Monthly Counseling Guidance & References

Monthly Counseling PVT-SPC

Regulation(s): AR 600-20, AR 635-200, AR 350-1, FM 6-22

Counseled by: 1st line leader

When: on a monthly basis or as designated by local policy/procedure

Other Notes / Actions


Duty performance: discuss what was done well and what areas need improvement. Do this from a factual and educational point of view. Remember you are trying to grow this Soldier to be a leader.

Determine if the Soldier may have any personal issues that could impact his/her performance.

Ensure you complete the promotion section. You may need to address this in detail especially if the Soldier is not ready for promotion. This will be a tool you can utilize to show that the Soldier is not ready and why. It may also be used to support your recommendation for a promotion in the secondary zone, if you properly annotate all the great things the Soldier has achieved.

List upcoming events and the Soldier's responsibilities in support of these tasks.

Recommend leaders keep a small note book with a page for each Soldier's performance. Annotate when the Soldier has done something good, verbal counselings, recognition from senior leaders such as a pat on the back (great job from the 1SG/CSM, or CO,) etc. This is a great tool for developing a great monthly counseling.

Monthly counselings should focus on the whole Soldier concept. In this manner counselings can assist when it comes time to make recommendations for promotion, awards, etc. This format allows you to document events/achievements, etc and use it as historical data to support your recommendations.

During the session ask open ended and thought provoking questions.


Read paragraph Regulations listed above.

Read Extracts of Regulations.

Plan of Action Examples:

Soldier will prepare for the SGT promotion board by studying at least one hour each night. Soldier will attend a weekly mock promotion board which I will conduct.

Soldier will work on improving his/her knowledge of his/her assigned vehicle.

Soldier will work towards improving their APFT score by {15} points

Soldier will learn how to properly operate the team radio for the upcoming CPX

Soldier will continue to work towards the following established goals.

Short term: ____________

Long term: ____________

Soldier has identified a course of action to resolve current personal issue.

Assessment Examples:

Assessment will be conducted on the next monthly counseling form.

Soldier failed to study for the promotion board as directed, recommend he/she not attend board. Information passed to Chain of Command.

Extract of AR 600-20


2 3. Performance counseling

Commanders will ensure that all members of their command receive timely performance counseling. Effective performance counseling of officers, noncommissioned officers (NCO), enlisted Soldiers, and DA civilian employees helps to ensure that they are prepared to carry out their duties efficiently and accomplish the mission. AR 623 105, AR 690 400, and AR 623 205 contain counseling requirements in conjunction with the evaluation reporting systems. Unit commanders will determine the timing and specific methods used to provide guidance and direction through counseling. FM 22 101 provides advice and makes suggestions concerning effective counseling. Providing regular and effective performance counseling to all Soldiers, not just those whose performance fails to meet unit standards, is a command function. All commanders will ensure that their subordinate commanders have implemented and are maintaining an effective performance counseling program.

Extract of AR 635-200


1 15. Guidance

A substantial investment is made in training persons enlisted or inducted into the Army; therefore, this general guidance will be considered when initiating separation action.

a. Unless separation is mandatory, the potential for rehabilitation and further useful military service will be considered by the separation authority; where applicable, the administrative separation board will also consider these factors. If separation is warranted despite the potential for rehabilitation, consider suspending the separation, if authorized.

b. Adequate counseling and rehabilitation measures will be taken before initiating separation action against a soldier when the reason for separation so specifies. An alleged or established inadequacy in previous rehabilitation efforts does not provide a legal bar to separation.

1 16. Counseling and rehabilitative requirements

a. General. Army leaders at all levels must be continually aware of their obligation to provide purpose, direction, and motivation to soldiers. It is essential that soldiers who falter, but have the potential to serve honorably and well, be given every opportunity to succeed. Effective leadership is particularly important in the case of soldiers serving their initial enlistments. Except as otherwise indicated in this regulation, commanders must make maximum use of counseling and rehabilitation before determining that a soldier has no potential for further useful service and, therefore, should be separated. In this regard, commanders will ensure that adequate counseling and rehabilitative measures are taken before initiating separation proceedings for the following reasons:

(1) Involuntary separation due to parenthood. (See para 5 8.)

(2) Personality disorder. (See para 5 13.)

(3) Other designated physical or mental conditions. (See para 5 17)

(4) Entry-level performance and conduct. (See chap 11.)

(5) Unsatisfactory performance. (See chap 13.)

(6) Minor disciplinary infractions or a pattern of misconduct. (See para 14 12a and b.)

