What is it?
No person may restrict a member of the armed forces from communicating with a Member of Congress or an Inspector General. The communication must be lawful. A “lawful communication” is any communication that does not constitute misconduct, a violation of the UCMJ, or a violation of other applicable criminal statutes.
Examples of Restriction:
- Threatening an individual to prevent them from going to the commander, IG, or member of Congress
- Telling someone you will drop the LOR being processed against them if they withdraw their IG complaint
- Telling someone that by filing a congressional complaint they have poisoned the atmosphere for their future within the unit
- Forcing all issues to remain within the chain of command
How to Stay Out of Trouble
Commanders and supervisors should encourage their people to use the chain of command but ensure them they have the right to contact the IG or a Member of Congress.