Who Knew?

It’s not a good idea to start binge-watching on an old series. I’m watching JAG which is from 1995-2005. It’s like all the rest of the procedurals like NCIS, CSI, and Criminal Minds, but it sends Lawyers into Harm’s Way. (This is a wordplay. The main character’s name is Harmon–Harm)

In one episode, a decorated sniper is detested by his new CO and with just 3 years to go to retirement is assigned to Bosnia. The guy has 163 kills in his book. Would you want to piss off someone like that? He had made an agreement that he’d serve out his time training new snipers rather than go back into the field, and the new CO didn’t recognize the agreement as binding, and then he drives off in his jeep. Sniper takes a rifle and aims at the retreating jeep and from over 1000 yards, breaks the guy’s rearview mirror. He then heads for the hills.

Dumb CO sends in at least 15 guys, trained snipers (!) in Gilly suits to bring him down. Sniper has trained all these guys and has decades more experience in combat situations. He warns them to leave him alone, but of course, they don’t. His JAG lawyer goes in with the snipers and when they land, they deploy and he hangs back. Sniper sends the rest of the guys home naked and missing their guns. JAG lawyer is not among them. He finds the sniper! Then the CO sends in MORE guys and the JAG lawyer acts as the sniper’s spotter. Sniper drops a hornet’s nest on one of the teams. Ow Ow Ow!

So the deal is, this experienced sniper who can defeat 2 incursions by guys he trained gets found by a JAG lawyer. How embarrassing. He wants to prove that he wasn’t trying to kill the CO by recreating the shot with the JAG lawyer driving, which he does.

  • Another episode, the JAG officer and his associate take on a whole gang by themselves. How humiliating to be taken down by a Navy Lawyer.
  • Another one, the JAG officer flies a Tomcat and lands on a carrier in the dark when the CAG (Captain of the Air Group who was piloting the jet) got shot.
  • Another one, he maneuvers a Leer jet and avoids getting shot down over Cuba by fighter planes. How ashamed would you be if your MiG couldn’t outfly a private jet flown by a Navy Lawyer?
  • Then he identifies and kills a professional assassin that the CIA and NSA have not been able to find for decades. How mortified would you be if, as a professional spook, you got beaten to the punch by a Navy Lawyer?!

JAG is supposed to be the legal arm of the Navy defending or prosecuting members of the Navy in legal matters. They aren’t field officers, they are not investigators. Even Perry Mason had a Private Detective–Paul Drake, to do the investigating and leg work. Mason worked with the client and did the courtroom work. If Mason was ever in a live-fire situation, I don’t recall it. After nearly a whole season of the show, I’ve only seen them in court three times? How did they think that JAG would spend all that time in the field?

I can just see everyone’s orientation speech. “You better be dam* good at your job! Don’t assume anything! And if somehow, or someway a Navy JAG officer who also is a pilot gets assigned to whatever you’re working on, assume he will make a fool of you.

For some reason, everyone is incompetent when this JAG officer is around.

*dam~backed up with horrible consequences

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