By Wayne Allen
Scioto Domestic Relations Court Magistrate and U.S. Navy Commander Mike Jones has been selected as a military judge. Jones was selected by the 2014 Navy Judicial Screening Board to serve as a Military Judge for the United States Navy.
According to released information, “Jones was one of only five Navy Reserve JAG Officers to be selected to this prestigious honor. Commander Jones has served for twenty years in the United States Navy at locations throughout the world such as the Pentagon, Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, Naval Station Bahrain, and Naval Station San Diego, California.”
Jones explained that it means he can now hear cases in the Navy and Marine Corps. trial judiciary.
“I can hear courts-martial cases, both general courts-martial cases that deal with felony level offenses and special court Marshall cases that deal with misdemeanor offenses,” Jones said.
Jones said through this position he can serve in positions throughout the world. According to Jones, the Navy-Marine Corps Trial Judiciary is organized into eight judicial circuits covering the United States and overseas locations in Europe and Japan. Approximately 20 percent of all courts-martial cases are presided over by Reserve Judges. As both Judges and senior officers, Reserve Judges serve a role model and mentors who strive to educate and develop young judge advocates as officers and litigators.
Jones said he will served in this role through his reserve capacity.
“In my reserve capacity, instead of going and doing my two weeks as an attorney in the Navy, I’ll be doing my two weeks and potentially longer serving as a military judge,” Jones said. “Typically what the reserve judges do is back fill active duty judges who either have a conflict or are on vacation. With the volume of cases there is a need for reserve judges as well.”
Jones said he will continue to serve as Scioto Domestic Relations Court Magistrate.
When asked if this was a position he sought out, Jones said, “you have to go in front of a judicial screening board and it’s a highly competitive board where you put in an extensive application. You have to have numerous references from judges you’ve dealt with in the military and judges you’ve dealt with in your civilian capacity”
He said one the application is complete you go before a board who reviews credentials and your performance as a military officer.
“They will then determine if your are qualified to be a military judge,” Jones said. “Statistically only about 10 percent of the people that apply get accepted as a judge.”
Jones will now attend the Military Judge Course at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he will be trained with active duty Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard judge advocates who have been selected this year as Military Judges.
Commander Jones has received many awards in the Navy and he is entitled to wear the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (gold star in lieu of two awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (gold star in lieu of 4 awards) and the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Medal.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.