Publicly Released: October 20, 2022
We conducted this investigation in response to a complaint filed with the Oklahoma Air National Guard 138th Fighter Wing Inspector General (IG) office that alleged that the Subject restricted the Complainant from lawfully communicating with an IG.
A preponderance of the evidence indicates that, during a meeting to discuss another Airman’s reenlistment, the Subject told a group of Service members, including the Complainant, “If anyone speaks of this outside of this room, they will get an instant letter of reprimand (LOR).” All of the meeting attendees we interviewed told us that they believed that the Subject would take action against them if the Subject found out they discussed the meeting contents outside the meeting, and some of the attendees told us that, as a result, they were dissuaded from speaking with an IG. Therefore, we substantiated the allegation that the Subject restricted the Complainant and other Service members from making lawful communications to an IG.
In an August 26, 2022 letter, we provided the Subject the opportunity to comment on the preliminary report of investigation. In a September 8, 2022 response, the Subject disagreed with our conclusions. While acknowledged that the Subject instructed the meeting attendees to “not discuss this matter outside this meeting,” the Subject asserted that the DoD OIG took the comment out of context. Specifically, the Subject told us that the meeting attendees understood that statement was a prohibition on discussing another Service member’s career with their subordinates, and that the conversation was not “open to others in their shop.”
After carefully considering the Subject’s response, we have revised our report where appropriate, but stand by our original conclusion. Therefore, we substantiated the allegation that the Subject restricted the Complainant and other Service members from making lawful communications to an IG.
We recommend that the Secretary of the Air Force direct Air Force officials to take appropriate corrective action against the Subject for restricting the Complainant and other Service members from making lawful communications to an IG.