(7) Failure to meet body fat standards. (See chap 18.)

Counseling. When a soldier's conduct or performance becomes unacceptable, the commander will ensure that a responsible official formally notifies the soldier of his/her deficiencies. At least one formal counseling session is required before separation proceedings may be initiated for one or more of the reasons specified in a, above. In addition, there must be evidence that the soldier's deficiencies continued after the initial formal counseling.

(1) The number and frequency of formal counseling sessions are discretionary. Such factors as the length of time since the prior counseling, the soldier's performance and conduct during the intervening period, and the commander s assessment of the soldier's potential for becoming a fully satisfactory soldier, must be considered in determining if further counseling is needed.

(2) Counseling will be comprehensive and in accordance with chapter 17 of this regulation and will include the reason(s) it is being administered, the date, the fact that separation proceedings may be initiated if the deficiencies continue, and other guidance as appropriate.

(3) Each counseling session must be recorded in writing. DA Form 4856 (General Counseling Form) will be used for this purpose.

(4) The soldier's counseling or personal records must reflect that he/she was formally counseled concerning his/her deficiencies and given a reasonable opportunity to overcome or correct them.

c. Rehabilitation. Except as provided in d, below, the following rehabilitative measures are required prior to initiating separation proceedings for entry-level performance and conduct (see chap 11), unsatisfactory performance (see chap 13), or minor disciplinary infractions/patterns of misconduct (see chap 14):

(1) Trainees. Soldiers undergoing initial entry or other training will be recycled (reassigned between training companies or, where this is not feasible, between training platoons) at least once.

(2) Other than trainees. Soldiers not in training status will be locally reassigned at least once, with a minimum of 3 months of duty in each unit. Reassignment should be between battalion-sized units or between brigade-sized or larger units when considered necessary by the local commander.

(3) Permanent change of station (PCS) transfer. PCS funds normally will not be used for rehabilitative transfers. However, in meritorious cases where it is determined that a soldier with potential to be a distinct asset to the Army would benefit from a change in commanders, associates, and living or working conditions, the commander exercising general court-martial jurisdiction may authorize PCS transfer within the same command. As an alternative, a request for reassignment to another command may be submitted to Headquarters, Department of the Army (AHRC-EPappropriate career branch), 2461 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22332 0478.

d. Waivers.

(1) Waiver of the counseling requirement is not authorized.

(2) The rehabilitative transfer requirements in chapters 11, 13, and 14 may be waived by the separation authority in circumstances where common sense and sound judgment indicate that such transfer will serve no useful purpose or produce a quality soldier. Such circumstances may include:

(a) Two consecutive failures of the Army physical fitness test.

(b) Pregnancy while in entry-level status.

(c) Highly disruptive or potentially suicidal behavior, particularly in reception battalions.

(d) Active resistance of rehabilitative efforts.

(e) Soldiers assigned to small installations or at remote locations.

(f) Situations in which transfer to a different duty station would be detrimental to the Army or the soldier (for example, indebtedness, participation in the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Program, Mental Health Treatment Program, and so forth).

(3) Waiver of rehabilitative transfer may be granted at any time on or before the date the separation authority approves or disapproves the separation proceedings. Waiver authority may be withheld by a higher separation authority in a particular case, a class or category of cases, or all cases. Decision to withhold waiver authority will be announced in writing.

1 18. Suspension of execution of approved separation.

a. A highly deserving soldier may be given a probation period to show successful rehabilitation before the soldier's enlistment or obligated service expires.

(1) The separation authority or higher authority may suspend (except fraudulent entry or homosexual conduct) execution of an approved separation for a period of full-time military duty not to exceed 12 months. (See chap 2.)

(2) When there are approved reasons for separation in addition to fraudulent entry, suspension may be authorized only when the added reason is not homosexual conduct and a waiver of the fraudulent entry is obtained.

(a) During the period of suspension, the soldier must show that he/she is able to behave properly under varying conditions.

(b) The soldier can also show that he/she can perform assigned duties efficiently.

b. Upon satisfactory completion of the probation period, or earlier if rehabilitation has been achieved, the authority that suspended the separation will cancel execution of the approved separation. If the soldier has been transferred to the command of another separation authority, the separation will be canceled by the new separation authority or higher authority.

c. If the soldier engages in conduct similar to that for which separation was approved, but then was suspended, or otherwise fails to meet the appropriate standards of conduct and duty performance, the commander concerned, the convening authority, or the separation authority will take one of the following actions:

(1) Initiate punitive or new administrative action in spite of the suspension of execution of the approved discharge.

