How to File a DOD IG ComplaintAugust 3, 2020
A DoD IG (Inspector General) Complaint is a powerful tool for Servicemembers in certain situations. The DoD IG Office is different than the local IG offices at each installation. While a Servicemember may want to file their complaint with the local IG Office first, often times complaints that are filed outside of the organization/base in question receive a more fair investigation. Therefore, it is sometimes advisable to file a complaint with the DoD IG Office as opposed to the local IG Office.
Complaints to the DoD IG are made through what they call the "DoD Hotline." Here is the mission statement of the DoD Hotline: "The mission of the DoD Hotline is to provide a confidential, reliable means to report violations of law, rule, or regulation; fraud, waste, and abuse; mismanagement; trafficking in persons; serious security incidents; or other criminal or administrative misconduct that involve DoD personnel and operations, without fear of reprisal."
Many Servicemember complaints about their chain of command can fit into this mission statement; however, before filing a DoD IG Complaint, a Servicemember should consult with a military lawyer to ensure doing so is advisable.
The easiest way to submit a complaint is using the DoD IG Complaint online form, found at this link. The complaint can be submitted anonymously or not. The online form asks for various details and allows the complainant to attach supporting documentation.
Complaints can also be mailed to "DoD Hotline, The Pentagon, Washington D.C., 20301-1900" or faxed to 1-703-604-8567. For complaints not submitted online using one of these methods, these forms should be used: anonymous complaint or non-anonymous complaint.
Filing a DoD IG Complaint is a big deal. It is a powerful tool that has the potential to bring about change. Before filing a complaint, a Servicemember should consult with a military lawyer.
This article was written by Attorney Matthew Barry