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A National Guard Soldier had decided to take a voluntary reduction in grade to avoid deployment how should I counsel them?

A newly promoted E-5 in the National Guard, has decided to take a voluntary reduction of rank and switch units so he does not have to deploy. How do I write a counseling for this Soldier?

If I was this Soldier I would be more concerned about my future rather than a reduction.  If his true reason for requesting a reduction in grade is to avoid deployment, I believe there should be a formal charge against the Soldier rather than an administrative reduction.  The message this request sends to the other Soldiers if approved is clear….if you don’t want to deploy just accept an reduction and go someplace safe.

Before counseling the Soldier I would consult with your 1SG/CDR and have them request a written legal opinion from your JAG office.  My thoughts are his actions are in violation of the UCMJ to some extent and if your leadership team supports this there could be some serious issues for the leadership team.  This issue could explode.  Imagine this….This Soldier gets demoted and moves.  Your unit gets closer to deployment then several other Soldiers say hey I want to take a demotion and leave the unit.  It is too close to deployment and the Commander says no.  Next thing you know Article 138 complaints fly and these Soldiers want to know why they are being treated unfairly because another Soldier was allowed to move without consequence.

posted on 10/31/2014 under Q&A
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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