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The DA Form 2823 is used for a variety of purposes from documenting informal counseling to recording evidence for an investigation. The guidance for filling out the form is in AR 15–6, Procedures for Investigating Officers and Boards of Officers. The section providing instruction for filling out the form is quoted below. Either a chronological narrative or the more formal question and answer format may be used. See examples below.
c. Taking testimony or statements.
(2) In informal proceedings, statements of witnesses may be obtained at informal sessions in which they first relate
their knowledge and then summarize those statements in writing. A tape recorder may be used to facilitate later
preparation of written statements, but the witness will be informed if one is used. The investigating officer or board
will assist the witness in preparing a written statement to avoid inclusion of irrelevant material or the omission of
important facts and circumstances. However, care must be taken to ensure that the statement is phrased in the words of
the witness. The interviewer must scrupulously avoid coaching the witness or suggesting the existence or nonexistence
of material facts. The witness may be asked to read, correct, and sign the final statement.
(3) Whether the witness swears to the statement is within the discretion of the investigating officer or president. If
the statement is to be sworn, use of DA Form 2823 (Sworn Statement) is recommended. If the witness is unavailable or
refuses to sign, the person who took the statement will note, over his or her own signature, the reasons the witness has
not signed and will certify that the statement is an accurate summary of what the witness said.
(4) Whether the proceeding is formal or informal, to save time and resources, witnesses may be asked to confirm
written sworn or unsworn statements that have first been made exhibits. The witnesses remain subject to questioning on
the substance of such statements.
(5) Although the direct testimony of witnesses is preferable, the investigating officer or board may use any previous
statements of a witness as evidence on factual issues, whether or not the following conditions exist:
d. Discussion of evidence.
e. Privacy Act statements.
(2) Method of providing statement. Appendix B provides guidance for preparing Privacy Act statements. The
statement may be written or oral, but it must be provided before taking the witness’s testimony or statement. A written
statement will be attached to the report of proceedings as an enclosure. An oral statement will be noted in the report
either as part of a verbatim transcript or as an enclosure, in the form of a certificate by the officer who provided the
Privacy Act statement.
(3) Copy of the statement. Anyone to whom this requirement applies is entitled to a copy of the Privacy Act statement in a form suitable for retention. Providing a respondent a copy of the part of the report of proceedings (see para 5–10) that includes the statement satisfies this requirement. Any other witness who is provided a Privacy Act statement will, on request, be furnished a copy of the statement in a form suitable for retention.
DA Form 2823 Example(.doc)