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DA 4856 Counseling Form


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How to Write an Army Counseling

The counseling form may be typed or handwritten in blue or black ink. If a form is not available, plain bond paper may be used. The rater is responsible for writing the content of the counseling. The conseling should take place in a private setting with only the Counselor and the Soldier present. Below is guidance on filling in the counseling form. For more information, please see ATP 6-22.1, The Counseling Process.


In the Purpose of Counseling block, write the reason for the counseling. It can be a single word or a paragraph that fills the entire block. The key for what is acceptable is communication. If the reader can understand the purpose of the counseling by reading just one word, then one word is sufficent. Otherwise, use as many words as necessary to get your point across. More...

Key Points of Discussion

The Key Points of Discussion block is the main section of the counseling form. The behavior or event that made counseling necessary must be fully described here. Since room is limited, try to be as brief as possible while including all the details that matter and are most important. Write in bullet format or in paragraphs as desired. More...

Plan of Action

In the Plan of Action block, describe the actions that will be taken as a solution to the subject of the counseling. These actions will be accomplished by either the rater or the Soldier or both as appropriate. For example if, in the Key Points of Discussion, you stated the Soldier was frequently late even though he or she was well aware of the time More...

Session Closing

In the Session Closing block, the supervisor summarizes the counseling session. For example, "You were late at so and so date. Further incidents of being late will be met with more severe consequences. We will take the actions described in the Plan of Action block. More...

Leader Responsibilities

Although the Soldier is being counseled, the rater also has responsibilities. If he is counseling the Soldier for being late, he must ensure that the Soldier knows what time he should be somewhere. Similarly, if he is counseling someone on job performance, he must ensure that person has adequate training. More...


The Assessement block of the counseling form is filled out by the rater at some reasonable point of time after the counseling was conducted. The purpose of the assessment block is to document whether the counseling was successful. It would be impossible to conclude whether counseling for being late was successful after only one day. More...

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