The “Military Justice and Legal Assistance Matters” subtitle of this year’s House-passed version of the DOD Authorization Act, H.R. 1585, includes only one item, which would expand authorization to provide legal assistance to “[c]ivilian employees of the Federal Government serving with, or preparing to serve with, an armed force in support of a contingency operation, as designated in regulations prescribed by the Secretary concerned.” (Hey, No Man — if we can court-martial them, the least we can do is give them legal assistance, too.)
The second provision is an expanded authorization to provide legal assistance that is at once broader and narrower than the House version. Rather than applying only in contingency areas and to those preparing to go to contingency areas, it more broadly applies “in locations where legal assistance from non-military legal assistance providers is not reasonably available.” But rather than applying to all federal government civilian employees, it more narrowly applies to “[c]ivilian employees of the Department of Defense.” Unlike the House version, the Senate version also omits reference to service regulations.
Section 573 provides that serving Judge Advocates General shall be three-star generals or admirals. It also provides that the legal counsel to the Chairman of the JCS shall be a one-star.