An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

1 SOW Inspector General's office here to help

  • Published
  • By 1st Special Operation Wing Inspector General
  • 1st Special Operation Wing Inspector General office
The words "inspector" and "general," when used together, usually cause most personnel to cringe or bristle significantly. 

Perhaps this is because the office is associated with "black hat" actions such as inspections, investigations and congressional complaints. 

However, while they do have some responsibility for those issues, they cannot disseminate punitive action. That is a perpetuating myth, said Lt. Col. Dan Murray, 1st Special Operations Wing Inspector General. 

The Inspector General office exists to serve as the wing commander's observer, to provide unit commanders, and personnel, a trusted agent outside the chain of command, and exercise the wing's capabilities. 

Their mandate is to act in the best interest of all Airmen, whether at a Wing, an 
Installation or anywhere else in the Air Force. The 1 SOW IG is organized into two sections to accomplish this: Exercises & Evaluations (IGI) and Inquiries & Investigations (IGQ). 

The IG office is responsible for planning, executing and evaluating all of the exercises that occur on Hurlburt Field. They have built a Hurlburt Exercise and Evaluation Team (HEET) consisting of over 200 functional experts from many different organizations on Hurlburt Field to accomplish this responsibility. 

The inspector General's office is also responsible to evaluate the Wing's compliance with Air Force and Air Force Special Operations Command instructions through the Self-inspection Program. 

In addition, they inspect and evaluate unit and personnel combat readiness through Operational Readiness Exercises (OREs), to include everyone's favorite: the Ability to Survive and Operate (ATSO) in a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE) environment. 

These exercises are not just done to "check a box." They are done in order to prepare the wing for real world deployments and major command (MAJCOM) inspections. 

"In addition, exercises are conducted to prepare the entire installation population (including tenant units and coordinating off-base agencies) for major accidents/incidents and natural disasters, in order to preserve lives and property," said Colonel Murray. "Being located in Hurricane Central, we take this responsibility very seriously." 

"It is important to realize that these exercises and inspections are not punitive in nature," said Colonel Murray. "The HEET members collect 'findings' for non-compliance with instructions, and 'recommendations' for non-regulatory improvements to tasks or processes." 

These findings and recommendations only help to identify necessary improvements. They are identified to make the wing, groups, squadrons and Airmen here better prepared for the "real deal." This will be extremely important with the upcoming ORI scheduled for February 2010, said Colonel Murray. 

One of the most underappreciated aspects of the Wing IG office is their responsibility to respond to military member and civilian complaints through inquiries and sometimes investigations, said Colonel Murray. 

Complaints may concern Fraud, Waste, Abuse (FWA) and/or negligence regarding Air Force funds, equipment or facilities or they may concern abuse of authority by the chain of command. 

They may also concern some unethical base-related issue, or a failed process. Essentially, the Inspector General's office will listen to any complaint about any valid issue and provide what assistance they can. 

"The Inspector General's office will always analyze any complaint that they receive, but they will not always investigate it," Colonel Murray said. "Many complaints are referred or transferred to another office of primary responsibility (OPR), whether it is on base, at the higher headquarters (AFSOC), or a different MAJCOM completely." 

One example is if the complaint concerns violation of Equal Opportunity (EO) policies. When this occurs, the 1 SOW/IG office would most likely refer the matter to the EO office. 

However, if the complaint regards a person who is the rank of colonel or above, the IG is required to transfer the matter to higher headquarters. 

Again, the IG's investigations can result in punitive actions, but those actions lie with the chain of command and the legal office, as the Wing IG has no punitive authority. 

The most important point about making a complaint to the IG is that NO ONE can legally prevent another person from making a complaint, nor can any supervisor or commander take action against that person (reprisal) for making a complaint, said Colonel Murray. 

If your complaint is regarding a supervisor who isn't your commander, you may use the proper chain of command to get resolution. This is why most commanders have open door policies, said Colonel Murray. 

An individual may file a complaint with the IG office or a member of Congress if they desire. However, it is important to remember to always try to resolve the issue at the lowest level, said Colonel Murray. The IG often has to refer a complaint back to a commander so the chain of command process works as it should. 

In short, the Inspector General's office exists to provide you with comprehensive exercise and preparedness support and unparalleled complaint response. They are not the enemy, said Colonel Murray. They're here to make the 1 SOW a better place to live, serve and work.