The actual filing of an Article 138 complaint will go on the officer’s official military record and thus the actual filing is not something to be taken lightly. Even before you request redress, which always comes before you file an Article 138 complaint, consider orally conveying to your chain of command that you are contemplating submitting an appeal for redress in pursuit of an Article 138 complaint. One option for this is to use the open door policy to meet with your commanding officer. In a polite and formal tone you could suggest something similar to the following:
Sir/ma’am, I have been trying to resolve __________ and I know I’m being harmed by __________, and I am thinking of filing an Article 138. I know this is really serious, so I just wanted to speak with you first and see if we can’t work something out.
Before you file a request for redress or an Article 138, we suggest that you call the GI Rights Hotline at 877-447-4487.