Military Reprisal & Whistleblowers: What You Should Know
Reprisal and whistleblowers fight back.
Women’s rights and Victim’s rights are gaining more steam in Washington DC due to the bravery of whistleblowers from within the military ranks fighting back.
More than ever, the American public is shocked and saddened about how our military leaders treat women and men who were victimized, and how those same leaders continue to victimize when whistleblowers stand up for themselves.
All of those involved in covering up crimes are bullies in some way. Bullies are all around us, and for those who victimize, their crimes against humanity will not go unpunished for long. Through greater exposure, God will shine a light into the darkness on this one. I plan to see to that.
At the end of this post, I will tie this back to your disability claim for victims of reprisal.
Reprisal in the military
The primary tactic I’ll talk about today is reprisal.
After doing lengthy research on the topic of military reprisal, I thought it was time for me to write about it. Here is how the game is played.
The military has a system for investigating problems related to military reprisal. And, the Inspector General for each branch has their own way of doing it. Contrary to popular belief, the US Air Force has the worst reputation for reprisal of all branches.
Reprisal means the following:
- Taking or threatening to take an unfavorable personnel action, or
- Withholding or threatening to withhold a favorable personnel action on a military member for making or preparing to make a protected communication.
A protected communication is basically the act or attempt to blow the whistle on some bad deed. This includes reporting rape and sexual harassment.
Military reprisal is a form of Abuse of Authority. The US Air Force IG uses the Acid Test to determine if either occurred. The Acid Test allows investigators to determine if the threat or adverse action was done in retaliation due to the person being a whistleblower.
Basically, the Acid Test goes like this once a person made a protected communication of which management was aware:
- If you are harmed by the adverse action, and
- The manager in charge of the adverse action was unjustified in taking the adverse action, you may have a case for reprisal.
It is a bit more complicated than that, but I think you get the point.
How whistleblowers lose
The whistleblower could be a single woman or man following a sexual assault. It could also be an entire troop of people frightened for their safety due to sexual harassment in the workplace. Or, it could be reporting a fraud or some other crime.
In the imaginary world that exists nowhere, the bad supervisor or commander will be unaware of the rules regarding IG complaints and the Acid Test. They will then slip up by making an overt reprisal against the victim. Then, the IG will show up with their tin hats and give the perpetrator some kind of a slap on the wrists.
If the IG report comes back negative, then no harm no foul. Whistleblowers are protected and chocolate rivers will flow for all the children of the world. This is the sugar-coated version they sell our politicians.
In reality, the good old boys club, predators and bullies know the rules and set up schemes that allow them to trip up the whistleblower. These schemes sometimes involve nitpicking unrelated issues to eventually create enough momentum to justify a UIF. The supervisor will deny the initial claim and its evidence while simultaneously becoming very concerned about some other kind of unrelated behavior.
For those who do not know, a UIF is an Unfavorable Information File. These tend to be the beginning of the end unless the servicemember can fight back with a private attorney. If not, Murphy’s Law tends to kick in and the individual eventually gets bumped out of the military or demoted.
The victim tends to end up becoming the “whipping boy” of the club. I think most of us have witnessed the whipping boy mentality both in civilian life and in the military. It sucks to be the whipping boy no matter what, but it is especially bad in the military. In the military context you cannot just quit your job unless you do not mind going to jail.
If you are part of the club, Murphy’s Law never seems to apply. If you are not, you better watch your back.
Most records related to admonishments and counseling tend to find their way into the UIF once it is created. Once enough information gets in there, you might as well kiss your career goodbye.
Meanwhile, the good ole boys club remains intact, bullies go free, predators roam for prey, and whistleblowers learn a valuable lesson, “Keep your mouth shut, or else.”
Victims qualify for VA disability
For veterans faced with a reprisal situation in the military, there may be some hope. VA Disability Compensation does allow victims to file for disability if you are still suffering from symptoms related to the reprisal.
While not iron clad, and depending on your symptoms, veterans can get ratings for things like Anxiety Disorder, PTSD, Adjustment Disorder, and related mental health disabilities.
The ratings vary like most ailments, which depends on the severity of your symptoms.
Reprisal in the Middle East
Iraq had a reputation for being a hot bed for reprisal type actions after brave whistleblowers sought protection from bullies and predators.
Sadly, our military leaders did nothing and even hurt those who were being harmed. Congress did not seem to do much either. But I’m hoping we can change all that.
If you have a reprisal story, I’d love to hear about it. Comment below or email me. We are collecting data about this issue to see if DoD was actively covering up problems throughout the Middle East.
I plan to keep posting about these topics now that my research has focused broadly on fighting bullies and other bad guys more head on.
Tune in next time when I touch on how whistleblowers can use their VA claim to potentially overrule adverse decisions in their reprisal claim.
Well said everyone!
I had my military career halted, by speaking up for several personal and witnessed workplace violence/harassment. Was given an unfavorable diagnosis that was commonly given to avoid paying benefits or acknowledging wrongdoing. The command tolerated this behavior to women time and time again. It is so upsetting to see after 24 years this is still happening.
Juliet, Your welcome to contact me on issue and please promote the movie, “The Invisible War” To date as reported by the Pentagon there were 26,000 cases of sexual assault in 2012 to MEN and women. Although, only 3,374 were reported and about 300 went to trial!!
Good info to vets whom suffer long term from reprisal affects for crime / cover up against victims. For example, early outs, threats, actions taken under the guise of something unrelated for the convenience of the powers that be or their bully buddies. Leaving most victim Vets in a mental state affecting the remainder of their lives. Mental problems linger and could very well be the root cause of many behavior problems. I think info as to where to go to see if a Vet has a case is very appropriate. Please continue with more as many could use the guidance.
This describes the Army as I knew it in my eight years of active duty. Looking back on my military career, I am deeply ashamed that I never found the courage to speak out against the “good ol’ boy” system that existed in the military. I saw several decent human beings devoured by the system, who were guilty of nothing worse than a keenly developed sense of ethics. I am sad to report, that during those years I kept my own mouth shut, my head down and my ass covered. Today, I am trying to be a better person.
THIS IS ALL GOOD INFO, BUT AT MY AGE AND CONSIDERING THE TIME IT TAKES TO GET THE BALL ROLLING, I WOULD BE BETTER SERVED STAYING THE COURSE I AM ON. AS I HAVE SAID SO MANY TIMES, IT IS OUR TURN TO MAKE IT BETTER FOR THOSE THAT ARE COMING AFTER US. KEEP IT IN THE “FOREFRONT”.
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