The Four Functions of the IG

The inspections function is the primary IG function and the one that allows IGs to have the greatest impact on readiness and warfighting capability throughout the Army. The primary purpose of all IG inspections is to resolve systemic issues throughout the Army and, in doing so, to evaluate the effectiveness of Army policies, determine the root causes of noncompliance, and recommend changes to policy proponents.

Investigations is the IG function that provides the commander or directing authority another means through which to resolve allegations of impropriety. Inspectors general may investigate violations of policy, regulation, or law; mismanagement; unethical behavior; fraud; or misconduct. Commanders may opt for an IG investigation or investigative inquiry when extreme discretion is necessary or the allegation requires preliminary factfinding before deciding to resolve the alleged impropriety in command, IG, or other channels.

Assistance is the IG function that provides Soldiers, Family members, DA civilians, retirees, and contract employees the ability to seek help from the IG on matters affecting their health, welfare, and personal readiness. However, anyone may submit a complaint, allegation, or request for information or assistance to any Army IG concerning a matter of Army interest. The IG’s role, as the commander’s representative, is to resolve these issues within the limits of the IG system. Complaints often contain both issues and allegations, but the assistance function focuses IGs on resolving only the issues. By definition, an issue is a complaint, request for information, or request for assistance to the IG that does not identify someone by name as the violator of a standard.

Teaching and training is the fourth of the Army IG system’s four functions and is traditionally embedded in the first three—inspections, assistance, and investigations. While inspecting, assisting, or investigating, IGs enhance the warfighting and readiness capabilities of the Army by teaching and training commanders, Soldiers, and civilians at all levels on current Army policy and doctrine. But current operational tempo and the demands of Army force generation (ARFORGEN) have prompted IGs to perform teaching and training as a separate function independent of the other three functions.