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Do You Know the Counseling and Rehabilitative Transfer Requirements under AR 635-200?

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AR 635-200 paragraph: 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.)

b. 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–EP- appropriate 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: 7 (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.

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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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