Can NCOs trash a Soldier’s room during a Health and Welfare Inspection | - Leader Development for Army Professionals
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Can NCOs trash a Soldier’s room during a Health and Welfare Inspection

When con­duct­ing a health and wel­fare inspec­tion are NCO’s allowed to trash a room that was neat and in order?

No, they are not allowed to do this.

During a Health and Welfare inspection all Soldiers have to be treated exactly the same.  The command can establish that all Soldiers will have their drawers open, cabinets open, etc.  However, they can only look at what is in open view.  They cannot move things around in the drawers, throw property around and/or empty containers without the Soldier’s permission.  It is not an excuse to harass a Soldier.

Hazing or not, its disrespectful

If the NCO’s conducting the inspection are trashing your room during a health and welfare inspection they can be guilty of “hazing” and be in violation of AR 600-20.  AR 600-20, para 4-20a defines hazing as “any conduct whereby one military member or employee, regardless of Service or rank, unnecessarily causes another military member or employee, regardless of Service or rank, to suffer or be exposed to an activity that is cruel, abusive, oppressive, or harmful.”

They could also be in violation of AR 600-100, Army Leadership, paragraph 2-1k, which states, Every leader will “Treat subordinates with dignity, respect, fairness, and consistency.”

I am curious if this is being done throughout the entire unit, if it’s being done just to you or everyone in your team/squad/platoon or just a couple “misguided” NCO’s doing there own thing.

Resolving the problem

I would recommend taking photographs of your room before an inspection and after the inspection.  I would then approach the NCO who is the inspector’s immediate supervisor, whether that be the platoon sergeant or First Sergeant and discuss the issue.  When doing this, ALWAYS be professional and address the issue.  Do not make it a personal attack on the inspectors.

Always give your chain of command the opportunity to solve your issue at the lowest possible level.  However, if after taking this up with your unit 1SG and/or Commander, you do not get the issue resolved to your satisfaction, you can always speak the Inspector General (IG) office at your installation.

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posted on 03/27/2012 under Q&A
Staff Sergeant(R) Douglas “Eck” Eckstein is a former Paralegal NCO with over eleven years of service in the Army. He has served overseas tours in Korea and Iraq. Eck served on active duty for seven years working in the personnel administration field then, after a break in service, returned to active duty in 2009 when he earned the Military Occupational Specialty, 27D (paralegal). He has worked in the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate from Division level down to unit level. He has expertise in all aspects of military law, with extensive emphasis in Administrative Law and Soldiers Rights. “I am not an attorney and any views presented are my own and are not to be interpreted as legal advice. Furthermore, my views do not necessarily represent the views of DoD or its Components.”

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