Can I be chaptered for two minor counseling statements? | AskTOP.net - Leader Development for Army Professionals
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Can I be chaptered for two minor counseling statements?

In the past year, I have received two counseling statements for minor offenses. Other than these two incidents, I have been a great Soldier and have the monthly counselings from my first line NCO to show this. My Battery Commander is telling me that he wants to chapter me out of the Army if I receive another counseling for anything during the rest of my time here (2 months). Can he legally start the Chapter work without an Article 15 or a major offense?

Technically yes, you can be separated for patterns of misconduct (Chapter 14-12b). If the violations are as minor as you state, the odds are slight that a chapter would be granted. However, the fact that the commander has indicated the possibility of a chapter action should raise a red flag to you. He may be giving you a verbal warning order to shape up hoping this will be enough to get you squared away. I advise you take his warning seriously.

Time to shape up

I encourage you to be the best Soldier you can possibly be and perhaps request a meeting with the 1SG/CDR on open door policy and get a verbal understanding of their expectations of you. Odds are their expectations will be to perform to Army Standard. As long as you are complying with Army Standard you have nothing to worry about. With that stated remember attitude and tone are everything. Be professional, calm, unemotional, and factual. No one can do anything to you unless you provide them the ammo, put the ammo in the gun, and pull the trigger. In other words it is difficult for a chain of command to do something to you without you doing something to initiate the action.

Be honest and sincere. Accept responsibility for your actions and do the best you can. This will likely be enough to restart your relationship with your chain of command.

I have provided two extracts for you to read with regard to your question. Read these extracts and educate yourself on the process and procedure. These are attached below.

Look at it from their perspective

Having spent a lot of time as a senior leader at the Platoon Sergeant, 1SG, and CSM level I can assure most commands do not take any pleasure in separating a Soldier. They would rather see a Soldier excel. They have a lot on their plate and do not have the time focus on one individual. Your goal should be to ensure that when they think of you they see a responsible and reliable Soldier. Depending on what has happened this may be easy or somewhat hard, but it is definitely possible and it will all start with a little communication.

Do the right thing even when no one is looking quoteNow with all of this said understand that most Soldiers go through a period like this during their term of service. What makes the difference is how the Soldiers chooses to handle the issue. There are bad leaders and I understand that, but you must trust that most leaders: (1) do not try to be bad leaders, (2) are unaware they are bad leaders, or (3) do not care. If you are working for a bad leader someone in your chain of command will realize it as you go through the process. Your best course of action is to do the right thing–even when no one else is looking and trust your chain of command.

posted on 02/22/2012 under Q&A
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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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    Comments

  • Anonymous

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    Can I be flagged for showing up late 3 times, and not even consecutively..??

  • 31Eric

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    Why couldn’t you just do what you were told? 99% of basic and even the Army is doing what you are told. That’s probably the brunt end of why they want to kick you out. If you can’t do what you’re told, you can be killed or get other people killed too.

  • Farren

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    Hi,
    I am currently in AIT at Fort Lee. I am getting reclassed to a different MOS next week. I have had one counseling statement for my cellphone during POI hours. But today I was caught yet again with my cellphone. I guess old habits die hard. Well the 1st Sgt stated that I might be getting kicked out instead of going to my next MOS. Can he do that? I do oped for the reduce in pay, instead of getting kicked out. I want to be in the Army. I love it. I just dont want to get kicked out for something stupid as a cellphone. please get back to me ASP.

  • SGT NICK

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    Sounds like he has a tough 1SG, no he cannot do half the stuff he’s claiming to do but he can come in at different angles. Hopefully your husband can pass an APFT and HT/WT and Tape as this is a common tactic to get rid of undesirable soldiers. Its hard for me to assess the situation as the 1SG might be trying to motivate the soldier since he knows your husband wants to have a future in the Army. You can talk to IG, which may or may not get your husband into trouble but a better route to take is to talk to your unit chaplain. Regardless of your spiritual beliefs chaplains are excellent people to talk to about ongoing problems within your personal or work life. I have seen chaplains time and time again come in and argue for soldiers who they believe are just going through a rough patch in life and /or being treated unfairly. Their not IG so the unit command cannot blow them off as easy. Make an appointment to talk to the chaplain within your husband’s battalion first then let us know on the forum how it went.

    Hope this helps.

