Did you know that complainants who have Inspector General, or IG, issues or allegations must present them in a timely manner? Waiting until the last minute to seek assistance may make it more difficult to address them. It is not required for an IG to look into an issue or allegation if the complainant does not bring it to their attention within one year of becoming aware of the problem or if more than three years have transpired since the date of the problem or wrongdoing.
Someone may have had an issue that seemed to get out of hand and thought to him or herself, “If I had taken care of this earlier, would it be such a problem?” When it comes to taking care of issues in the military it is best to be proactive and not reactive. People know issues, problems and bad news do not get better with time. It is important to know when to seek assistance and who to talk to when a problem arises.
Many times, Soldiers come to the IG Office seeking assistance with an issue that could have been addressed by their chain of command. When an IG asks the Soldier if their chain of command is aware of the concern, often the response is “No.” This is surprising since the chain of command is the best tool a Soldier has for getting an issue resolved. Leaders can point a Soldier in the right direction and even provide resources for Soldiers to use.
Using the proper channels to resolve issues at their onset will generally cut the problem-solving time in half. Always give your chain of command the opportunity to assist with your issues first.
If for any reason you give leadership a reasonable amount of time to assist with an issue and it is still not resolved, an available option available is to seek assistance from the IG Office. Everything the IG does is based on facts; be sure to provide all documents relating to your case. When you talk to an IG, ensure statements are both truthful and as accurate as possible.
The IG is here to provide assistance when needed. Don’t wait to the last minute to get an issue resolved. Always remember to start with your chain of command.
For answers to IG-related questions, call the Inspector General Office, 533.1144.