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April 25, 2013
By Col. Jonathon Johnson, USARAF

VICENZA, Italy- One of the most common requests for assistance received by the Office of the Inspector General is that of nonsupport for family members.

Army Regulation (AR) 608-99, Family Support, Child Custody and Paternity, chapters 1-3; and AR 20-1, Inspector General (IG) Activities and Procedures, Paragraph 6-3a; states that nonsupport of family members is a command issue. As such, commanders are responsible to counsel Soldiers on the responsibilities to their family members.

Soldiers have an obligation to provide adequate financial support to their dependents, but when that falls short of compliance, the chain of command must become involved. The Office of the Staff Judge Advocate is the proponent for AR 608-99 and should be consulted for any questions regarding family support requirements.

The role of the IG in nonsupport of family members is to ensure that the immediate needs such as food and shelter are met and, when necessary, provide information regarding military support agencies for additional assistance. The IG is also authorized to provide family members with the commander's name and telephone number or, if requested, provide the commander with the personal information of the family member seeking assistance.

In accordance with AR 608-99, the commander has 14 working days to conduct a commander's inquiry and determine the facts surrounding the request for support. Once the commander's inquiry is completed and it has received a legal review, the family member and the IG will receive a memorandum detailing the results of the inquiry, including any support requirements. Should the IG receive another request for assistance with nonsupport from the same family member, due to inaction on the part of the commander, the IG will contact the next higher commander and allow the chain of command to resolve the issue.

Any community members with questions about family support obligations should contact the Legal Assistance Office at DSN 634-7041.

As always, the USARAF IG office is available to help and may be contacted at DSN 634-8555 or via email at usarmy.vicenza.usaraf.list.usaraf-ig@mail.mil.