Inspector General of the United States Army
Seal of the Inspector General
Flag of the Inspector General
LTG Donna W. Martin
since September 2, 2021
Department of the Army
TypeInspector general
Member ofOffice of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Defense
Reports toSecretary of the Army
Chief of Staff of the Army
SeatThe Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia
AppointerThe President
with Senate advice and consent
Term length4 years
Constituting instrument10 U.S.C. § 7020
PrecursorInspector-General of the Cavalry of the United States of America
Inaugural holderThomas Conway
FormationDecember 13, 1777
DeputyMaj. Gen. Mitchell L. Kilgo

The Office of the Inspector General (OTIG) serves to "provide impartial, objective and unbiased advice and oversight to the Army through relevant, timely and thorough inspection, assistance, investigations, and training."[1] The position has existed since 1777, when Thomas Conway was appointed the first inspector. The department was reorganized many times, and almost abolished on several occasions. In its early days, the department was frequently merged with, or proposed to be part of the Adjutant General. It expanded greatly after the American Civil War, to the point that it had around 2,000 officers in 1993. The current holder of the position is Donna W. Martin.


Main article: History of the Office of The Inspector General of the United States Army

The Office of the Inspector General of the United States Army dates back to the appointment of Augustin de la Balme (IG July 8, 1777 – October 11, 1777)[2] as "inspector-general of the cavalry of the United States of America" and Philippe-Charles-Jean-Baptiste-Tronson Du Coudray (IG August 11, 1777 – September 15, 1777)[2] as "Inspector General of Ordnance and Military Stores" during the American Revolutionary War.[3] The first inspector general was Thomas Conway (IG December 13, 1777 – April 28, 1778).[2] Next, Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben (IG May 5, 1778 – April 15, 1784)[2] was selected by Washington.[2] The position continued, variously merged with, commanding or being commanded by the Adjutant General of the United States Army until after the American Civil War, when it was formally established as an office equivalent to other Army departments.[4] Most people who ascend to this post receive the pay grade of O9.

After the war, the inspectorate continued to largely grow. It was criticized for performance during the Spanish–American War, but the role of the office soon increased significantly, to the point that anything affecting the army's efficiency was within its scope. Upon the outbreak of World War I, the department grew dramatically, shrinking during the Great Depression, and further growing throughout World War II and the Cold War.[4][5][6]

Current role

The Inspector General of the United States Army reports to the United States Secretary of the Army (SA) and the Chief of Staff of the United States Army (CSA). The IG investigates and reports on the "discipline, efficiency, economy, morale, training, and readiness" of the army, and acts as the "eyes, ears, voice, and conscience" of the SA and CSA. The inspectorate is authorized to undertake any investigations where they see necessary, and cooperates with the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Defense. The inspector is also responsible for inspecting various issues in the army including alleged problems within the army.[7]

The OTIG is composed of officers, non-commissioned officers, and DA civilians. It has a field operating agency, the United States Army Inspector General Agency, which comprises operational and support divisions. Any inspector is required to take the Inspector General oath:[7]

I _________,
having been assigned as an Inspector General, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I accept the special obligations and responsibilities of the position freely, that I will uphold the standards for Inspectors General prescribed by regulations and that I will, without prejudice or partiality, discharge the duties of the office which I am about to enter. So help me God.

The Inspection Division has inspected or reviewed soldier readiness programs, risk management programs, anti-terrorism and force protection, extremist group activities, homosexual conduct policy implementation, and the No Gun Ri massacre during the Korean War.[8]


  1. ^ Perry, Dustin. "Army swears in, promotes new inspector general". United States Army. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e Heitman 1903, pp. 38–39.
  3. ^ Clary 1987, pp. 18–21.
  4. ^ a b Clary 1987.
  5. ^ Maginnis 1993, p. 57.
  6. ^ Whitehorne 1998.
  7. ^ a b "Inspector General Activities and Procedures" (PDF). Washington, D.C.: Headquarters, Department of the Army. March 23, 2020. Army Regulation 20–1. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
  8. ^ Meredith, Craig A. (July–August 2003). "The Inspector General System" (PDF). The Army Lawyer: 20–26. Department of the Army Pamphlet 27-50-363 – via Homeland Security Digital Library.

Further reading