  • Alyssa

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    Eck,
    I really admire your knowledge of this situation and am looking for similar information myself. My husband has been in the Army now for over 3 years (ETS date beginning of June 2013) and was just informed by his 1st sgt that he is being chaptered out for patterns of misconduct. These patterns include being late for work twice (one of which he was just not 15 minutes early, only 10 minutes early; and the other was for being 10 minutes late to final formation because he was stuck at ACAP which they said doesnt matter where he was) He also was just recently counseled for not wearing proper pt shoes? This is all the “trouble” he has been in in his entire army career, and has been nothing more then an exceptional soldier as well as doing a 12 months deployment in Afghanistan. This 1st sgt is new and has only been with the company a few months, so he doesnt even know of his past. All of these counselings were received in the past several months, and he has been told by his 1st sgt that he will be out before christmas. can a 1st sgt even make these calls? i thought there was more of a process and reviewing of these circumstances. My husband even has his sgt go in the office today and find out the status of his separation and he told him no paperwork has even been started yet… how can a 1st sgt tell a soldier to pack their stuff and even give them dates they will be out if he hasnt even started the process. His 1st sgt is impossible to talk to and tries every way possible to make you retaliate negatively to him, he talks down to you and even told me personally he did not want to see me in the office unless I was being battered when we were in for the commander to get an AER loan (which we were denied for due to recommendation from his truly the 1st sgt.) My husband was not given any sort of chance to “rehabilitate” nor was he even given a chance to show these occurrences were random and not a pattern of anything but innocent mistakes. There is so much worse stuff going on in this company and people have gotten off with less. He has threatened my husband to the max saying he is taking all extra money, all leave days, and has even denied my husbands leave packets for the holidays 3 times bc he says he is in teh process of being chaptered…. I am doing all the research I can but I dont know how to go about this without him getting in even more trouble. My husband did not want to ETS but this man has made his life a living hell and is now threatening our future outside of the army. I just dont know what our options are I guess. or what we are actually entitled to when getting out, can they actually take your moving money and your saved up leave days (he has 45 saved up)? I have so many questions but I guess Ill start here. Thanks so much for reading and I hope to hear back from you or anyone else with information at your earliest convenience. Thanks again! 🙂

    – A concerned soldier’s wife

    • Eck

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      Hi Alyssa,

      SGT Nick is correct, in that many of the things the 1SG is threatening, he can’t do. He cannot take away your husbands accrued leave. Even if your husband is chaptered, he is entitled to pay for his leave. The only way his leave can be forfeited is if he would be separated with a Bad Conduct Discharge. This will not happen for the minor issues you described. The worst I could see him receiving would be a general discharge.

      He can not take away your travel pay either. The Army will pay for your travel back to your home of record.

      I cannot see the command processing your husband for separation if he has not received an Article 15 for his misconduct. An Article 15 is not mandatory for a chapter, but usually one is not processed for patterns without one. The exception being a 14-12c, for a single act of serious misconduct, which your husband has not committed. If you husband was being chaptered, he should be flagged for separation. AR 600-8-2, para 2-6 requires the Soldier being flagged be notified within 2 days of the initiation of the flag and be provided a copy of the DA Form 268. Your husband can check his ERB through AKO and see if he is flagged. Look on the left column of the ERB in the space where it says Flag Code. If your husband has a Flag initiated for separation the code will be BA.

      Also, your husband will be notified, in writing, signed by the company commander, of the initiation for chapter. If this hasn’t happened, then the chapter has not been officially started. That does not mean that it is not being prepped by the legal office. To complete the chapter your husband will have to undergo a separation physical and mental evaluation. If he has not undergone these evaluations, it would be almost impossible, without some high ranking push, to get them done in time to separate your husband before Christmas.

      As SGT Nick stated, the 1SG may just be trying to scare your husband into straightening up. Now, if you husband is chaptered under a Chapter 13, Separation for Unsatisfactory Performance, then his separation will be characterized as honorable. Again though, your husband will be notified, in writing, by the commander of the intent to separate.

      Now, what to do. A couple options, as SGT Nick stated, your husband can go to the Chaplain. This is never a bad idea in my opinion. Second he could go to the IG. In this case, I would probably not choose this option first. The IG is going to contact your husband’s Battalion or Brigade with the complaint and the command investigates and responds to the IG.

      Has your husband elicited the help of his Platoon Sergeant to speak on his behalf to the 1SG or speak directly to the 1SG with his Platoon Sergeant present? If the Platoon Sergeant doesn’t support your husband, then there may be more to the story than you are aware of.

      An option I would consider is using the Commander’s open door policy or even the Battalion CSM open door policy.

      At any rate, these actions and decisions should come from your husband. He should be professional at all times and not make personal attacks against the 1SG. If he does speak to the Commander or CSM, stick to the facts, admit his misconduct, accept responsibility, and present his case for staying in the service. He could also ask the commander why his holiday leave is being denied, etc.

      As far as the late to formation for being 10 minutes instead of 15 minutes early. If he is told by his NCO’s to arrive 15 minutes before formation time, then that is his report time. He was not 10 minutes early, he was 5 minutes late. That’s just the way it works.

