What is an USAF Unfavorable Information File?
The Unfavorable Information File (UIF) is an official record of unfavorable information about an individual. Units usually keep these records at the squadron level. These files document any behavioral or performance issues resulting in administrative, judicial, or nonjudicial punishments or counseling. The commander must only document substantiated unfavorable information in this file.
Mandatory Document Entry
The Air Force requires commanders to establish a UIF in the following circumstances: punishment under Article 15 that exceeds one month; record of a court-martial conviction; record of a civilian court conviction; and control roster action.
What are optional filings?
Commanders use the following optional documents for enlisted members before establishing a UIF. These include Letters of Admonishment (LOAs), Letters of Counseling (LOCs), or Letters of Reprimand (LORs), along with an AF IMT 1058. For officers: Commanders refer to optional documents (LOAs, LOCs) along with an AF IMT 1058 before establishing a UIF. If your commander will have an LOR placed in a UIF, they must advise you of this. The AF IMT 1058 lets the service member know whether the commander intends to file these letters in a UIF. Typically, when the commander uses this form, they also allow the service members to respond before they make and record the final decision. If the commander does not use an AF Form 1058, they will include a notice in the body of the LOR of their intent to refer the letter for filing in your UIF.
When do commanders enter information in the UIF
Commanders decide whether to file an LOR in a UIF around the time the LOR is issued. If the commander imposes punishment under Article 15, they decide after they impose the penalty and complete the appeal process. Despite the tendency to file a UIF close to the time of the correspondence, a commander may still file an earlier administrative action in the UIF if the date of the activity or document is within six months of the current date, the member has not reenlisted since the date of the document, and the commander refers the document to the member on AF Form 1058. This delay does not mean the member is in the clear, and UIF may lead to a bar to reenlistment or reduce promotion prospects.
Can I respond to a Letter of Reprimand?
A service member has three duty days to respond before the commander places a LOR in a UIF. Commanders must file a service member’s LOR response statement in the UIF. Even if you cannot get rid of the LOR, you can request that it not be put in a UIF. The purpose of a service member’s response is to ask the commander not to file any unfavorable information in this permanent file. The strategy can take three forms:
- Acknowledge guilt and ask for forgiveness.
- Provide evidence that the allegations are false.
- Argue that counseling or reprimand is unwarranted.
All these approaches carry risks. For this reason, it is best to have an experienced attorney advise on any response to mitigate this risk and increase the chances that the commander will choose not to file in the UIF.
What is the effect of a UIF?
The Air Force Personnel Center will review an active UIF whenever it considers a service member for promotion, reenlistment, PCS, PRP, or other favorable personnel action. The complete list is in AFI 36-2907, paragraph 220.127.116.11. A service member can PCS with an active UIF; however, the file travels to their new duty station and gaining commander.
How long will a UIF remain on my record?
A UIF is active for up to two years for enlisted members. A commander can remove the active status of a UIF at their discretion if the document’s or UIF’s removal is clearly warranted. A service member can also request that a commander remove the UIF. Anything added to a UIF will keep it active longer. Inactive status means your life goes on as usual. No one will know you’ve had a UIF unless you tell them, mainly when you PCS. Table 2.2 of AFI 36-2907 governs the disposition of information in UIFs on enlisted members. Usually, Commanders keep the UIF for one year when a LOR is the only document in the UIF. Commanders keep the UIF for two years when it contains Article 15. The commander can dispose of the UIF early if warranted.
Can a service member look at their UIF?
Individuals can inspect their UIFs after coordinating with the UIF monitor. If you need to respond to a Letter of Reprimand, we may be able to assist. Contact us here or call us at 757-504-2815 today.