There may be occasions when the chaplain can help a soldier only by referring him to the
Inspector General. The Inspector General is a confidential advisor to the commander, empowered to
inquire into and report on matters pertaining to the performance of the mission, state of discipline,
efficiency, and economy. The inspector General reports to and is under the direct supervision of the
commander on whose staff he serves. This officer also receives, investigates, and reports on allegations,
complaints, and grievances of individuals and agencies.
The chaplain will only rarely refer soldiers to the Inspector General, since as a member of the
commander's staff the chaplain has much the same access to the commander as the Inspector General.
This referral agency should be appealed to only when all other avenues of seeking action or redress have
The chaplain will receive many referrals from agencies, individuals, and from other chaplains.
Chaplains will have occasion to refer counselees to other chaplains who might be better able to assist
with a particular problem or situation.
Upon the transfer of a soldier to a new unit, the soldier may be referred to the new chaplain.
When an individual from a unit with an assigned chaplain takes a problem to the chaplain of
another unit, it is the duty of the receiving chaplains, unless there is objection, to refer the soldier back to
the original unit chaplain. In most instances, the soldier comes to the chaplain because there is a lack of
information on the location or availability of his own chaplain. If, however, it is a matter of personal
desire for a specific chaplain to help with a soldier's problem, the request should be honored. The
receiving chaplain should, as a matter of professional courtesy, inform the unit chaplain of the
counseling relationship and, where possible, cooperate toward the solution of the problem. The
receiving chaplain should be careful to avoid confirming any lack of confidence which the individual
might have in the former chaplain. Neither professional ethics nor confidentiality should be violated in
When distance or other circumstances make it more appropriate for another chaplain to solve all
or part of a soldier's problem, a referral may be in order.