(2) Withhold action in the case of a soldier who is absent without authority or in civilian confinement by delivery under Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), Article 14 (Absence Without Authority), or while in civilian confinement. The provisions of either (1), above, or (3), below, will be complied with when the soldier returns to military control and before the period of probation expires.

(3) Advise the soldier, in writing, that vacation of the suspension is being considered and the reasons that warrant such consideration.

(a) The soldier will be given 3 duty days to consult with counsel and submit a written statement in his/her own behalf or decline to make any statement.

(b) The commander taking the action will consider any information the soldier submits. If the soldier identifies specific legal issues for consideration, the separation authority will have the matter reviewed by an officer of the Judge Advocate General s Corps. The separation authority may

Vacate suspension of the approved action and execute separation, or

Continue to suspend execution of the approved separation for the remainder of the probation period.

Extract of AR 350-1


1 14. Leader development

a. Leader development is the deliberate, continuous, sequential, and progressive process, grounded in Army values, that grows Soldiers and civilians into competent and confident leaders capable of decisive action. Leader development is achieved through the lifelong synthesis of the knowledge, skills, and experiences gained through the 3 domains of institutional training and education, operational assignments, and self development.

b. The purpose of the leader development system is to ideally produce tactically and technically competent, confident, and adaptive leaders who act with boldness and initiative in dynamic, complex situations to execute mission according to present and future doctrine. The Army leader must continue to develop while performing as a leader, but should not be placed in a position of leadership before having met all entry requirements for that position.

c. The Army s formal leader development process promotes the growth of individual leaders through training and education, experience, assessment, counseling and feedback, remedial and reinforcement actions, evaluation, and selection. This integrated, progressive and sequential process occurs in Army schools, units, civilian education institutions, and organizations.

(1) Army schools conduct branch, branch immaterial, and functional training that prepares individuals to lead and command units and organizations or serve as staff members at all levels within the Army. The U.S. Army Human Resources Command (HRC), unit commanders, and organization heads select individuals to attend these courses in accordance with career development models.

(2) Through experience gained during operational assignments, leaders acquire the confidence, leadership, and the competence needed for more complex and higher level assignments.

(3) The leadership assessment process measures subordinates leadership values, attributes, skills, knowledge, and potential to lead at specific levels within the Army. The assessment process provides the basis for evaluation (periodic and formal rating of performance) and development (a continuous and informal process aimed at improving leadership potential). For both the evaluation and development assessment processes, the individual s performance is rated against established criteria, which are understood by both the individual and the commander or supervisor conducting the assessment.

(4) Counseling and feedback provide clear, timely, and accurate information concerning individual performance compared to the established criteria. As a part of the counseling and feedback session, the commander or supervisor assists the individual to identify strengths, weaknesses, and developmental needs.

(5) Remedial actions focus on correcting weaknesses that adversely impact on the individual s performance of current duty requirements. Reinforcement actions focus on sustaining and refining existing leadership skills and knowledge.

(6) The evaluation process officially rates an individual s past performance based on established standards. As a formal rating, evaluations are directly linked to selection for promotion, schooling, and various duty assignments.

(7) The selection process identifies individuals for promotion, schooling, and various duty assignments based on established criteria.

d. The Army s leader development system is designed to develop leaders of character and competence who are able to exploit their full potential as a leader. The Army also develops and trains leaders to operate as part of joint and multinational staffs. It enhances relationships with regional partners through combined exercises, continual contacts, and national assistance. The goal is to develop Army leaders who clearly provide purpose, direction, motivation, and vision to their subordinates while executing operational missions in support of their commander s intent. Army leaders gain needed skills, knowledge, and experience through a combination of institutional training and education, operational assignments, and self development (see FM 22 100, being revised as FM 6 22).

(1) Institutional training and education. Courses qualify leaders for service in the Army, and provide them with the basic knowledge and skills needed to perform the duty position requirements of future operational assignments. Institutional training and education usually precedes a new level of operational assignment. In each case, the institutional training base is the foundation upon which individuals develop their maximum potential. The Army will do the following:

(a) Retain progressive and sequential education systems.

(b) Train leaders in the critical tasks they will need as future leaders.

(c) Develop the total Army.

(d) Keep quality instructors in the training base.

(e) Select the best qualified for resident courses.

(f) Produce qualified students and instructors.

(g) Have the right mix of resident and nonresident instruction.

