Staff Judge Advocate
SJA Seal
Headquarters Marine Corps
Washington, D.C.

The United States Marine Corps' Judge Advocate Division serves both to advise the Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC) and other officials in Headquarters, Marine Corps on legal matters, and to oversee the Marine Corps legal community. The head of the Judge Advocate Division (JAD) is the Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant (SJA to CMC).

Judge Advocates (JAs) in the Marine Corps work under the supervision of the SJA to the CMC to advise Marine commanders regarding legal issues including the laws of war, and handling of criminal cases under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Marine Corps lawyers are line officers, unlike their counterparts in the United States Navy and Army, which means they can fill any officer billet in the Fleet Marine Force.

Judge Advocate Division (Main)
Commandant of the Marine Corps
Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps (JA)
3000 Marine Corps Pentagon Room 4D558
Washington, D.C. 20350-3000

Officer Misconduct / Separations
Commandant of the Marine Corps
Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps (JPL)
3000 Marine Corps Pentagon Room 4D558
Washington, D.C. 20350-3000

Main Line / Executive Assistant    
COM: 703-614-8661

Community Plans & Innovation (JPI)    
COM: 703-614-1318

Information, Plans & Programs (JPI-1)    
COM: 703-614-9252

International and Operational Law (JAO)    
COM: 703-614-2793

Military Justice (JMJ)    
COM: 703-614-1691

Military Personnel Law (JPL)    
COM: 703-614-4250

Legal Assistance (JLA)    
COM: 703-692-7442

Civil and Administrative Law (JCA)    
COM: 703-614-2510

Reserve Operations Sponsor    
COM: 703-693-8163  

Trial Counsel Assistance Program (TCAP)    
COM: 703-693-9008

Defense Services Organization (DSO)    
COM: 703-604-0728 

Victims Legal Counsel Organization (VLCO)    
COM: 703-697-8609

224 - for all 614 prefixes
223 - for all 693 prefixes
227 - for all 697 prefixes
260 - for all 571 prefixes

The SJA to CMC has three deputies. One serves as Deputy SJA and Deputy Director of JAD for HQMC Legal Support. Another serves as Deputy Director of JAD for Military Justice and Community Development. The third serves as Deputy Director of JAD for Reserve Legal Support. JAD is divided into seven branches that fall under two of the three deputies:

  • Deputy SJA and Deputy Director, JAD, HQMC Legal Support

    • JAA – Administrative Support: manages the internal administrative requirements of JAD.

    • JCA – Civil and Administrative Law: legal review and guidance on civil and most administrative law matters, including professional responsibility.

    • JPL – Military Personnel Law: full range of military personnel law matters

    • JAO – International and Operational Law: full range of international and operational law matters

  • Deputy Director, JAD, Military Justice and Community Development

    • JMJ – Military Law: advice on military justice policy and legislation, and advising and assisting trial counsel in the field

    • JCD – Community Development, Strategy, and Plans: long-term strategic planning, writing and managing legal community doctrine, strategic communications, coordination of judge advocate manpower requirements and assignments, and overall coordination of IT support for legal community.

    • JLA – Legal Assistance: administers Marine Corps legal assistance program under 10 U.S.C. § 1044.

  • Deputy Director, JAD, Reserve Legal Support – oversees the provision of Reserve legal support to the Marine Corps and heads the JAD Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) Detachment

The SJA to CMC also exercises functional supervision over three independent legal organizations within the Marine Corps:

  • DSO – Defense Services Organization: headed by the Chief Defense Counsel of the Marine Corps, the DSO provides defense counsel services to Marines worldwide.

  • VLCO – Victims' Legal Counsel Organization: headed by the Officer in Charge, the VLCO provides certain legal services to eligible victims of crime.

  • TSO – Trial Services Organization: headed by the Chief Trial Counsel of the Marine Corps, the TSO provides trial counsel services to Marines worldwide.

The mission of Marine Corps Legal Services is to provide timely, efficient, and appropriate legal advice and support to commanders, Marines, Sailors, and their families to promote the readiness of the force and contribute to Marine Corps mission accomplishment.