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Can a Soldier be required to sign a counseling statement while on medication?

Top, I was on some medication and was given a counseling statement for something. I did not feel comfortable signing the counseling statement. Can they make me sign a counseling statement when I am on medication?

The Mentor - A Comprehensive Guide to Army Counseling and Leadership

The Unknowns

This is not a simple “YES’ or “NO” answer. There are many unknowns in this issue.  For example:

What was the medication?

What are the known impacts of the medication?

Did your chain of command know you were on this medication?

Did you have a duty to inform your chain of command you were on medication that might impact your ability to make decisions?

Were you on profile?

Anyone of these questions could significantly impact the outcome.  The only person qualified to make that determination is a doctor who could say that while on a certain medication you should not be making certain decisions or performing certain duties.  In that case you should be on a Profile.

Discussion:

If you were on medication and were uncomfortable being counseled or felt that you could not adequately address the issues during the counseling session you could:

  • Inform the Leader that you are under medication and do not believe you are able to fully address and understand the counseling at this time.
  • If the Leader decides to counsel anyway then you could simply place a statement in the session closing block stating that you were medicated and asked for the counseling to be delayed and the Leader refused.
  • Let’s say you were heavily medicated and did not really understand what happened until the next day after the medication wore off (Highly Unlikely Situation). Then you could type up a memorandum for record and send an email copy to the Leader and provide them a hard copy of the MFR and ask them to attach it to the counseling statement?

Your Attitude and Tone

Your attitude and tone in handling issues like this are very important.  It is very important that you be factual, respectful, calm, and professional.  Take the high road.  If you get emotional it will not workout in your favor.

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Mark is a Retired Command Sergeant Major with 26 years of military leadership experience. He held 3 military occupational specialties (Field Artillery, Nuclear Weapons Tech, and Ammunition Ordnance). Mark is one of the leading military authors in the fields of leadership, counseling, and training.

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Army Counseling Software - Include over 250 Army Counseling Examples

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