Commander's Impact Statement-My leadership is fighting what is allowed on the form.

redkel

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So, I am just shocked and confounded by the behavior of a couple of individuals in my leadership. Tell me what you would do in this circumstance:

AF Form 1185, Section III, Question 1 asks, “Is Airmen pending administrative action or judicial/nonjudicial punishment that could result in demotion/separation/punitive discharge or dismissal? If yes, provide status:”

The day before my leadership officially informed me of the MEB process being started and went over the AF Form 1185 with me to have me provide comments and sign it, they initiated a UIF (Unfavorable Information File). (It felt very much like they did it in order to be able to put it on the AF Form 1185, but that is not my point.)

Since a UIF is not an administrative action or judicial/nonjudicial punishment that could result in demotion/separation/punitive discharge or dismissal, the answer to Question 1 in Section III of the AF Form 1185 should be “No”. They marked “Yes” and typed in, “Member pending issuance of an Unfavorable Information File”.

I asked for it to be corrected. My PEBLO asked the office of authority named in the AFI for guidance on the response, and they said that it should be corrected (they agreed with me). My leadership said they wanted an AFI reference. They AFI doesn’t specifically address this question. I think it is understood that if a form asks for your name, you put your name. Regulations don't say, "In the NAME block of the form, you should just put your own name, not your mother's maiden name or your spouse's name or your kids' names." There is a basic assumption that you only put what is actually requested on the form, and nothing extra. If the form asks for administrative action, you put whatever administrative action is going on if there is any at all. However, if it asks specifically about administrative action that could result in demotion/separation/punitive discharge or dismissal, then you only say “Yes” if there is an administrative action that actually could result in at least one of those things. Am I not understanding this correctly?

The situation is making me feel like my leadership is intending to negatively affect the outcome of the MEB somehow, and I am concerned that if they want this badly to be able to answer “Yes” to the question on that section of the form, then they will go ahead and initiate that type of action in order to be able to do that. I have been Active Duty in the Air Force for over 19 years (July 2020 will be my 20-year mark). I am afraid that there is a goal to have me processed out with no benefits and no retirement, which would be a total kick in the teeth after this much service. I know there are things I can do to drag the process out long enough to cross the 20-year finish line, but it is still scary and upsetting. I asked was that the question be corrected and answered accurately, and I got argument and pushback. I really thought that I would point it out, and they would just fix it. I had no idea this would be such a conflict.

I don't understand how, if the PEBLO knows that this is wrong, they are not being told that they have to fix the form. I mean, if I put the wrong thing on a form, whatever office I turned it in to, would give it back to me, and say, "correct this and bring it back". I'm so baffled. What would you do?
 

Deatshoo1

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I say if you have exhausted all efforts at the squadron level, take it up with your group leadership. Further, you can submit a MFR to go along with your commanders impact letter if AFPC doesn't kick it back for the wrong answer.
 

RonG

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So, I am just shocked and confounded by the behavior of a couple of individuals in my leadership. Tell me what you would do in this circumstance:

AF Form 1185, Section III, Question 1 asks, “Is Airmen pending administrative action or judicial/nonjudicial punishment that could result in demotion/separation/punitive discharge or dismissal? If yes, provide status:”

The day before my leadership officially informed me of the MEB process being started and went over the AF Form 1185 with me to have me provide comments and sign it, they initiated a UIF (Unfavorable Information File). (It felt very much like they did it in order to be able to put it on the AF Form 1185, but that is not my point.)

Since a UIF is not an administrative action or judicial/nonjudicial punishment that could result in demotion/separation/punitive discharge or dismissal, the answer to Question 1 in Section III of the AF Form 1185 should be “No”. They marked “Yes” and typed in, “Member pending issuance of an Unfavorable Information File”.

I asked for it to be corrected. My PEBLO asked the office of authority named in the AFI for guidance on the response, and they said that it should be corrected (they agreed with me). My leadership said they wanted an AFI reference. They AFI doesn’t specifically address this question. I think it is understood that if a form asks for your name, you put your name. Regulations don't say, "In the NAME block of the form, you should just put your own name, not your mother's maiden name or your spouse's name or your kids' names." There is a basic assumption that you only put what is actually requested on the form, and nothing extra. If the form asks for administrative action, you put whatever administrative action is going on if there is any at all. However, if it asks specifically about administrative action that could result in demotion/separation/punitive discharge or dismissal, then you only say “Yes” if there is an administrative action that actually could result in at least one of those things. Am I not understanding this correctly?

