Complaint Process: EOAs will conduct intake interviews to determine if a complaint alleging prohibited activities and conduct meets prima facie elements of an offense. EOAs will advise the commander on the appropriate resolution of the allegation(s). A complainant may request a means of resolution during their intake interview. However, the commander will determine the appropriate course of action for complaint resolution. If, as a result of complaint analysis, the complaint does not meet the prima facie elements of an offense, the EOA will advise the commander on referring the complainant to their chain of command and/or appropriate agency for redress or further assistance, or dismissal. Dismissal or referral does not mean the individual’s issue will not get addressed or resolved, but rather it will not be processed under their requirements of MCO 5354.1E w/Admin Ch. Irrespective of whether a complaint is accepted, dismissed, or referred under MCO 5354.1E w/Admin Ch, commanders have the authority to employ the full range of administrative and disciplinary actions, including administrative separation or appropriate criminal action, against military personnel who engage in activity prohibited by MCO 5354.1E w/Admin Ch. No action taken under MCO 5354.1E w/Admin Ch otherwise affects the statute of limitations of any specific offense under the UCMJ. Complainants may request to resolve the complaint through Informal Resolution.
Informal Resolution (IR): Informal resolution enables the parties to any alleged unprofessional conduct to resolve interpersonal conflicts at the lowest appropriate level. Conflict can be defined as a disagreement between two or more people that raises serious concerns and needs to be resolved. The aggrieved uniformed service member may pursue informal resolution of their interpersonal conflict. Commanders will determine the appropriate means to handle a prima facie complaint. However, commanders shall not obstruct any individual from initiating a complaint through any avenue alleging prohibited activities and conduct. IR provides the necessary information and skills to encourage and facilitate resolving interpersonal conflicts in the workplace at the lowest appropriate level. IR emphasizes each person’s responsibility to be a role model of acceptable behavior and confront unacceptable behavior when observed or brought to his or her attention.
Methods for Informal Resolution:
- Direct. In person, by approaching the alleged offender(s) involved. Stay focused on the behavior and its impact. Use common courtesy and ensure the approach is not disrespectful. Consider writing down thoughts prior to approaching the alleged offender(s) involved.
- Informal Third Party. Request for assistance from another person, normally a friend, coworker, or the EOA. Ask another person; to talk with alleged offender(s) involved, to accompany while utilizing the direct approach, or to intervene to help resolve the conflict. This may include a person in the chain of command, EOA, or other appropriate individual.
- Training Information Resources (TIR). Request training or resource materials for presentation to the work place of prohibited activities and conduct. TIR includes videos, books, lesson plans, posters, etc. Request TIR from the EOA/MEO Office.