(2) Operational assignments. Provide leaders an opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge gained during institutional training to the requirements of their assigned duty position. The value and effectiveness of leader development during operational assignments depend on the organization s or unit s command climate and commander s involvement. Commanders and supervisors enhance leader development by

(a) Creating a command climate and working environment, which develops leaders as a primary mission.

(b) Ensuring each individual meets training and education requirements by providing adequate training opportunities in adequately manned and resourced units.

(c) Base assignments on leader development priorities by assigning individuals to progressively more difficult, complex, and demanding duty positions. Duty positions must provide opportunities for soldiers and employees to gain critical experience from a full range of duties, responsibilities, and missions they will need for the future.

(d) Assessing individual performance and providing counseling that identifies strengths, weaknesses, and developmental needs.

(e) Coaching individuals on a regular basis.

(f) Assisting individuals during the preparation and execution of their self development action plans.

(3) Self development. A planned, dimension based, progressive, and sequential process the individual leader uses to improve performance and achieve developmental goals. Self development is a continuous process that takes place during institutional training and education and operational assignments. It is a joint effort that involves the leaders and the commander or supervisor. Self development actions are structured to meet specific individual needs and goals. It starts with an assessment of leadership skills, knowledge, and potential. A counseling and feedback session follows each assessment. During the counseling sessions, commanders or supervisors assist the individual to identify strengths, weaknesses, and developmental needs. Additionally, they discuss causes for strengths and weaknesses and courses of action to improve performance.

(a) Initial self development is structured and narrow in focus. Self development broadens as the individual gets to know himself or herself, determines needs, and becomes more independent. An individual s knowledge and perspective increase with age, experience, training and education, and are accelerated and broadened by specific, goal oriented self development.

(b) The value of self development plans depends on the effectiveness of school, organization, or unit leadership assessments and leader development programs.

(c) Self development actions include

1. Enrolling in military or DA civilian distributed training and education programs that support developmental goals.

2. Seeking challenging, demanding, and complex assignments, which provide opportunities to gain experience for future assignments.

3. Conducting self study and practicing relevant leadership, technical, tactical, and functional tasks frequently to attain and sustain the required levels of proficiency.

4. Expanding knowledge by studying history, doctrine, and professional manuals and publications.

5. Stress the individual s responsibility for leader development by conducting self evaluation of performance to identify strengths and weaknesses and to determine their impact on performance.

6. Seeking guidance from the commander or supervisor and more experienced leaders and peers.

7. Seeking leadership roles in the military and civilian community or other public service activities.

8. Avoiding prolonged assignments outside one s chosen career field.

9. Developing and executing a self development action plan that provides a clear path for achieving developmental goals. Immediate goals are remedial and focus on correcting weaknesses that adversely impact on the individual s performance in the current duty assignment. Near term goals focus on attaining and refining the skills, knowledge, and experience needed for the next operational assignment. Long range goals focus on preparing the individual for career long service. Goals are supported by progressive and sequential actions to improve performance and achieve maximum growth and potential.

Extract of FM 6-22


1-16. Improving for the future means capturing and acting on important lessons of ongoing and completed projects and missions. After checking to ensure that all tools are repaired, cleaned, accounted for, and properly stowed away, our motor sergeant conducts an after-action review (AAR). An AAR is a professional discussion of an event, focused on performance standards. It allows participants to discover for themselves what happened, why it happened, how to sustain strengths, and how to improve on weaknesses. Capitalizing on honest feedback, the motor sergeant identifies strong areas to sustain and weak areas to improve. If the AAR identifies that team members spent too much time on certain tasks while neglecting others, the leader might improve the section standing operating procedures or counsel specific people on how to do better.

1-17. Developmental counseling is crucial for helping subordinates improve performance and prepare for future responsibilities. The counseling should address strong areas as well as weak ones. If the motor sergeant discovers recurring deficiencies in individual or collective skills, remedial training is planned and conducted to improve these specific performance areas. Part Three and Appendix B provide more information on counseling.

1-18. By stressing the team effort and focused learning, the motor sergeant gradually and continuously improves the unit. The sergeant s personal example sends an important message to the entire team: Improving the organization is everyone s responsibility. The team effort to do something about its shortcomings is more powerful than any lecture.

8-47. It is important to realize that feedback does not have to be gathered in formal counseling, survey, or sensing sessions. Some of the best feedback comes from simply sitting down and informally talking with Soldiers and civilians. Many commanders have gained valuable information about themselves from merely eating a meal in the dining facility with a group of Soldiers and asking about unit climate and training.

