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The Basics of U.S. Army Counseling Statement
Counseling is a basic responsibility of every leader and an important part of taking care of Soldiers. Counseling responsibility ranges from
holding scheduled, structured counseling sessions to conducting event oriented disciplinary counseling to provide on the spot guidance.
This Web page is intended to assist the NCOs in conducting timely and thorough counseling sessions with their Soldiers.
All newly arrived Soldiers should receive integration and reception counseling from their 1SG upon arrival to the unit. Soldiers should
receive an initial counseling from their first line supervisor within 30 days of arrival to the unit. All Soldiers in the rank of E-1 to E-4 must be
counseled a minimum of once a month. The results of all developmental counseling sessions will be typed on a general Army counseling
form, DA Form 4856. Soldiers in the rank of Corporal and above will be counseled at a minimum of once a quarter, using the NCO
counseling Checklist/Record DA Form 2166-8-1.
Section Supervisors should counsel their junior Soldiers in writing on the last working day of the month. Platoon Sergeants will review
these counselings and ensure that they are turned in to the 1SG. NCOICs and OICs should counsel their NCOs and Officers quarterly on
the last working day of the quarter. Key is for counseling to be positive and responsive. First line supervisors are encouraged to provide
verbal counseling immediately, but document those instances monthly and quarterly in an overview.
First line supervisors must counsel Soldiers not being recommended for promotion. Personnel eligible for promotion will be counseled 90
days prior to their eligibility period or before appearing in front of the promotion board. Topic of counseling will focus on recommendation
and non-recommendation for promotion. A copy of the counseling and DA 3355 should be maintained on file for those Soldiers not
recommended for promotion.
Performance counseling Statement informs Soldiers about their jobs and expected performance standards and provides feedback on
a. The goal of counseling is to get all Soldiers to succeed and meet the standards.
b. The best counseling is always looking forward. It does not dwell on the past and what was done, rather on the future and what can be
c. Counseling at the end of the rating period or when a Soldier is eligible for promotion is too late since there is no time to improve before
evaluation or going to the board. Don’t wait to build a book on a Soldier. There will be opportunities to counsel each week. Do not
procrastinate! Be positive and proactive!
The following topics may be addressed during each counseling session. Topics that apply to each individual will be annotated on the
Army counseling statement.
| Army Counseling Statement Examples
Negative Counseling Statements