FLIPL and army officers

AROTC-dad

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A large (and expensive) vehicle caught fire under my DS's command, while in the field.

No one was injured, so that is good. The bad part is the vehicle totally burned up. The cause is under investigation.

Does anyone know if it is common for a commanding officer (or platoon leader) to be held financially responsible for such a loss? Is this a likely cause for a FINANCIAL LIABILITY INVESTIGATION OF PROPERTY LOSS (FLIPL)?

Should he lawyer up?
 

USMCGrunt

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No direct knowledge but my gut says no.

That said, I could see an investigation leading to discipline if anything was out of line under his command. Maintenance, procedure, training, etc. The discipline in those cases could be adverse fitness reports, relief of command, etc.

But in the infantry, I never had anything more expensive than a weapon or radio. So my experience is limited in scope.
 

AROTC-dad

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Thanks for your help! Your substantial experience as a Marine Officer is reassuring.

An Abrams M1A2 goes for about $5M or more. Yikes!
 

Capt MJ

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Speaking generally, an investigation will collect information and develop findings of fact, take statements, review policies and directives, and make determinations as to causation, contributing factors, accountability, responsibility and culpability within the scope of the piece of official paper that convened the official review(s). Recommendations may or may not be made at this stage. I am speaking generally, as I said. I know what would happen in the Navy, and the military in general tends to follow methodical approaches to these things. The military “self-insures” for major losses, whether caused by operator/human error or mechanical malfunction or an act of God.

Now, this is precisely the reason commanding officers say they are 1 17 year old away from being fired. The officer in charge may have been nowhere near, but were training, safety and qualification programs being run by the book? Were safety protocols followed? If it was human error, had warning signs been ignored of exhaustion, physical or mental illness, etc.? Accountable and responsible, the burden of officers in the chain of command and in command.
 

AROTC-dad

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I know he would survive being fired. Being billed seven figures.... not so much.
 

emwvmi01

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Unless he is the proximate and criminal cause most FLIPL liability is capped at 1 month base pay and deducted by Soldier election or in lump sum of 10% over 10 months with no interest.

FLIPLs all go through thorough legal review and if he is held liability he can get 30 days and government counsel to rebut the findings or argue mitigation.
 

UHBlackhawk

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Much depends on the circumstances.
If the fire is due to negligence and an officer observed and tolerated the negligence then they could face legal action.
If it’s determined that the fire is due to a lack of training then the officer might face legal action or a career ending fitness report.
Many other possible outcomes depending on the circumstances. As pointed out here and elsewhere, your career sometimes depends on a 17 year old with a limited education.
 

DevilDog

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A large (and expensive) vehicle caught fire under my DS's command, while in the field.

No one was injured, so that is good. The bad part is the vehicle totally burned up. The cause is under investigation.

Does anyone know if it is common for a commanding officer (or platoon leader) to be held financially responsible for such a loss? Is this a likely cause for a FINANCIAL LIABILITY INVESTIGATION OF PROPERTY LOSS (FLIPL)?

Should he lawyer up?
It was a mistake. Our President left Billions of dollars of military equipment to our enemy. Make him pay first.
 

Ready42025

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Nov 20, 2020
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A large (and expensive) vehicle caught fire under my DS's command, while in the field.

No one was injured, so that is good. The bad part is the vehicle totally burned up. The cause is under investigation.

Does anyone know if it is common for a commanding officer (or platoon leader) to be held financially responsible for such a loss? Is this a likely cause for a FINANCIAL LIABILITY INVESTIGATION OF PROPERTY LOSS (FLIPL)?

Should he lawyer up?
Here is a reference on the Report of Survey: https://usacac.army.mil/sites/default/files/documents/sja/Survery_Officer.pdf
 

conrack

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good thing he isn't C.O. of a Navy ship, they get relieved irregardless of fault or cause.
 

billyb

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I personally was the target of a 15-6 investigation when I was a 1LT. My company commander was on leave for 5 days. One of the solider's in our until killed his pregnant wife during those 5 days, so of course it made sense that I was the one responsible for the horrible incident. A 15-6 investigation ensued and the dang O4 in a neighboring battalion found me (as the commander-in-charge) as well as the soldier's platoon sergeant guilty. It was the most ridiculous thing ever. I asked my battalion commander about a month later what the deal was because I hadn't heard anything since the O4 found us "guilty." He told me it was all good to go and the brigade commander ripped it up and tore the O4 a new one. Thank goodness there was a O6 in charge that had some sense, but it goes to show that some real consequences can flow downhill even if not warranted.

It didn't affect me in the slightest as a got an awesome top block OER and it was never mentioned. I hope everything turns out well for your son too.
 

Dustoff17

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Let the investigation move forward without you or you DS losing sleep. IF (big if) the investigation turns criminal or looks like it's leading to a UCMJ action, the investigators are required by Reg to notify all involved parties and inform them each of their rights. Maybe then consider an attorney (JAG supplied, by the way).

In the mean time, tell your DS to move ahead, learn from the experience, and be the best Officer he can be!
 
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