445th Complaints program wins DAF-level 2023 IG award

  • Published
  • By Stacy Vaughn and Amanda Dick
  • 445th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Announced April 1, the 445th Airlift Wing Inspector General Complaints and Resolutions program won the Department of the Air Force 2023 Lt. Gen. John P. Flynn Inspector General Award for Category II, which is for the top Air Force Reserve Command or Air National Guard unit.

The award highlights programs that most demonstrate six fundamental leadership characteristics: integrity, justice, compassion, loyalty, courage and spirit.

“The exceptional support I got from the commanders, first sergeants and wing support agencies made last year’s results possible,” said Lt. Col. Todd Baker, 445th IG Complaints and Resolutions (IGQ) director. “I also credit an excellent working relationship with the AFRC/IGQ office that afforded me the opportunity to support Unit Effectiveness Inspections and see other wing’s programs and participate in IGQ training courses.”

Baker, who is the sole member running the program, was selected as a four-time augmentee for these AFRC UEI teams, providing Major Command-level complaints resolution to 14 Airmen and training/mentoring four new wing-level IGQ members to create successful programs.

During the award period, Baker executed AFRC’s largest IGQ program by providing exceptional support to two diverse host and tenant wings with five groups and 24 squadrons, spanning seven bases and providing coverage for up to three drill weekends a month.

“While the sheer size of the program is sometimes daunting, it provides the opportunity to interact with and assist Airmen across the country with unique issues and concerns,” Baker said. “This makes the 445th AW IGQ office an excellent place to learn and gain experience in helping Airmen in the IG role.”

Additionally, Baker expanded support for reserve-related complaints to over 400 Individual Mobilization Augmentees serving in Air Force Materiel Command and other tenant active units, providing assistance on reserve component policies and hiring practices to members transitioning to the IMA program.

One initiative Baker started was the integration of the Complaint Resolution Program into the overall Commander’s Inspection Program by coordinating program visits at the unit level with vertical inspections, ensuring individual Airmen were heard and could access the IG, while providing overall health of the unit beyond inspection program results.

Finally, Baker communicated the role of the IGQ program to 13 new commanders, 15 first sergeants and more than 140 newcomers across two wings, using flexible scheduling and in-person/virtual presentations to reach Airmen at every level.

He also volunteered to develop and presented training on wing-level IGQ processes and policies at the annual MAJCOM training event, instructing 15 new Inspector General members by sharing his years of experience.

“As I near the end of my career, I hope to transition the IGQ program over to the next generation of IGs and expand our support by leveraging full-time IGQ trained members from the IG Inspections offices at both wings to expand outreach to Airmen in need,” he explained.

Baker stressed anyone can contact the 445th AW IGQ anytime regardless of status, and permission from an Airman’s chain of command is not needed. IGQ can assist with providing information or contacting the appropriate agency when the situation doesn’t require a formal IG complaint or investigation. Airmen can call (937) 257-9902 to reach the 445th IG.