Kadena inspector general explains complaint, FWA processes

  • Published
  • By Gillous Mays
  • 18th Wing Inspector General
It is probably fair to say some of you have already been exposed to the Air Force inspector general processes and have your own perceptions.

My goal is to help you understand the role of the Air Force IG. IGs don't work for other IGs ... they work for their respective wing commanders.

I wish I could tell you with a straight face the Air Force never gets any complaints - but I can't. What I can tell you is all personnel on Kadena are key in dealing with Air Force complaints.

In any profession, especially a profession of arms, there will be a human dimension generating problems that can and will degrade if left unchecked. All personnel need to know their problems are being handled fairly and through a thorough, accurate and timely process.

The Air Force IG focus is reprisal, restriction and improper mental health referrals. As a general rule, we refer most other matters to the appropriate grievance channel for investigation and resolution. When we as IGs go to investigation, we go because it's the best way to establish the facts surrounding the situation. The resulting report of investigation allows the commander to take action as appropriate.

Who may file Air Force complaints?
Any Air Force military or civilian member may file an Air Force complaint. Anyone, including civilians with no Air Force affiliation, may file fraud, waste and abuse disclosures. Depending on the circumstances, the IG may also accept complaints from dependents or relatives of active-duty members, retirees and their dependents.

What types of complaints are appropriate?
Any FWA and violations of law, Air Force instructions or policy should be reported through the appropriate grievance channels. The subject of your complaint must be an Air Force program or person. Bear in mind, you may disagree with your supervisor over management styles or have what you believe is a "personality conflict," but this does not constitute an injustice or mismanagement.

When are IG complaints appropriate?
Each individual should attempt to resolve FWA issues and personal complaints at the lowest possible level, using command channels before elevating them to the next higher level or to the IG. IGs may dismiss a complaint if there is no FWA, recognizable wrong or violation of law, regulation or policy.

Where (with whom) should complaints be filed?
IG complaints may be filed with a superior or commander in your chain of command, an IG or other appropriate inspector, or within any established grievance channel. FWA complaints may be reported to the Air Force Audit Agency, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, security police or other proper authority.

If you're not sure your concern is a reportable matter, contact your local IG office for guidance. You can reach the Kadena IG office at 634-1109, 634-7622, or the FWA hotline at 634-0404.