Can email be used to document counselings? | - Leader Development for Army Professionals

Can email be used to document counselings?

My rater is trying to use emails to document counseling. Is this acceptable for NCOER counselings?

AR 623-3 paragraph 3-6 states: The rater uses DA Form 2166–8–1 to prepare for, conduct, and record results of performance counseling with the rated NCO. Its use is mandatory for counseling all NCOs, CPL through CSM.

Counseling is supposed to be conducted face-to-face unless there are extenuating circumstances. If the rater wrote “See attached email dated DATE. Discussed content of emails with NCO and…” on the DA Form 2166-8-1, then perhaps he could support his argument to a degree. However, I do not believe he would be able to support an argument that he conducted counseling solely through an email. This would be a call the chain of command would have to make based on all the facts.

Read The Mentor: Everything you need to know about leadership and counseling for more information about Counseling, Leadership, Corrective Training, and Separations in the Army.

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posted on 06/27/2011 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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  • j.a.


    If I believe my Chain of Command is passing around derogatory emails about me, do I have the right to obtain these? I am a Reservist and I believe that people are writing about me and making decisions and judgements concerning me. I have not been counseled but it seems that many are sharing information. I am not paranoid because they say they have discussed things but wont tell me anything about the discussions. I believe that I have the right to get these communications. Do I have the right to get these through the Freedom of Information act?

    • SGT NICK


      No, and define derogatory. Many people believe that if something they did is being talked about around the unit they believe they have the right to charge people with slander. Remember anything that is not said or heard from you directly is HEARSAY. Slander and defamation most also be untrue and malicious. If your being investigated for wrong doings and people are talking about it, its not slander. Your unit leadership can do an investigation without your knowledge as well. As for the emails, well other people have rights too, like freedom of speech.

      *All views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, The Department of Defense or the US Army.*

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