Fort Eustis, Va. – The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command recently welcomed Army Inspector General, Lt. Gen. Leslie C. Smith and the IG senior enlisted leader, Sgt. Maj. Larry H. Orvis Jr. for the TRADOC Inspector General Training Workshop, which took place Aug. 3 and 4, 2021.
During the workshop, attendees discussed current trends and systemic issues throughout the Army and conducted training to help resolve the issues. Among the topics discussed were; people first, knowing your squad, creating relationships, building trust, and community outreach.
The presenters from the Department of the Inspector General were: Smith, The Inspector General; Orvis, The Inspector General Sergeant Major; Mark Gatto, The Director of Army Inspections; Col. Scott Kirkpatrick, The Inspector General School commandant; Dr. Vern Crocker, DAIG Information Resources Management Division, and A.J. Perras, A Whistleblower Reprisal investigator.
In a lecture-style presentation, Smith challenged the inspectors general in attendance to reflect on how they would approach and handle situations within their offices and improve their installations.
“We were able to share best practices, learn from one another, and bond over shared experiences,” said Master Sgt. Andrew Fudge, assistant inspector general, U.S. Army Recruiting Command.
The workshop provided an opportunity for The Office of the Inspector General, TRADOC leadership, and the 40 other attendees to address current priorities as well as share information via discussion panels and best practice briefings.
“The best parts of the event were talking to Gen. Funk in person and being able to discuss issues and challenges we face within our small office. Then seeing what similar situations we have with other offices and how they dealt with and solved the problem,” said Master Sgt. Nolan Cox, inspector general, U.S. Army Training Support Center.
The attendees can now take the knowledge they gained throughout the workshop and share it within their installations, making the Army stronger and more enhanced overall.
During the workshop, the Inspector General also recognized four recipients of the TRADOC IG of the Year award. The award recipients are as follows: Officer Inspector General of the Year, Chief Warrant Officer Five Anthony Barnes, TRADOC Office of the IG; Civilian Inspector General of the Year Category II, Charles Leigh, TRADOC Office of the IG; NCO Inspector General of the Year, Sgt. 1st Class Bobby Cantu, MSCoE Office of the IG; and Civilian Inspector General of the Year Category I, Rocco Addesa, USAREC Office of the IG.
The function of the Office of Inspector General is essential to commanders, leaders, and Soldiers. Not only does the office oversee Army internal affairs, but it also ensures rules and protocols are followed.
“I truly believe you all are the eyes, ears, voice, and conscience of the Army,” said Gen. Paul E. Funk II, commanding general, TRADOC.
Originally created in 1777, the Inspector General of the Army was responsible for reviewing the troops, seeing that officers and Soldiers were instructed during exercise maneuvers, and that officers commanded properly and with justice.
Although the responsibilities of the inspector general have evolved over the years, they still perform a vital role in the Army. Today, the inspector general primarily focuses are inspections, assistance, investigations, teaching, and training. Additionally, the inspector general serves as a member on the commander’s team to provide advice and counsel as an objective third-party.
"Our mission is to help maintain, assist, and periodically report on, the discipline, efficiency, economy, morale, training, and readiness throughout the Army," said Sgt. 1st Class Lettsi Morford, assistant inspector general, TRADOC.
Complaints can be filed to the inspector general office by Soldiers, their family members, retirees, former Soldiers, or civilians working for the Department of the Army.
“Mostly our role is to look into complaints of waste, fraud, or abuse that infringe on Army rules and regulations,” said Sgt. Maj. Larry H. Orvis Jr., inspector general sergeant major, Office of the IG.
Some complaints are elevated to the Secretary of the Army and the Army Chief of Staff. The criminal investigations are allocated to the U.S. Army Criminal Investigations Command.
“I believe it is important that the Army and its employees understand that they have a place to report infractions that do not involve criminal investigations,” Smith said.
Smith will soon be passing on the IG mission to Maj. Gen. Donna W. Martin, who will be taking over the role of the 67th Inspector General.