Adverse information impact on field grade officer careers

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Demetria Wells-Davis
  • 166th Airlift Wing Director of Complaints
Recently, several policy changes were implemented based on revisions to the Air Force Inspector General System governing authority, Air Force Instruction 90-301, Special Management, IG Complaints Resolution. The revised governance is designed to enhance the overall effectiveness of IG programs and serve as a standard for the betterment of our wing's mission.

Two new policy changes may negatively impact military careers based on derogatory behavior or actions.

IGs in all military services are approved and have the responsibility for:

1) reporting civil liberties related complaints; and

2) collecting and reporting all adverse information on field grade officers (O-4s/O-5s), as directed by the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC).
Also, applicable to all senior officers, the SASC requires reporting adverse information on O-6s going up for O-7 selection and to the date of the last Senate confirmation for O-8, as required by DoDI 1320.4. All members should ensure their personal and professional behavior is above reproach and adhere to and advocate Air Force core values. As a gentle caution, field grade officers should keep in mind that any action they take that results in adverse information or action may affect their career for at least a decade.

As mandated, all cases of this nature will flow through the wing IG director of complaints resolution office for tracking through the existing IG tracking system.

There are two new focus areas that all Airmen need to consider based on policy changes.

First, Adverse Information.

Adverse Information is any credible information of an adverse nature, which is resolved and supported by a preponderance of evidence and a substantiated finding or conclusion from an officially documented investigation or inquiry or other official record for report such as a Command Directed Investigation (CDI), Equal Opportunity (EO) inquiry, Accident Investigation Board (AIB), Clinical Privileges Peer Review, etc. Also included are any documented adverse actions such as Letters of Counseling, Admonition or Reprimand, Article 15 results, and other Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) violations.

Second, Civil Liberties (IG Special Interest Item).

Federal law requires all federal agencies, including DoD, to periodically report allegations of civil liberties violations and resolution, provide training, and ensure agency policies and regulations do not violate civil liberties of agency personnel and the public. Civil liberties are the rights of individuals to exercise the freedom and rights guaranteed them under the U.S. Constitution without the government's interference.

For the purposes of the Air Force Civil Liberties Program, civil liberties are considered to be: First Amendment Rights (rights to freedom of speech, peaceful assembly, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion); Second Amendment Rights (right to keep and bear arms); Fourth Amendment Rights (rights against unreasonable searches and seizures), Fifth Amendment Rights (right not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law), Fifteenth, Nineteenth and Twenty Sixth Amendments Rights (right to vote). Your local IGs will determine if a civil liberty complaint constitutes a violation of a member's rights and the appropriate channel for handling of the complaint.

Notification Requirements:

For our wing, this means that it is imperative for investigating offices and leaders across the command to engage and contact the IG for technical and professional support to ensure thorough investigations or inquiries of allegations are conducted. In cases where colonels are being investigated, the IG office must be notified when allegations are made and also when the case closes (even if allegations are not substantiated). For majors and lieutenant colonels, the IG must be notified when a case closes with substantiated findings and/or adverse actions (final LOR, etc.) are finalized.

All resulting documents (i.e., CDI reports, legal review, command actions, rebuttal statements), Civil Liberties Report, and other reports of adverse information will be obtained from investigating offices and submitted as required by SAF/IGQ, in accordance with AFI-90-301.

If you have any questions, comments, or need additional information, please feel free to contact me at 302-323-3479 (DSN 445-7479), or other members of the wing IG staff located in wing HQ, building 2600.