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Division's IG hasn't had to launch any probes in Iraq

POSTED: September 6, 2007 5:03 a.m.
“What a great job to have!”
That’s the way the Third Infantry Division’s inspector general, Lt. Col. Duane Clayton, describes his position with Task Force Marne in Iraq.
Clayton is a rarity in the division, a local resident who started first grade in the Liberty County schools and graduated from Bradwell Institute in 1977.
As Clayton said during a telephone interview from Iraq, “As a long-time member of the community myself, I have seen the community grow. And I mean that quite literally...
“I have seen this community grow from one of wondering what to do as the 24th ID rolled into town to one that is experienced in the art of taking extremely good care of the soldiers and their families that sacrifice and fight to secure their freedom.  
“It is truly a community that takes its challenge of support to its military community seriously and it shows with their genuine concern as they provide that support.
Clayton also provided a glance into the workings of the inspector general’s office.
“I am charged with four functions within the IG system. The teaching and training function provides an opportunity for me to provide guidance in many areas of the Army that soldiers may have questions. For instance, a soldier may come in and ask about a late NCOER (efficiency report) or some administrative issue concerning this report. We would provide the soldier information on how to go through the process of correcting errors on the report and teach and train the soldier to ensure due process was afforded him or her.  
“The assistance function is where we provide help on many issues that a soldier and his/her chain of command have had difficulty getting resolved. An example of this would be finance issues. We tell the chains of command that after the second month of inaction on a finance issue get the issue to us so that we can place the focused attention on the issue that it requires.  
“Commanders and first sergeants are very involved in many issues for their units and our agency deals with these kinds of issues on a much more frequent basis so we have the contacts and know how to get these types of issues corrected quickly.  
“The third function of our office is the inspection function. This is where we provide feedback to commanders on the adherence to standards after the conduct of inspections.  
“We just completed a mail inspection where we were determining if the mail service to our soldiers was adequate and to determine if there were any issues. During the conduct of this inspection we determined that there were soldiers in a unit that were having difficulty getting their mail to home station.  
“We took a closer look and determined what the issues were and completed a test to determine if the problems still existed. After the completion of the test it was determined that the unit had taken appropriate actions to correct the delays in getting the mail delivered to home station.  
“Later we will begin an inspection on leave. The objective here is to ensure that our units are complying with the guidance that is published and ensure the units are planning for all personnel to take their leave.
“The inspection function is the one I enjoy the best because it is the area that we can assist soldiers and commanders and in many cases prevent issues from occurring.  
“Our final function is the investigative function. This is where we would have to investigate for a wrongdoing or some type of impropriety...
“Those are just two examples where we would have to use the investigative function of our office. But we have yet had to conduct an investigation since we deployed.  
“This I believe says a lot about the leaders and the soldiers that we have here in Task Force Marne. We are all trying to do the right thing and by doing so there are fewer things that go wrong. The Inspector General office is an awesome place to work as you have so much opportunity to help the soldier and the command alike.  
“And for me that is what being a leader in the historic and prestigious Marne Division is all about; helping soldiers and leaders develop solutions to issues they are experiencing especially here in combat.  
“The fighting soldier does not have time to focus on issues that are affecting him. But by taking just a few minutes to register a complaint/issue with us we can research and provide the facts surrounding the issue and provide recommendations for solutions.”
 

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