The Navy has systems in place to resolve Equal Opportunity and Sexual Harassment issues.
The Equal Opportunity Advisor (EOA) or Command Managed Equal Opportunity (CMEO) Officer at your command are there to provide information and assist you in resolving issues informally and when necessary, processing a formal complaint.
INFORMAL COMPLAINT / GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES
The Informal Resolution System (IRS) assists Sailors in resolving conflicts, and when successful, the IRS is the timeliest method for resolving conflict, because it deals directly with the individuals involved and uses the immediate chain of command. Sometimes it is ineffective or simply is not a desirable method for resolution. In these cases the Sailor should file a formal complaint. These are the steps in the IRS:
1. Address the issue with the person.
2. If the behavior continues or it is not an advisable solution to confront the individual, bring the situation to the attention of your chain of command.
3. Request mast with your commanding officer.
FORMAL COMPLAINT PROCEDURES
There are three ways to file a formal complaint:
1. Navy Equal Opportunity Formal Complaint Form (NAVPERS 5354/2 (Rev. 03/06))
Used to process EO/SH complaints within a command where the Commanding Officer is authorized to provide the requested remedy (redress). The EO/SH form provides timelines and outlines detailed procedures for grievance resolution. The EO/SH complaint form is divided into four parts:
- Part 1- complainant's written sworn statement and requested remedy.
- Part 2 - complainant's list of advocates
- Part 3 - guidance for the commanding officer.
- Part 4 - command feedback to the complainant and notification of the avenue to appeal.
2. NAVREGS Article 1150, Redress of Wrong Committed by a Superior
If a member has a complaint against a superior and does not wish to use the EO/SH complaint form, they may file a complaint under NAVREGS article 1150, Redress of Wrong Committed by a Superior. To file a complaint under NAVREGS article 1150, the individual should obtain counsel with a lawyer at a local Naval Legal Services Office (NLSO).
3. UCMJ Article 138, Complaint of Wrongs against the Commanding Officer
If the resolution from the complaint under NAVREGS Article 1150 is considered unjust by the complainant, or if the grievance is against the Commanding Officer, an individual may submit a complaint against the Commanding Officer under UCMJ Article 138.
As with the NAVREGS Article 1150, the UCMJ Article 138 "complaint of wrong" should be prepared with legal assistance and submitted via the General Court Martial Convening Authority (GCMA) over the accused Commanding Officer.
NAVY INSPECTOR GENERAL
Any member who is not able to receive resolution for their grievance may contact the Navy Inspector General (IG) hotline at (800) 522-3451. The member may use this hotline to file a complaint.
COMMUNICATON WITH ELECTED OFFICIALS
All sailors are advised of their right to contact their elected official at any time. Communication with a Congressman or Senator is considered "protected communication," and as such is afforded specific rights upheld by the Navy legal system and Inspector General.
From Navy Regulations, Sect. 1126:
Any military record in the Department of the Navy may be corrected by the Secretary of the Navy, acting through the Board for Correction of Naval Records (BCNR), when the Secretary considers that such action should be taken in order to correct an error or to remove an injustice.
Applications for corrections under this article may be made only after exhaustion of all other administrative remedies afforded by law of regulation.
Application for such corrections should be submitted to the Secretary of the Navy (BCNR).
The following publications have all the necessary guidelines, information and points of contact to aid you in your application process.
1. DD Form 149 - Application for Correction of Military Record Under the Provisions of Section 15521
2. SECNAVINST 5420.193 - Board for Correction of Naval Records
3. BUPERINST 5420.21 - Administration of Board for Correction of Naval Records (BCNR) Application
4. Title 10 U.S. Code, Section 1552 - Correction of Military Records
For questions regarding the Navy's EO/SH complaint process call the Navy Equal Opportunity adviceline at 800.253.0931.