Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law
I will attempt to address your questions in order
1. Should a Soldier be flagged during the informal 15-6 investigation?
Yes...if you look at the AR that covers this, an investigation under 15-6 (formal or informal) is the basis for a flag. You can see the AR that covers flags herehttp://www.apd.army.mil/pdffiles/r600_8_2.pdf
2. Can the investigation be held up to convenience the principal wrongdoer? Once notified by the Investigating Officer, an individual should elect to either give a statement or not, regardless the investigation continues based on the evidence, correct?
This is totally at the discretion of the IO (limited only by direction of the commander). There is not any rule that requires a statement in any order or set period of time. In the investigations where I served as the IO, I made every effort to accommodate the witnesses, including the accused.
3. My higher command would have never been aware of the wrong doing had it not been for my notification, but it appears that I am being punished more so than anyone else in this matter. What are the whistle blower protection options available to Soldiers?
There are whistleblower protections available to solders in VERY limited circumstances. What you describe is not a basis for such protection. Specifically, The Military Whistleblower Protection Act, Title 10 U.S.C. 1034, prohibits interference with a military member’s right to make protected communications to members of Congress; Inspectors General; members of DoD
audit, inspection, investigation or law enforcement organizations. So if they are punishing you for making the complaint? THen you have a whistleblower issue. But if the investigation is for something else ? The rule will not apply
4. As I see the issue, it’s two separate components. Is there an option to find judgment separately, in order to resolve my issues versus the charges I brought to my higher against the DA Civilian?
Sure...this is up to the commander who ordered the 15-6. You would have to make a request to him to bifurcate the investigation. But as the accused in an investigation, even a minor one, you really have very little leverage in this regard.
5. Understood that you don’t have all the details/facts of the case, but would I have a potential complaint to file with an IG office for prejudicial treatment?
Perhaps. IF you can show that the commander is treating you unfairly, you can file a complaint under Art 138, UCMJ. This is the provision in the military code that allows formal complaints against a commander. If you feel your commander is not treating you fairly, you can file a complait with the IG or under Art 138, UCMJ.
However, I caution if there is evidence of misconduct, even minor misconduct, you have an uphill battle...again, the UCMJ gives great deference to the commander to deal with alleged misconduct.