8-66. Learning from actual experience is not always possible. Leaders cannot have every experience in training. They substitute for that by taking advantage of what others have learned and getting the benefit without having the personal experience. Leaders should also share their experiences with subordinates during counseling, coaching, and mentoring, such as combat veterans sharing experiences with Soldiers who have not been to war.


8-68. Counseling is central to leader development. Leaders who serve as designated raters have to prepare their subordinates to be better Soldiers or civilians. Good counseling focuses on the subordinate s performance and problems with an eye toward tomorrow s plans and solutions. The subordinate is expected to be an active participant who seeks constructive feedback. Counseling cannot be an occasional event but should be part of a comprehensive program to develop subordinates. With effective counseling, no evaluation report positive or negative should be a surprise. A consistent counseling program includes all subordinates, not just the people thought to have the most potential.

Counseling is the process used by leaders to review with a subordinate the subordinate s demonstrated performance and potential.

8-69. During counseling, subordinates are not passive listeners but active participants in the process. Counseling uses a standard format to help mentally organize and isolate relevant issues before, during, and after the counseling session. During counseling, leaders assist subordinates to identify strengths and weaknesses and create plans of action. To make the plans work, leaders actively support their subordinates throughout the implementation and assessment processes. (See Appendix B for a detailed discussion on counseling.) Subordinates invest themselves in the process by being forthright in their willingness to improve and being candid in their assessment and goal setting.

Performance Counseling

8-72. Performance counseling is the review of a subordinate s duty performance during a specified period. The leader and the subordinate jointly establish performance objectives and clear standards for the next counseling period. The counseling focuses on the subordinate s strengths, areas to improve, and potential. Effective counseling includes providing specific examples of strengths and areas needing improvement and providing guidance on how subordinates can improve their performance. Performance counseling is required under the officer, noncommissioned officer (NCO), and Army civilian evaluation reporting systems.

8-82. An important aspect of coaching is identifying and planning for short- and long-term goals. The coach and the person being coached discuss strengths, weaknesses, and courses of action to sustain or improve. Coaches use the following guidelines:

Focus Goals: This requires the coach to identify the purpose of the coaching session. Expectations of both the person being coached and the coach need to be discussed. The coach communicates to the individual the developmental tasks for the coaching session, which can incorporate the results of the individual's multisource assessment and feedback survey.

Clarify the Leader's Self-Awareness: The coach works directly with the leader to define both strengths and developmental needs. During this session, the coach and the leader communicate perceived strengths, developmental needs, and focus areas to improve leader performance. Both the coach and the individual agree on areas of developmental needs.

Uncover Potential: The coach facilitates self-awareness of the leader's potential and the leader's developmental needs by guiding the discussion with questions. The coach actively listens to how the leader perceives his potential. The aim is to encourage the free flow of ideas. The coach also assesses the leader's readiness to change and incorporates this into the coaching session.

Eliminate Developmental Barriers: The coach identifies developmental needs with the leader and communicates those areas that may hinder self-development. It is during this step that the coach helps the individual determine how to overcome barriers to development and how to implement an effective individual development plan to improve the leader's overall performance. The coach helps the leader identify potential sources of support for implementing an action plan.

Develop Action Plans and Commitment: The coach and the individual develop an action plan defining specific actions that can improve the leader's performance within a given period. The coach utilizes a developmental action guide to communicate those self-directed activities the leader can accomplish on his own to improve his performance within a particular competency.

Follow-Up: After the initial coaching session, there should be a follow up as part of a larger transition. After the initial coaching, participants should be solicited for their feedback concerning the effectiveness of the assessment, the usefulness of the information they received, and their progress towards implementing their IDP. The responsibility for follow-up coaching, further IDP development, and IDP execution is usually the responsibility of the unit chain of command. Leaders in the chain of command who provide coaching have a profound impact on the development of their subordinate leaders. They are the role models and present subordinates with additional information and incentives for self-development. Leaders who coach provide frequent informal feedback and timely, proactive, formal counseling to regularly inspire and improve their subordinates.


B-15. During performance counseling, leaders conduct a review of a subordinate s duty performance over a certain period. Simultaneously, leader and subordinate jointly establish performance objectives and standards for the next period. Rather than dwelling on the past, focus on the future: the subordinate s strengths, areas of improvement, and potential.

B-16. Performance counseling is required under the officer, NCO, and Army civilian evaluation reporting systems. The officer evaluation report (OER) (DA Form 67-9) process requires periodic performance counseling as part of the OER Support Form requirements. Mandatory, face-to-face performance counseling between the rater and the rated NCO is required under the noncommissioned officer evaluation reporting system. (See AR 623-3). Performance evaluation for civilian employees also includes both of these requirements.

