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Supervisors Guide to Admonitions and Reprimands

Author: CMSgt Harper & SMSgt Missel
Source: Original Doc

Table of Contents

Punitive Articles 77-134 Common Offenses &Sample Offense Paragraphs Sample Letter Sample Reprimand Paragraphs

 1.  The following guide was developed by the 35th Supply Squadron Chief Enlisted Manager and First Sergeant to provide general information and guidance in the proper documentation of admonitions and reprimands.

 2.  General:  Included among the various tools available to help supervisors meet their responsibility for maintaining Air Force standards and accomplishing the Air Force mission are administrative reprimands and admonitions.  This guide addresses only administrative reprimands and admonitions, as distinguished from punitive reprimands administered as a result of either court-martial conviction or of nonjudicial (Article 15) punishment.

 3.  Definitions:

a.  An admonition is "an expression of official displeasure or censure, oral or written, addressed to an officer or airman for a special act."  It is generally cautionary advice.

b.  A reprimand is  "a reproof, either oral or written, more severe than an admonition, given to an officer or airman, and carrying a strong implication of official censure."

 4.  Authority:  While there is no statutory authority for such actions, the authority to administratively admonish or reprimand derives from the inherent authority and responsibility of commanders and supervisors to correct and train those under their command or supervision, and regulatory authority and guidance concerning those actions.  

5.  When Appropriate: Administrative reprimands and admonitions may be issued to military members for minor infractions and are generally appropriate only after counseling has proven ineffective.

 6.  How to Issue: A reprimand or an admonishment may be either oral or written.  If issuance of such censure is appropriate, that fact should be recorded; thus, writing is definitely preferable.  While there is no prescribed format for reprimands or admonitions, it is appropriate to use a letter format addressed to the individual and signed by the issuing official in original and one copy.

a.  The content should basically contain a brief statement of the facts constituting the infraction and a statement of reprimand or admonition (see examples at the end).  Additional information may be required depending on expected disposition, such as entry in a UIF.

 b.  Other matters such as reminder of specific duties, duty hours, etc., may be added as desired.  The issuing official should personally deliver the letter in private, preferably with an explanation of the reasons this action was taken.  Although not legally required, the issuing official may concurrently consider and rebuttal or mitigation by the individual.

 7.  Disposition:

a.  Any superior (including civilians) may give a reprimand or admonishment to any subordinate.  If the issuing official considers the written reprimand or admonition appropriate for inclusion in the individual's UIF, the signed copy is forwarded to the individual's immediate commander or high level commander.  If the reviewing commander concurs, he or she must notify the offender of the intent to place the letter in the UIF, provide the offender an opportunity to respond to the letter, and then inform the offender of the final decision.  The easiest way (and the preferred method) to ensure that all procedures are correctly followed is to use AF Form 1058, but the necessary information may also be contained on the letter of reprimand or admonishment.

b.  Upon receipt of the referred admonition or reprimand, the individual concerned must be given a reasonable opportunity to gather, prepare and present matters in rebuttal and/or mitigation.  Normally three workdays are allowed for this preparation.  Additional time may be granted upon receipt of reasonable requests.

c.  If the individual declines to submit matters in his or her behalf, he or she should acknowledge in writing that the opportunity to submit a statement was given but not utilized.

d.  Upon receipt of the individual's matters in rebuttal, mitigation or declination to submit such matters, the commander must re-evaluate the correspondence to determine whether to forward the copy and reply to the appropriate MPF for inclusion in the individual's UIF.  The commander has the following options:

(1) The correspondence may be forwarded for placement in the member's UIF.

(2) In appropriate cases, the commander my direct that the correspondence not be placed in the individual's UIF and instead place it in the Unit Assigned Personnel Information File (PIF).

(3) If the commander is completely dissuaded by the matters presented, and there's no other cogent reason to put the correspondence in the Unit PIF, it should be destroyed.

e.  The commander should notify the individual of the action taken.

 8.  Retention in UIF:

 a.  Normal Retention Period: As a general rule, administrative reprimands or admonitions will be removed from UIFs and destroyed one year after the effective date of the reprimand or admonition (date individual initially acknowledges receipt of unfavorable information or declines to do so).  This retention is subject to exceptions for UIFs with multiple documents.

b.  Early Removal: The command, or successor, is authorized to withdraw and administrative reprimand or admonition after it has been recorded or filed in the UIF when retention of the document not longer serves a useful management purpose.  If the document was referred for filing in the UIF by a base or higher level commander, removal consideration must be routed similarly.  Early removal may be an effective management tool.


 First Sergeant, 35th Supply Squadron               Enlisted Manager, 35th Supply Squadron

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Page added on: 20 January 2007

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Revised: 12/21/08.