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My Command has refused to remove a flag, what can I do?

I had a flag review in late July and was found to be in good standing. The flag remains in place. JAG has advised me the removal can take up to six months and I should cease any further follow ups. All of the research I have done says the flag should be removed immediately, and/or within 3 Days. This is detrimentally affecting a disabled child's ability to use education benefits, and causing great distress to the family as a whole and a significant financial burden. Can you provide any direction as to how and to whom we should escalate to? I thank you, in advance, for any help you may be able to provide!

Bottom Line

This is an IG Complaint for failure to follow a rule or regulation.
Discussion
This response is based upon the limited information you provided.
I am not sure what you mean by good standing. Nor did you state the reason for the flag. Was this the first review with the second review to be scheduled within 3 months?
I am confused as to why JAG would tell you it could take up to six months. All of this aside, let’s step through the issue.

AR 600-8-2, para 1-9c. Suspension of Favorable Personnel Actions,

Specifically, states “A Flag will be removed within 3 working days after the Soldier’s status changes from unfavorable to favorable.”

The Soldier’s ERB should update automatically within 24 hours of the S-1 inputting the transaction. A delay happens frequently! Normally because the unit fails to send the DA Form 268 removing the flag to the S-1 for processing in a timely manner or most likely, the Battalion S-1 received the form but someone has simply not done their job.

The six months issue is unacceptable. The Soldier should also have been given a copy of the DA Form 268 removing the flag which he can present to the retention NCO as proof of removal.

Possible courses of action:

1) 1SG/CDR open door policy;
2) Battalion CSM/CDR open door policy; then
3) IG Complaint

The Soldier should have been counseled when the flag was put in place and should be counseled when the flag is removed. The flag removal should be backdated to the date it should have been originally removed and the Soldier will be entitled to any and all benefits and entitlements as of that date.

AR 600-8-2 para 2–6. Notification

The flagging authority, unit commander, or first line supervisor will counsel all Soldiers on active duty, in writing, upon initiation of any Flag within 2 working days unless notification would compromise an ongoing investigation. Soldiers not on active duty will be counseled regarding initiation of a Flag prior to the conclusion of the first training period following the date the Flag was initiated. Counseling should include reason for the Flag, requirement for Flag removal, and action prohibited by the Flag. All flagged Soldiers will be provided a copy of the DA Form 268 when the Flag is initiated and when it is removed. Notifications for HQDA initiated flags may be delayed to protect against the unintentional early release of a promotion board’s results.

Special thanks to our Legal SME ECK for help out on this one.

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posted on 07/02/2018 under Q&A
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Mark is a Retired Command Sergeant Major with 26 years of military leadership experience. He held 3 military occupational specialties (Field Artillery, Nuclear Weapons Tech, and Ammunition Ordnance). Mark is one of the leading military authors in the fields of leadership, counseling, and training..

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