WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION ACT
Military Whistleblower Protection Act, Title 10 U.S.C. §
1034, as amended, prohibits any person from taking,
withholding, or threatening any personnel action against a
member of the Armed Forces as reprisal for making or
preparing any protected communications.
A protected communication is any lawful communication
to a Member of Congress or an Inspector General, as well as
any communication made to a person or organization
designated under competent regulations to receive such
communications, which a member of the Armed Forces
reasonably believes reports a violation of law or regulation
(including sexual harassment, unlawful discrimination, gross
mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of
authority, or a substantial or specific danger to public
health or safety).
protections under the Military Whistleblower Protection Act
afforded to members of the Armed Forces include uniformed
members of the Coast Guard.
Title 10 U.S.C. § 101(a)(4) defines “Armed Forces” to
include “the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast
Coast Guard Whistleblower Protection Regulation, 33 C.F.R.
Part 53, establishes policy and implements Title 10 U.S.C. §
1034 to provide protections against reprisal to members of
the Coast Guard.
Under 33 C.F.R. § 53.5, a member of the Coast Guard is
defined as “any past or present Coast Guard uniformed
personnel, officer or enlisted, regular or reserve,” and
includes cadets of the Coast Guard Academy.
reprisal occurs when a responsible management official takes
or threatens to take an unfavorable personnel action, or
withholds or threatens to withhold a favorable personnel
action against a member of the Coast Guard because he or she
made or was preparing to make a protected communication.
A personnel action is any action taken against a
member of the Coast Guard that affects or has the potential
to affect that member’s current position or career.
Examples would include:
performance evaluations; transfer or reassignment;
changes to duties or responsibilities; disciplinary or other
corrective actions; denial of reenlistment or separation;
decisions concerning awards, promotions or training;
decisions concerning pay or benefits; referrals for mental
health evaluations; access to classified material; and
authorization to carry weapons.
HOW TO REPORT A
VIOLATION OF THE MILITARY WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION ACT
member of the Coast Guard who reasonably believes a
personnel action (including the withholding of an action)
was taken or threatened in reprisal for making or preparing
to make a protected communication (as defined above) has to
file a complaint within one (1) year after the date in which the
member becomes aware of the personnel action that is the
subject of the allegation.
Coast Guard members should report violations of the
Military Whistleblower Protection Act to the Department of
Homeland Security Inspector General Hotline at
Military Whistleblower reprisal allegations may also be
filed: by letter to the Department of Homeland Security,
Office of Inspector General, Hotline, Washington, DC
20528; by faxing the complaint to 202-254-4292; or by
Complaints should include the name, address, and telephone
number of the complainant; the name and location of the
activity where the alleged violation occurred; the personnel
action taken, withheld, or threatened that is alleged to be
motivated by reprisal; the name(s) of the individual(s)
believed to responsible for the personnel action; the date
when the alleged reprisal occurred; and any information that
suggests or evidences a connection between the protected
communication and reprisal.
The complaint should also include a description of
the protected communication, including a copy of any written
communication (including email) and a brief summary of an
oral communication showing the date of communication, the
subject matter, and the name of the person or official to
whom the communication
HOW TO MAKE A
Guard members may make protected communications (as defined
above) to the following organizations or persons:
A Member of Congress;
An Inspector General;
A member of the
Department of Defense or Department of Homeland Security
audit, inspection, investigation, or law enforcement
organization, including the Coast Guard Investigative
Any person or
organization in the chain of command; and
Any person or
organization designated pursuant to regulations or other
established administrative procedures for such
CORRECTION OF MILITARY RECORDS
A member of the Coast Guard who alleges
reprisal for making or preparing to make a protected
communication may also submit an application for the
correction of military records to the Department of Homeland
Security Board for Correction of Military Records (BCMR) in
accordance with 33 C.F.R. Part 52.
Additional information concerning BCMR procedures is
available online at