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Evaluation of the Separation of Service Members Who Made a Report of Sexual Assault

DODIG-2016-088

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Objective

In accordance with House Report 114-102 to accompany Public Law 114-92, "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016," we evaluated the separations of service members who made unrestricted reports of sexual assault. W e evaluated whether the Military Services carried out separations in compliance with DoD Instruction 1332.14, "Enlisted Administrative Separations," January 27, 2014, and Incorporating Change 1, Effective December 4, 2014, for the following non-disability mental conditions (NDMCs):

  • Personality Disorder
  • Adjustment Disorder
  • Disruptive Behavior Disorder
  • Impulse Control Disorder
  • Mental Condition, Other
  • Condition, Not a Disability

Findings

Finding A

  1. 239 (67 percent) of the 355 separation records available were not completed in accordance with DoDI 1332.14.

  2. 108 (22 percent) of 498 separation records requested from the Services were either missing or incomplete and could not be evaluated. 

Finding B

The Military Services did not complete a total of 254 (72 percent) of 355 DD Forms 214, "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty," as required by DoDI 1336.01, "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty."  The DD Forms 214 had Separation Program Designator (SPD) codes that did not coincide with the diagnosed NDMCs.  DoDI 1336.01 requires the Military Services to provide active duty service members who are separated a complete and accurate DD Form 214.

As a result, numerous service members had inaccurate DD Forms 214.  The inaccurate DD Forms 214 may adversely affect DoD's ability to analyze trends related to NDMC separations as required by DoDI 1336.01 and violate service members' rights to have an accurate record of their service.    

Recommendations

Recommendations A

 

  1. We recommend that the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, in coordination with the Services, update policy to establish management control procedures for separating service members for Non-Disability Mental Conditions to ensure service members are properly counseled, in writing, and separations are processed and recorded in accordance with policy.    
  2. We recommend that the Secretaries of the Military Departments and the Commandant of the Marine Corps comply with DoD Instruction 1336.08, "Military Human Resource Records Life Cycle Management," to ensure all records are available, accurate, and complete.

Recommendations B

  1. We recommend that the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness evaluate the necessity of including Separation Program Designator codes on service members’ DD Forms 214, "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty," and revise DoD Instruction 1336.01, "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty," if warranted.

  2. We recommend that the Secretaries of the Military Departments and the Commandant of the Marine Corps ensure the Services comply with DoD Instruction 1336.01, "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty," by providing accurate and complete DD Forms 214, "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty," to service members separating for all Non-Disability Mental Conditions.

Management Comments and Our Response

We received management comments to the draft report from the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, performing the Duties of the Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (PDASD P&R) and the Secretary of the Air Force Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manpower and Reserve Affairs (SAF/MR).

The PDASD P&R agreed with our recommendations. She believes the recommended actions will assist in addressing underlying separation issues currently being reviewed by the Military Service Member Separation Standardization Working Group (MSMSSWG) established on July 20, 2015, in response to the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2015. She advised that the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, via the MSMSSWG, has been directed to make recommendations that bring standardization across the Military Services, including the Reserve Components, which uniformly track service member separations for NDMC. The MSMSSWG was stood up in August 2015 and is expected to report out in 2017. The DoD OIG will periodically track the MSMSSWG’s progress in relation to our recommendations as part of our audit follow-up process.

The SAF/MR concurred with our findings and recommendations. SAF/MR also provided comments that were administrative in nature that did not result in changes to our report. Given the satisfactory findings related to Air Force’s NDMC separation records accountability, and DD Form 214 processing, we found SAF/MR’s management comments to be responsive. However, SAF/MR comments did not address the specifics of the actions the Air Force would take to improve the accuracy of NDMC separation processing. We request additional management comments on the final report.

 

We did not receive requested management comments in response to the draft report from the Secretaries of the Army and Navy and the Commandant of the Marine Corps. As such, we are requesting their management comments in response to this final report. Please see the Recommendations Table on the next page.

This report is a result of Project No. 2015C012.