B-17. Counseling at the beginning of and during the evaluation period ensures the subordinate s personal involvement in the evaluation process. Performance counseling communicates standards and is an opportunity for leaders to establish and clarify the expected values, attributes, and competencies. The OER support form s coverage of leader attributes and competencies is an excellent tool for leader performance counseling. For lieutenants and junior warrant officers, the major performance objectives on the OER Support Form (DA Form 67-9-1) are used as the basis for determining the developmental tasks on the Developmental Support Form (DA Form 67-9-1A). Quarterly face-to-face performance and developmental counseling is required for these junior officers as outlined in AR 623-3. Army leaders ensure that performance objectives and standards are focused and tied to the organization s objectives and the individual s professional development. They should also echo the objectives on the leader's support form as a team member s performance contributes to mission accomplishment.


B-34. Dominating the counseling by talking too much, giving unnecessary or inappropriate advice, not truly listening, and projecting personal likes, dislikes, biases, and prejudices all interfere with effective counseling. Competent leaders avoid rash judgments, stereotyping, losing emotional control, inflexible counseling methods, or improper follow-up.

B-35. To improve leader counseling skills, follow these general guidelines:

To help resolve the problem or improve performance, determine the subordinate s role in the situation and what the subordinate has done.

Draw conclusions based on more factors than the subordinate s statement.

Try to understand what the subordinate says and feels; listen to what is said and how it is said

Display empathy when discussing the problem.

When asking questions, be sure the information is needed.

Keep the conversation open-ended and avoid interrupting.

Give the subordinate your full attention.

Be receptive to the subordinate s emotions, without feeling responsible to save the subordinate from hurting.

Encourage the subordinate to take the initiative and to speak aloud.

Avoid interrogating.

Keep personal experiences out of the counseling session, unless you believe your experiences will really help.

Listen more and talk less.

Remain objective.

Avoid confirming a subordinate s prejudices.

Help the subordinates help themselves.

Know what information to keep confidential and what to present to the chain of command, if necessary.

Develop a Plan of Action

B-56. A plan of action identifies a method and pathway for achieving a desired result. It specifies what the subordinate must do to reach agreed-upon goals set during the counseling session. The plan of action must be specific, showing the subordinate how to modify or maintain his or her behavior. Example: PFC Miller, next week you ll attend the map reading class with 1st Platoon. After the class, SGT Dixon will personally coach you through the land navigation course. He will help you develop your skills with the compass. After observing you going through the course with SGT Dixon, I will meet with you again to determine if you still need additional training.

Record and Close the Session

B-57. Although requirements to record counseling sessions vary, a leader always benefits from documenting the main points of a counseling session, even the informal ones. Documentation serves as a ready reference for the agreed-upon plan of action and helps the leader track the subordinate s accomplishments, improvements, personal preferences, or problems. A good record of counseling enables the leader to make proper recommendations for professional development, schools, promotions, and evaluation reports.

B-58. Army regulations require specific written records of counseling for certain personnel actions, such as barring a Soldier from reenlisting, processing an administrative separation, or placing a Soldier in the overweight program. When a Soldier faces involuntary separation, the leader must maintain accurate counseling records. Documentation of substandard actions often conveys a strong message to subordinates that a further slip in performance or discipline could require more severe action or punishment.

B-59. When closing the counseling session, summarize the key points and ask if the subordinate understands and agrees with the proposed plan of action. With the subordinate present, establish any follow-up measures necessary to support the successful implementation of the plan of action. Follow-up measures may include providing the subordinate with specific resources and time, periodic assessments of the plan, and additional referrals. If possible, schedule future meetings before dismissing the subordinate.


Leader Responsibilities

B-60. The counseling process does not end with the initial counseling session. It continues throughout the implementation of the plan of action, consistent with the observed results. Sometimes, the initial plan of action will require modification to meet its goals. Leaders must consistently support their subordinates in implementing the plan of action by teaching, coaching, mentoring, or providing additional time, referrals, and other appropriate resources. Additional measures may include more focused follow-up counseling, informing the chain of command, and taking more severe corrective measures.

Assess the Plan of Action

B-61. During assessment, the leader and the subordinate jointly determine if the desired results were achieved. They should determine the date for their initial assessment during the initial counseling session. The plan of action assessment provides useful information for future follow-up counseling sessions.

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