Civil Air Patrol
Citizens Serving Communities

Complaint Resolution Program



The purpose of the Civil Air Patrol complaints resolution program to prevent, detect, and correct:
  • Any fraud, waste and abuse (FWA)
  • Mismanagement or deficiency
  • Cadet protection issues
  • Retaliation for, "whistle blower" complaints

Chain of Command Policy

  • Persons considering making a complaint through IG channels have a responsibility to first use appropriate channels within the chain of command and other grievance systems to resolve complaints at the lowest possible level.
  • Nothing herein should be interpreted as restricting a member's right to communicate with any CAP commander, elected or regulatory federal, state and local governmental officials or legal counsel.
  • To provide an opportunity for the internal resolution of disputes, the commanders of CAP units maintain an open door policy for the members of their respective units.
  • A member's use of the procedures set forth in the regulations appropriate to this process shall be free from retribution or reprisal by any other member. CAP members must understand that when submitting complaints, they are making official statements within CAP channels

Time Limitations

  • The complainant shall submit the complaint within 60 days of the occurrence or action upon which the complaint is based or within 60 days of the complainant becoming aware of the occurrence or action upon which the complaint is based. If the IG and his/her commander agree that it is in the interest of the Civil Air Patrol to investigate a complaint that is not within the 60 day window, the commander may waive this requirement.
  • Complaints may be delivered personally, by mail, voice (telephone) or by e-mail. The date of actual receipt or five days following the date of the postmark, whichever is earlier, is the effective date of the complaint.
  • The effective date of e-mail complaints will be the date of actual receipt only if a written follow-up, with signature, is submitted (postmarked or hand delivered) within 8 days following the date of the receipt of the e-mail. For anonymous e-mail complaints the effective date will be the date the e-mail is received
  • Complainants, subjects and witnesses are expected to be truthful in all matters concerning an investigation. Failure to be truthful, to respond, or to cooperate fully in an investigation may cause a member to receive disciplinary action up to and/or including membership termination.

Submitting a complaint

  • While CAP will accept FWA and other complaints from any source, complaints submitted under the CAP Inspector General System must be filed using the procedures established in the referenced regulations.
  • Only members have the right to file complaints, (senior members and cadet members,) with the exception that parents or legal guardians may submit complaints on behalf of cadet members
  • Complaints shall be submitted to the commander or inspector general of the unit to which the complainant is assigned. If the subject of the complaint is not in the same chain of command as the complainant, the commander or IG will forward the complaint to the appropriate commander or IG in the subject’s chain of command and will notify the complainant of the transfer. Should the complaint be against a commander or IG, the complaint shall be filed with the commander or IG at the next higher organizational level.
  • All complaints shall be in writing, dated and signed by the complainant. E-mail and voice (telephone) complaints require a written follow up, with a signature, submitted (postmarked or hand delivered) within eight days of submitted e-mail or voice complaints.
  • Complainants may submit complaints anonymously. Anonymous complainants obviously will NOT receive a response. E-mail and voice (telephone) complaints filed anonymously are not required to submit a written follow up.
  • Complaints shall be accompanied by all available documentation in the possession or control of the complainant. The CAPF 30, Personal and Fraud, Waste & Abuse Complaint Registration Form, should be used as the summary page attached to the complaint. Follow the link, CAPF 30 , to download the form as either a MS Word document or as an Adobe Acrobat (pdf) document.

Complaints Processed Under Other Regulations

The IG complaint program may not be used for matters normally addressed through other established grievance or appeal channels, unless there is evidence that those channels mishandled the matter or process. If a policy directive provides a specific means of redress or appeal of a grievance, complainants must exhaust those procedures before filing an IG complaint.