By Staff Sgt. Rob Strain, 15th Sustainment Brigade Public AffairsApril 21, 2010
CONTINGENCY OPERATING LOCATION Q-WEST, Iraq - An Army Reserve veteran of more than 30 years continues his service to Soldiers as a member of the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)'s inspector general.
Lt. Col. Gary Davis, a Pensacola, Fla., native and the 13th ESC's inspector general, or IG, at Contingency Operating Location Q-West, Iraq, has been taking care of Soldiers since he was a private 30 years ago.
Back home, Davis serves as a full-time reserve inspector general at Fort Snelling, Minn.
While deployed, Davis carries out a three-fold mission for the ESC's commanding general: assist Soldiers with issues, teach and train Soldiers and conduct inspections and investigations for the command.
"I serve as the eyes, ears and voice of the CG wherever I go," Davis said.
The inspector general also serves as an outlet for Soldiers to bring issues they feel are not being addressed through their chain of command.
Davis said that although the IG is there to assist Soldiers with issues, they should always give their chain of command the opportunity to address the issue before bringing it to an IG.
"Ninety eight percent of the time, the chain of command can fix it," Davis said.
Once the issue is brought to the IG, Davis will find the facts of the issue and give a recommendation based on regulatory guidance to the chain of command in order to fix the issue, he said.
"We're fair and factual," Davis said. "We find the facts."
Davis cautioned that the IG cannot tell the chain of command what they will do, but can only suggest courses of action based on the applicable regulations and policies.
The IG also serves as an advisor the command teams on the base, Davis said.
For example, commanders can bring potential policies and actions by his office for review. The IG will ensure that they are compliant with current regulations and higher headquarters' policies and make recommendations to the commander, Davis explained.
The IG, however, does not deal with legal issues or advice, Davis said. Those seeking legal advice should see the Judge Advocate General.
Having the IG on Contingency Operating Location Q-West is a blessing for Col. Larry Phelps, the commander of the 15th Sustainment Brigade and a Greenville, Ala., native.
The IG gets a much better view of what is happening on the ground by being with the Soldiers, so he can better relate to their needs, Phelps said.
More importantly, the command can reach out and lean on the expertise of the IG, without having to make a phone call to a different location, Phelps said.
"At the end of the day, it makes it a lot easier knowing he is physically here with us," Phelps said.