Two LSU Law Students Named JAG Officer Candidates

BATON ROUGE – Two LSU law students, who will graduate on Friday, May 24, have been named candidates for Army Judge Advocate General, or JAG, officers.

Kenner native Catherine Pettus, who also received her undergraduate degree from LSU in 2016, was recently recommended for commission to become an Army JAG officer. 

“Since I was 16 years old, I knew I wanted to give back to my country and be a member of the military. That drive hasn’t changed, despite the changes in the plans I thought I had for my life. I went from wanting to be a doctor to a lawyer, but I still wanted to serve. When I settled on law school, JAG was the perfect fit. I just needed to work hard to prove to them that I wanted it,” Pettus said.

Pettus will head to Officer Candidate School in January 2020, starting with a six-week Direct Commission Course at Fort Benning, Ga., followed by more than 10 weeks of additional training at Judge Advocate Officer Basic Course in Charlottesville, Va.

Darrius Samples, from Hauppauge, N.Y., was selected as an alternate for the Army Reserve JAG, but was also selected for the Virginia Army National Guard JAG. Samples said the Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard JAG officers go through the same process of training and selection, and can assist each other depending on the mission.

“I wanted to become an Army JAG officer because I wanted to combine my legal degree with my military experience. I was already an officer in the Army and I believe that with the completion of law school I would better be able to serve my soldiers as a JAG officer,” Samples said.

Before attending LSU, Samples received his undergraduate degree in 2016 from the State University of New York at Cortland.

“I first enlisted in the Army and went to basic training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, in the summer of 2013. Then I enrolled in the Army ROTC program and was commissioned as a military intelligence officer in June 2016 at Fort Knox, Ky. During my time in law school, I served in the Louisiana Army National Guard,” Samples said. “I attended LSU because of its history and the community. LSU was more than just a school; it’s a family.”

Both Pettus and Samples will have to first pass the bar before proceeding with their legal careers.

Kenner native and LSU law graduate Catherine Pettus was recommended for commission to become an Army JAG officer.LSU law graduate Darrius Samples is an officer in the Army.





Contact Rachel Holland
LSU Media Relations


Brian Giandelone
LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center