for lawyers will be more attractive to the young Reserve lawyer upon whom we depend as the source of our career officer lawyers.

I therefore urge you, Mr. Chairman, the favorable consideration of this legislation. And I might add that General Greene telephoned me this morning to say that I could announce to the committee that he wholeheartedly supported the legislation.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The CHAIRMAN. I notice in your prepared statement you refer to Vietnam. You say:

The increased tempo of our operations in that theater has greatly increased the need for uniformed lawyers.

What type of cases are handled in Vietnam by uniformed lawyers? Admiral HEARN. Court-martial cases.

The CHAIRMAN. That is very evident; but there has been no great increase in them, has there?

Admiral HEARN. Sir?

The CHAIRMAN. There has not been any tremendous increase in court-martial cases?

Admiral HEARN. There has been a rather large increase in courtmartial cases. I think servicewide our cases have increased somewhere between 25 and 30 percent, and our general courts-martial for this fiscal year, based on our experiences in the first 3 months, will be one and a half times as large as we experienced last year.

a The CHAIRMAN. Has the personnel of the Navy increased in that proportion?

Admiral HEARN. No, sir; I would say not. I think perhaps the percentage of courts-martial per population has increased as a result of conflict in Southeast Asia.

The CHAIRMAN. To what do you attribute that great increase in the violation of military law?

Admiral HEARN. I attribute it to the normal frustrations which develop as a result of situations of this kind, and we are noticing it all over the service without regard to whether it is in Vietnam or whether it is in the continental limits of the United States.

The CHAIRMAN. In its present form the bill provides for four statutory flag general officer billets in the Navy JAG. There are only two flag billets now in the legal department of the uniform services.

My understanding is that the Department of Defense does not support additional flag or general officer billets in the JAG Corps unless this committee will increase the number of flag and general officer positions for which it is willing to recommend confirmation.

Is my understanding of the Department's position correct?
Admiral HEARN. That is correct, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. This bill provides that the Deputy Judge Advocate General is entitled to the same privileges of retirement as provided for chiefs of bureaus. In most instances this means that a retired Deputy Judge Advocate General would receive the retired pay of a rear admiral of the upper half instead of the retired pay of a rear admiral of the lower half.

Can you give some reasons why that change is justified?

Admiral HEARN. The Deputy Judge Advocate General is now receiving pay of the upper half, and that provision would enable him to receive retired pay based on the pay he is receiving while on active duty.

The CHAIRMAN. He does now receive

Admiral HEARN. Pay in the upper half; yes, sir. Present law says that he shall receive the highest pay of his grade.

The CHAIRMAN. The bill provides the Secretary of the Navy shall establish the authorized strength for officers in the Judge Advocate General's Corps. Of the corps in the Navy, they have their authorized strength provided by law as a percentage of the line strength. Why was there not a comparable provision desirable in this bill?

Admiral HEARN. Because I think it gives our Navy more flexibility. In other words, the Secretary can determine on the first of each January the number of Judge Advocates required to meet the needs of the service, which might vary from year to year.

The CHAIRMAN. Could not the same argument be made for the other bureaus in the Navy?

Amiral HEARN. I think perhaps the same argument could be made;

yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. If the committee desires to legislate a maximum strength for the JAG Corps similar to that applicable to the other corps, what maximum strength in percentage figures would you think would be the minimum that could be efficiently established

Admiral HEARN. Mr. Chairman, I would like to submit that to the committee after some thought. I do not believe I could roughly give you an estimate which would be reliable without giving some thought to it.

The CHAIRMAN. I can see that that would be difficult. Under this bill persons receiving original appointments in the JAG of the Navy would have to be credited with not less than 3 years of service for determining grades and eligibility for promotion. The comparable position applicable to Marine Corps officers, is that for the same purpose that that man can be credited with more than 3 years?

Admiral HEARN. I think it says not more than 3 years. The CHAIRMAN. Yes, not more than 3 years. Why is this recommendation on constructive service for Navy officers different from those in the Marine Corps?

Admiral HEARN. The difference between the two provisions conforms with the desires of the Marine Corps with respect to constructive service for Marine Corps officers. The provision with respect to Navy Judge Advocates conforms to the law.

The CHAIRMAN. My understanding is that if this bill becomes law, all officers in the JAG of the Navy would then be promoted to the grades of lieutenant or lieutenant commander if at the appropriate time they are found fit for promotion.

I wish you would tell us for the record how this practice would differ from your current promotion procedures.

Admiral HEARN. As far as actual practice is concerned, there would be no difference whatsoever because our promotion opportunity for lieutenant junior grade to lieutenant and lieutenant to lieutenant commander has been 100 percent. We have been in practice conforming with that portion of the law.

The CHAIRMAN. This just makes your present practice statutory? Admiral HEARN. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. Senator Smith? Senator SMITH. Mr. Chairman. Admiral, the last sentence of section 8(b) of this bill provides that: All provisions of Title 10, United States Code, not inconsistent with this Act relating to officers of the Medical Corps of the Navy shall apply to officers of the Judge Advocate General's Corps of the Navy.

To avoid perhaps unintended consequences that might later arise when the law related to the Medical Corps of the Navy were changed, and to avoid possible controversy about whether the provisions were inconsistent with this bill, would you have any objection to substituting for that sentence a specific reference to the specific laws applicable to the Medical Corps that you wish to apply to the JAG Corps?

Admiral HEARN. No, Senator, I would not.
Senator SMITH. That is all, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Senator Ervin?

Senator ERVIN. Admiral, as I understand the situation, the need for law officers in the Navy is increasing.

Admiral HEARN. Very much so: yes, sir.

Senator Ervin. And due to the failure to have a separate status for law specialists in the Navy, it is more attractive for the law specialists to leave the Navy and go into private practice?

Admiral HEARN. Yes, sir. We find that among our junior officers they sense severely the absence of professional status in the service,

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