Who Can I Turn To?…the IG!

  • Published
  • By Maj. Todd Risk
  • 62nd Airlift Wing Inspector General
When I tell someone I work for the Inspector General (IG), I get different reactions ranging from apprehension to bewilderment, the name Inspector General always invokes images of an intrusive inspection team, scurrying around your duty section with checklists and TO's, highlighting all of our faults. What I always tell them is that we are a "kinder, gentler IG". At McChord Field we have the luxury of targeting all our attention on complaints and inquiries. A plus for McChord Field is the fact that we have two IGs on base; the 62nd Airlift Wing IG, for active duty concerns and the 446th Airlift Wing IG, for concerns and complaints with our Reserve partners.

Our purpose as stated in AFI 90-301, Inspector General Complaint Resolution, is to; "indicate where commander involvement is needed to correct systemic, programmatic or procedural weakness; resolve problems affecting the Air Force mission promptly and objectively; create an atmosphere of trust in which issues can be objectively and fully resolved without fear of retaliation or reprisal." In other words, we're here to help keep the mission moving forward without professional/personal conflicts or bureaucratic hindrance. We help the men and women of the 62nd AW to stay focused on our mission and the defense of this great nation. We like to think of ourselves as the "Hero with the white hats" but in fact our hats are "Grey". We do not take sides in any conflicts; we are pure and simply "Advocates of Truth". We try and see through the emotion and anger, fear and confusion to the crux of the problem and assist all parties come to a working solution. Unfortunately, we sometimes are unable to come to a resolution that make all involved happy.

Before visiting the IG, ask yourself the following questions: have I exhausted all means of resolving my issue? Has something really been done illegal or against regulations or am I just offended? Have I given my chain of command (COC) the opportunity to fix my problems? Chances are your Commander or First Sergeant has already dealt with similar problems and are a great source of knowledge and experience. Although it is your right to go directly to your local IG, ideally, we hope that you utilized your COC first. Against often popular belief they do care about you on an individual basis.

If it comes down to it there are several ways to file a complaint with us; in person, by telephone (982-3445), by letter, or via email (62IG@mcchord.af.mil). You can also file a complaint anonymously; either way we'll work the issue with the same urgency. The only difference is we can't provide a reply for an anonymous complaint. You can contact us using the information on our posters displayed in organizations and dormitories throughout the base. You can even call the base operator, ask for the IG and they'll connect you. Bottom line, if there is a complaint out there, there is a way to file and fix it.

Once we receive a complaint we conduct a complaint analysis to determine a strategy. Your complaint may result in one of the following IG actions: referral, transfer, dismissal, assistance, or investigation. Normally, we'll let you know within five business days as to how your issue will be handled. Some issues may be resolved on the spot; while others may take the full five days to determine a course of action. Sometimes another agency is more appropriate to deal with your issue (usually your COC); we will refer your complaint to that office. If the issue falls under another IG, either on or off base, or under another command, we'll transfer your complaint to the appropriate IG. If it's determined no violation of a standard or procedure occurred or it is frivolous, we'll dismiss the complaint and provide an explanation why. Many times we provide an IG assist by simply making phone calls, help gather information, or get you started with certain processes. If your complaint leads to an IG investigation, be prepared for the long haul. An investigation, depending on the issue, may take two to six months before you're notified of the outcome. This time factor is another reason why we recommend the chain of command for resolving issues.

It is important that every Airman has a clear understanding of the IG's role, and most importantly, how it relates to accomplishing the mission. Our goal is to get you back on the line, performing your duties, and being an active member of our Airlift Wing. Please never hesitate to talk to us or seek us out for advice. You are why we are here!

62 AW IG: Bld. 100, Suite 3021
(253) 982-3445/3323/ DSN 382
AMC IG: (618) 229-0446/DSN 779-0446
DOD IG HOTLINE: (800) 424-9098/DSN 664

Ref: SMSgt Edward J. Mooney