Inspector General Explained
What is an Inspector General?
The Inspector General is a personal staff officer of the commander, providing the commander with a sounding board for sensitive issues. The IG is an extension of the commander, his or her eyes, ears, and conscience. The role of the Inspector General is to determine and report on the economy, efficiency, discipline, morale, esprit de corps, readiness, and resources of the command. In other words, the Inspector General is interested in every aspect of the command. There are two categories of Inspectors General:
- Detailed and Assistant IGs are officer and senior NCOs who serve tours as full-time Inspectors General. These individuals are school trained, and wear the IG insignia.
- Acting Inspectors General (AIGs) are commissioned officers who perform limited IG functions. They receive complaints, but can only act on matters which are administrative in nature (e.g., pay problems).
The four basic functions of the Inspector General are used to accomplish our mission. Those functions are:
- Assistance - Anyone may submit a complaint or request for assistance to an Army IG concerning matters of interest to the Army.
- Inspection - IGs conduct inspections at the direction of the commander. An IG inspection may focus on organizations, functions or both and may or may not be compliance oriented.
- Investigation - IGs only conduct investigations when directed by the commander. The investigation will focus on violations of policy or regulations. The commander may also direct an investigation into alleged mismanagement, unethical behavior or misconduct.
- Teaching and Training - Teaching and training is integral part of the first three funtions. IGs by their very nature possess a wealth of knowledge and experience. They use this knowledge and experience when assisting, inspecting and investigating to teach soldiers at all levels about policies and procedures.
Things to remember about the IG:
- Anyone can file a complaint/request for assistance, either orally or in writing to the IG.
- Soldiers cannot be denied access to an IG. They do not have to go through their chain of command. They do not need permission to call or see an IG. They do need to exercise common sense and they cannot leave their place of duty without permission.
- No retribution will be taken against a Soldier who submits a complaint to an IG. Anyone, however, who knowingly submits an untruthful statement to an IG can be charged under the UCMJ.
What can the IG do for Commanders?
- IGs can provide a great deal of assistance to commanders.
- IGs are linked worldwide through technical channels and can gather information quickly and confidentially.
- IGs work closely with Soldier support agencies (Chaplain, JAG, Red Cross, ACS, etc.) to resolve problems. The IG can help you get started in the right direction.
What the IG does not do:
- IGs do not provide legal reviews or opinions - these are provided by the Staff Judge Advocate.
- IGs do not conduct criminal investigations - these are done by the Military Police and/or CID.
- IGs do not direct action. We may make suggestions to commanders but commanders ultimately direct action.