Actions Needed To Improve Military Chain of Command and Inspectors General Grievance Procedures

FPCD-79-23: Published: Jun 11, 1979. Publicly Released: Jun 11, 1979.

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Surveys have shown that many members of the U.S. military services do not have confidence that the grievance procedures available to them are effective in resolving their problems.

The services believe that resolution of members' problems is a command responsibility and should be accomplished at the lowest possible level in the chain of command. The two principal systems available to service members, chain of command and Inspectors General (IG), fall short of meeting the criteria which personnel experts consider necessary for a workable grievance system. The Army and Air Force permit their members to initiate grievances with the IG without first attempting resolution through the chain of command. This often results in a duplication of effort, delays in resolution, and preclusion of supervisors from fulfilling a basic command responsibility. The Navy and Marine Corps do not provide such a degree of access to the IG; and, as a result, grievances can be buried in an ineffective command chain or members may feel compelled to go outside the services to government or congressional officials. The independence of the IG is questionable since they are responsible to and evaluated by the commanders on whose staffs they serve. Data on grievances are either nonexistent, incomplete, or inaccurate.

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