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Military Life 101

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Inspectors' General

If you need advice on where to go or who to see about a possible sexual harrassment or discrimination complaint, then you should know about the Inspectors General.

IG's are an extension of the eyes, ears, and conscience of their commanders. They are also responsible for investigating complaints that come from outside the chain of command. This provides military members, civilian members, and their dependents a channel to present complaints or get advice on a subject that might constitute a complaint.

Though recommended, an individual does not have to follow the chain of command or get the prior approval of a superior to file an IG complaint. Most of the complaints investigated by the inspectors general are from servicemembers who think they have been wronged by their commanders or units. They also investigate allegations of discrimination against military members from organizations and businesses in the civilian communities.

Every attempt is made to resolve complaints at the lowest possible level. But, if that is not possible, the complaint can move up to the inspector general of the next highest command. Eventually, if necessary, complaints can reach the IG for an individual service or the Department of Defense IG.

Complaints of fraud, waste and abuse in the Department of Defense or any military service can be reported separately through a hotline that has been set up. Complaints can be called in Monday through Friday, 8am to 4pm EST, at 1-800-424-9098. You can also email your complaint.

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