The situation is making me feel like my leadership is intending to negatively affect the outcome of the MEB somehow, and I am concerned that if they want this badly to be able to answer “Yes” to the question on that section of the form, then they will go ahead and initiate that type of action in order to be able to do that. I have been Active Duty in the Air Force for over 19 years (July 2020 will be my 20-year mark). I am afraid that there is a goal to have me processed out with no benefits and no retirement, which would be a total kick in the teeth after this much service. I know there are things I can do to drag the process out long enough to cross the 20-year finish line, but it is still scary and upsetting. I asked was that the question be corrected and answered accurately, and I got argument and pushback. I really thought that I would point it out, and they would just fix it. I had no idea this would be such a conflict.

I don't understand how, if the PEBLO knows that this is wrong, they are not being told that they have to fix the form. I mean, if I put the wrong thing on a form, whatever office I turned it in to, would give it back to me, and say, "correct this and bring it back". I'm so baffled. What would you do?
Generally, the different levels for resolving most problems are:

1. Chain of command
2. IG complaint
3. Congressional inquiry (which likely will not be timely)

I think the same would apply in your case.

With regard to the chain of command, from experience I can offer that senior leaders tend to agree with the recommendations for "flag" "bar to reenlistment" etc., made at the company level...

Ron
 

redkel

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I say if you have exhausted all efforts at the squadron level, take it up with your group leadership. Further, you can submit a MFR to go along with your commanders impact letter if AFPC doesn't kick it back for the wrong answer.
So, if I do submit an MFR, isn't that kind of similar to a jury hearing something they weren't supposed to hear that might color their opinion of a defendant and then having the judge say, "strike that from the record"? I mean, even though they're being told that it shouldn't be on there, isn't the damage to what they think of me already done?
 

Guardguy11

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That is jacked up. My next concern would be that even if you get someone to force their hand and check it no, they will purposefully write incorrect stuff in the "subjective" blocks that no one can argue just to show you their power over you.

If you even get a hint of this, go to the IG.
 

chaplaincharlie

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What if you do nothing? It says more about your leadership than it does about you. Leadership should be able to follow simple directions on a form.
 

Guardguy11

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If he does nothing, his jerk of a commander can financially impact him for the rest of his life. Granted, the commanders impact statement isn't the end all be all, but it is weighed heavily.
 

eerf123

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Can ADC/legal help you on this? It seems your chain might feel the UIF is an administrative action in itself.
 

RGZWS6

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Take a look at AFI 36-3212 paragraph 1.5 titled "Dual Action Case Processing". This is the guidance that correlates to section III "Administrative Actions" on the AF Form 1185. If you're UIF is severe enough to potentially prevent you from reenlisting or extending to 20, you may have a problem. If not, then the commander should check the "NO" box instead of "YES".

If your current enlistment takes you beyond the 20 year mark, you should be safe either way. **Do you have an approved retirement date?!?!?**
 

RonG

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Can ADC/legal help you on this? It seems your chain might feel the UIF is an administrative action in itself.
Yes, speak with experts on this matter. JMO

Ron
 

redkel

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Take a look at AFI 36-3212 paragraph 1.5 titled "Dual Action Case Processing". This is the guidance that correlates to section III "Administrative Actions" on the AF Form 1185. If you're UIF is severe enough to potentially prevent you from reenlisting or extending to 20, you may have a problem. If not, then the commander should check the "NO" box instead of "YES".

If your current enlistment takes you beyond the 20 year mark, you should be safe either way. **Do you have an approved retirement date?!?!?**

The UIF cannot, by itself, prevent me from reenlisting or extending to 20. The actual circumstances are 100% related to anxiety, which is what is driving the MEB. The last "incident" recorded in a letter stored in my UIF occurred in June. They didn't do the letter until August, and then the UIF was created in October, so it clearly wasn't even serious enough for quick action, and there has been nothing since the June situation. Also, that happened before I went into a full-time mental health treatment, which I feel is the reason I have been able to keep from having any further issues.
My current enlistment does take me beyond 20.
I do not have a retirement date. There was a problem with my GI Bill transfer (to my kids), and I had to redo it after they changed the E-6 HYT to 22 years, so I can't retire the normal/typical way until the 22-year mark.
 

redkel

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If he does nothing, his jerk of a commander can financially impact him for the rest of his life. Granted, the commanders impact statement isn't the end all be all, but it is weighed heavily.
This is exactly what I am worried about.

FYI...I'm a she. No big deal-just letting you know.
 

Guardguy11

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Thanks for letting me know. I try to use proper pronouns if I know. Served with some amazing women in my day and they deserve to be called whatever they want.

Any updates on your stuff?
 

chaplaincharlie

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If he does nothing, his jerk of a commander can financially impact him for the rest of his life. Granted, the commanders impact statement isn't the end all be all, but it is weighed heavily.
I respectfully disagree. If she is hands down unfit or unquestionably fit, the commanders letter has little impact. The board members are smart enough to disregard information that is provided that is irrelevant.

