Back to Writing Counseling Statements

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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.

For negative counseling, the following points should be addressed in order for the counseling to be effective:


What the Soldier did or failed to do

What improvement is expected

What will happen if performance does not improve


For other types of counseling such as preparing a Soldier for school or issuing equipment, use common sense and ensure the most important details are explained and included.

Pay special attention to situations where the Soldier could be held liable for monetary damages such as having to repay Tuition Assistance or pay for lost equipment.

Make sure the Soldier understands any negative consequences. It may be tempting to sugar coat the counseling to make it go down easier but, in the long run, that can hurt the Soldier. Tell him up front the worst that could happen to him or her.

A note about "magic statements": A lot of NCOs like to add a canned statement at the bottom of the Key Points of Discussion block to scare the Soldier. This canned statement describes the terrible things that might happen if the Soldier fails to improve his behavior. First, this statement is not required. Second, it has no legal or binding effect. However, if it impresses upon the Soldier the seriousness of his or her situation, then its use is not wasted. Please see this list of magic statement examples..

Please see this list of Event-Oriented counseling statements for examples of Key Points of Discussion for event-oriented counseling.

Please see this list of Performance/Professional counseling statements for examples of Key Points of Discussion for Performance/Professional counseling.

A Privacy Act statement should not be entered at the bottom of this block because one is already included at the top of the form.








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