European Stars and Stripes, Darmstadt, Germany
FRANKFURT, Germany -The new Frankfurt area commander is stepping up his investigation into the use of $2,000 of troop welfare funds to buy flags for his change of command ceremony.
“My intention is to conduct an AR 15-6 investigation into the procurement of the flags,” Col. William Alexander said in a statement to The Stars and Stripes on Wednesday. Army Regulation 15-6 outlines procedures for formal investjgations within a command.
The investigation follows an informal inquiry made by Alexander soon after taking command of the 103rd Area Support Group on June 9. Two days after the ceremony, The Stars and Stripes reported that morale, welfare and recreation funds had been diverted to pay for unit flags despite the objections of a contracting official.
Army Regulation 215-1 states that MWR funds will not be used “to subsidize any expense involved in a change ocommand, retirement or other such ceremony.”
In his statement, Alexander did not elaborate on the results of his informal inquiry or what prompted him to expand the investigation. He made the announcement late Wednesday through the public affairs office and could not be reached for comment.
Military legal officials said a 15-6 investigation follows after an informal inquiry finds evidence of wrong doing. The unit commander appoints an investigating officer who has the authority to conduct interviews and take both sworn and unsworn statements. He presents his findings and recommendations in a written report to the commander.
Findings could lead to disciplinary actions ranging from reprimands to courts-martial for military people. Civilians could face dismissal or prosecution by the host nation. The commander, however, is not obligated to take action based on the report.
Such investigations typically take 30 to 90 days to complete, an Army spokesman said.