Why IG?

  • Published
  • By Maj. Paul Deutsch
  • 310th Space Wing Inspector General

There are a myriad of resources available to military members and it is easy to forget who does what and when to access them.  A diverse catalogue of beneficial services is always a good problem, but it is important to highlight the programs that can provide members help when he or she feels that all their option have been exhausted.   One program in particular to highlight is our wing’s Complaints Resolution Program (CRP.)

The CRP’s goal is to identify and find solutions for issues that get in the way of accomplishing the Air Force mission.  If there is a problem consuming a member’s energy and attention, then it detracts from the USAF’s mission to fly, fight, and win in air, space, and cyberspace.  The chain-of-command and the IG are both resources (among many others) for helping to address issues so the member’s focus can get back to the mission.   

An issue brought to the IG can be filed as a formal “complaint” which is a means of reporting any of the following: a violation of any law, rule, or regulation; gross mismanagement; a gross waste of funds; an abuse of authority; or a substantial and specific danger to public health and safety.  When a complaint is made to the IG or Congress, this constitutes a protected communication which is kept confidential to the maximum extent possible.  Per legal statute, no member of the armed forces may be restricted from making a lawful communication to a member of Congress or the IG.  Additionally it’s important to remember that a complaint or form of lawful disclosure, also known as "whistleblowing", provides protection against reprisal.  Reprisal (taking an unfavorable personnel action or withholding a favorable personnel action) is also prohibited by law.  If a member is uncomfortable accessing the chain-of-command to report conditions listed above, the IG exists as an alternative reporting channel.

Regarding issues of a classified nature, please take note of two individuals who made the wrong choices with their concerns involving classified information:  Private Bradley Manning and former CIA contractor Edward Snowden.  Though they each could have accessed the IG to share their concerns, they instead elected to make unauthorized disclosures to media agencies (non-government entities) for which no whistleblower protection exists. Had their communication been limited to their chain-of-command, Congress, or the IG, there is an excellent chance they would have not been sent to prison and had to seek refuge within the borders of Russia, respectively.  Since space operations and the larger mission conducted across the 310 SW can involve classified information, use their stories as a learning lesson and contact the IG instead with your concerns.

Reaching your 310 SW/IG is easy! You can email paul.deutsch.2@us.af.mil or jerade.tipton.1@us.af.mil, call 567-3984/567-6370, or visit our offices on the second floor of Bldg 26.  For 24/7 complaints a DoD Hotline is also available at 1-800-424-9098.  Remember that everyone has a right to access the IG or Congress (including military, civilians, contractors, or family) and you do not need the consent of your unit to do so.  If the IG cannot assist directly, we will point you in the right direction.  If something feels wrong, it is time to reach out—and it is never too early to do so, as small concerns have a tendency to grow into even bigger problems over time.

The IG is a resource here to help- contact your 310 SW/IG to start the conversation.