One strategy would be to file an IG complaint. Given that her command are not supportive already there is little to lose.
 

johnbgately

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The AF 1185 is a critically important document in your case. Board members review it to provide context to your NarSum, addenda, and OPRs/EPRs. And, despite what many may think, personal bias can adversely affect your outcome regarding fitness determinations in what is actually a very subjective system. I suspect that you have already spoken with your ADC upon being notified of the UIF. He or she may be able to provide some pushback against your chain of command. If that does not happen, then your next best strategy is to address this issue in Section VII of the form. Note- IG complaints are useless regarding such issues, will simply irritate your existing chain of command and are unlikely to be processed before your case finalized on the SAFPC level. Congressionals regarding such issues will be a waste of time as well. Note- these comments are based upon my experience representing USAF members in this system since 1994. Start with your ADC, but expect that you may have to address this matter briefly in Section VII of the form.
 
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Guardguy11

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Well said @johnbgately . My IPEB AF 356 form had two sentences towards the very end talking about how the commanders recommendation influenced their decision for permanent retirement. If my commander had fought my situation, I would have most likely received temporary retirement.
 

redkel

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The AF 1185 is a critically important document in your case. Board members review it to provide context to your NarSum, addenda, and OPRs/EPRs. And, despite what many may think, personal bias can adversely affect your outcome regarding fitness determinations in what is actually a very subjective system. I suspect that you have already spoken with your ADC upon being notified of the UIF. He or she may be able to provide some pushback against your chain of command. If that does not happen, then your next best strategy is to address this issue in Section VII of the form. Note- IG complaints are useless regarding such issues, will simply irritate your existing chain of command and are unlikely to be processed before your case finalized on the SAFPC level. Congressionals regarding such issues will be a waste of time as well. Note- these comments are based upon my experience representing USAF members in this system since 1994. Start with your ADC, but expect that you may have to address this matter briefly in Section VII of the form.
There was nothing more that ADC could do for me beyond looking at my rebuttal letter (rebutting the UIF itself). My rebuttal letter was pretty great, but apparently not convincing enough. I'm supposed to meet with my real 1st Sgt today. I have an additional duty 1st Sgt for normal day-to-day stuff, but she can't do much. I'm feeling fairly certain that no one will get anything to change. I'm just still so confused. It's not a subjective thing, but they are acting like it is. I don't know why my PEBLO doesn't just return the form to them saying that they need to correct the form and provide accurate information. It's literally a "Yes" or "No" question, and they are acting like they get to answer with an opinion. I wish I would have said something about all this in Section VII, but at the time that I filled in that part and signed it, I wasn't totally sure about the question about administrative action. So, now, I feel like I am stuck.
 

redkel

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Thanks for letting me know. I try to use proper pronouns if I know. Served with some amazing women in my day and they deserve to be called whatever they want.

Any updates on your stuff?
My PEBLO says that she hasn't received a NARSUM yet. I know most everyone here is trying to move things as quickly as possible, but I am just happy to watch time tick by until I get closer to my 20-year mark. I set up a countdown on timeanddate.com, and I go out and look at it whenever I want to remember that it won't last forever, but also that I want it to last at least a little longer. So, I'm trying to walk the line between dragging my feet just enough and keeping it moving just enough. Wish me luck!
 

redkel

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So, my Additional Duty 1st Sgt (I'm in a weird unit) talked to one of our diamond-wearing 1st Sgts (who I have never even heard of). He said that I'm right about the question: that the answer should be "No".

However, it just wouldn't be any fun without throwing a wrench into it. He says that the next question, "Has Airman had administrative action in the past resulting in a demotion in rank? If yes, provide administrative action/demotion package." should be marked "Yes".

See? Never boring! Here's the short version: in 2007, I had an Article 15, and lost rank. The Records Disposition Schedule gives a disposition of 10 years for Article 15 related records. So, my Article 15 has disappeared from my records. I can't find it. It's not in my personnel record. My supervisor, commander, 1st Sgt, add'l duty 1st Sgt, my friend that is a personnelist, etc....no one can find any record of it. So, it is as if it never happened. There are two pieces of evidence that I didn't just imagine it in my record: the next EPR (enlisted performance report) after it mentions it and my dates of rank show two E-4 dates and two E-5 dates. Anyway, my Chief (the one fighting to keep the UIF on the form, even though it isn't what the form is asking about) says that this demotion doesn't count because it didn't happen here, which doesn't make sense to me, because the question doesn't specify that--it just says "in the past". DP2NP agreed with her about that question, saying that it didn't happen under this current command. Okay, whatever, I don't get it, but it is in my favor, so I should just shut up, right?

But now this 1st Sgt is saying we need to switch the responses. I'm fine with that, except for one problem. If we say "Yes", we're supposed to "provide administrative action/demotion package". How can we do that when the paperwork is gone? Even if someone found a paper copy in a drawer or a warehouse somewhere, it is past its disposition, so it is supposed to be destroyed. I don't know. This is the weirdest rabbit hole I've ever been down.
 
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