(2) If disapproved, the form is returned to the SPCM, and a formal investigation
NOTE: See table 3-1 for complete information on processing informal investigations.
PROCESSING A FORMAL INVESTIGATION
a. The MTF Commander, patient administrator, or physician must initiate DA Form
2173 in the same way he initiates it for an informal investigation. Within 5 days after the
incident, this form must be initiated and sent to the unit commander who completes the
form as he completes it for an informal investigation and forwards it to the SPCM.
b. Within 17 calendar days after the incident, by letter or DF, the SPCM authority
must appoint a disinterested commissioned officer to conduct an investigation.
c. Within 40 days after the incident, the investigating officer must conclude a formal
investigation and forward a written report of the findings on DD Form 261 (Report of
Investigation--Line of Duty and Misconduct Status) (shown in figure 3-3) to the appointing
authority. The original and 3 copies of the report are forwarded.
d. The appointing authority reviews the investigation and completes the block titled
"Action by the Appointing Authority" on DD Form 261. The appointing authority retains one
copy of the report and sends the original and two copies to the reviewing authority.
e. The reviewing authority reviews the report of the investigation and completes the
block titled "Action by the Reviewing Authority" on DD Form 261, and sends the original
and two copies to the final approving authority, within 54 days.
f. The final approving authority reviews the investigation and enters the official
designation of the headquarters, the date, approval or disapproval of the findings,
signature and signature block, within 60 days after the incident. Reports are distributed as
(1) Death--one copy is retained; an original and one copy is sent to HQDA.
(2) Disease or injury--one copy is retained; the original is sent to Military
Personnel Records; and one copy is sent to the member being investigated.
NOTE: See table 3-2 for complete information on processing formal investigations.