Determine the Best Method
Address Your Complaint
We encourage complainants to first attempt to resolve their issue using the chain of command. We also refer complainants to other processes established by the Department of the Defense or the Department of the Navy and Marine Corps.
The Common Complaints list provides the appropriate offices for you to contact in order to best resolve your concerns. If you don't find your issue, contact your legal officer, Staff Judge Advocate, Public Affairs Officer, or local Command Inspector General for assistance.
First, contact your chain of command to solve the problem. Start at the lowest possible level and use command channels before elevating them to the next higher level.
Discuss your problem with members in your chain of command such as the legal staff, union representative, chaplain, human resource personnel, equal opportunity advisor, your immediate supervisor, and Commanding Officer. Our experience has shown, with few exceptions, that commands are responsive to complainant's issues.
Military members may want to bring the issue to the attention of his/her immediate or second level supervisor, Senior Enlisted Advisor, or Commanding Officer.
Civilian personnel may want to bring the issue to the attention of his/her immediate or 2nd level supervisor, Commanding Officer, Local Human Resource Office, Human Resource Service Center, etc.
If you are unable to resolve the matter using the chain of command, you may consider filing a formal grievance. These grievance procedures differ depending on your employment status.
Military members may consider filing one of the following grievances:
- Complaint of Wrongs Against the Commanding Officer (Article 138)
- Complaint of Wrongs Against a Superior Outside your chain of command (Article 1150)
- Equal Opportunity (EO) Complaint
- Military Whistleblower
Navy/Marine Corps Federal civilian employees may file grievances with the:
- Human Resource Office
- Human Resource Service Center
- Merit Systems Protection Board
- Office of Special Counsel