      Being late to close out because he was at ACAP could present a legal defense if the command would try to give an Article 15 or use it for separation evidence. If his place of duty was at ACAP then, punishing him for not leaving early to get to formation could be fought by the defense attorneys.

      If your husband is being chaptered, he must be provided the opportunity to speak with Trial Defense Services. He should not waive this right and speak with an attorney.

      Your husband should take the lead in this. It is great that you are looking into options for your husband, he should be dealing with his command and not you. Commands never appreciate a spouse calling to complain when the service member is not dealing with the issue themselves.

      I hope you found this helpful.

      “The views presented by the author are his own and do not necessarily represent the views of the DoD or its Components.”

      Disclaimer: I am not an attorney and any views presented are my own and are not to be interpreted as legal advice. Furthermore, my views do not necessarily represent the views of DoD or its Components.

  • Ssg quick

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    I was at a friend going away party. The statement that was giving to coc was that I witness another person try to stab her husband I did not see it happen. Everybody from the party went to jail that night public intox and disturbing the peace. I now under investigation from the battalion by the commander. He has appointed a captain to investigate it. This was not on post

    • Eck

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      SSG Quick,

      From your post your battalion commander has directed that a Commander’s Inquiry or a 15-6 Investigation be conducted to determine the facts surrounding the incident in question. Until the investigation is complete, no action should be taken against anyone involved. You may be flagged for adverse action pending the outcome of the investigation.

      The battalion commander will take what ever action he/she deems appropriate based on the evidence that the Investigating Officer finds out in his investigation. This could range from no action taken to a courts-martial depending on the evidence and after the commander consults with his/her servicing legal office.

      If this party was off-post and you were cited by civilian authorities, then you will most likely, not face any UCMJ action, because those charges will be adjudicated in civilian court. However, this does not prevent the command from taking administrative action which could range from a letter of reprimand, a reduction board, chapter action, or a combination of administrative actions.

      Right now, I would wait until the investigation is complete and see what action the commander decides to take. You are protected by Article 31 of the UCMJ and do not have to answer any questions by the Investigating Officer that may be self incriminating if you do not choose to do so. However, you are not protected from answering questions about another persons actions if you are aware of them. You always have the right to speak with an attorney before during and after questioning or have an attorney present.

      If any action is taken, administrative or punitive, you have the right to a copy of the evidence that the action is based on and the right to speak with an attorney. Exercise these rights. They cost you nothing and can only help.

      I hope you found this information useful.

      Disclaimer: I am not an attorney and any views presented are my own and are not to be interpreted as legal advice. Furthermore, my views do not necessarily represent the views of DoD or its Components.

  • Ssg quick

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    Can I be chapter out under 14-12b with 23 years of service

    • Eck

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      SSG Quick,

      Yes, you can be separated under Chapter 14-12b with 23 years of service. However, if this action is warranted for a Soldier with 23 years of service, the Soldier normally would be allowed to retire.

      A few things to be aware of:

      1. Any Soldier with over 6 years of federal service is entitled to have their separation action heard before a separation board. In most cases, having the case heard before a board can be waived. However, IAW AR 635-200, para 2-5d, “Waivers of the board hearing will not be accepted in the cases of Soldiers who have completed 18 years or more active Federal service.” Basically, your case would have to be heard before a board.

      2. IAW AR 635-200, para 2-2c(2, “When board action is completed on a Soldier with over 18 years of service, the findings and recommendations of the board, with complete documentation and the recommendation of the convening authority, will be forwarded to Headquarters, Department of the Army (AHRC–EPR–F), 2461 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22332–0478, for final determination when the convening authority recommends discharge.”

      If the board would recommend separation and the convening authority determines you should be separated, final determination is reserved to HQ, DA for Soldiers with over 18 years of service.

      If the command initiates separation proceedings, you are entitled to counsel from your servicing Trial Defense Service. Do not waive this right and speak with them. I would suspect that what ever misconduct the unit is alleging, 23 years of service will over ride and you would be allowed to retire.

      14-12b chapters are normally used for lower enlisted Soldiers who have a pattern of minor misconduct that, each misconduct by itself would not warrant separation, but the combined effect of all misconduct warrant separation.

      Without knowing the specifics of your case, it is impossible for me to know if this action may be warranted or not.

      Disclaimer: I am not an attorney and any views presented are my own and are not to be interpreted as legal advice. Furthermore, my views do not necessarily represent the views of DoD or its Components.

      • Anonymous

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        I have been in the army for two years now and in January this year I failed a pt test because I have torn cartalige in my hip so I got a profile for it now it is march and I was changed to a different platoon and the day after I was in the new platoon I was caught working out and received a negative counciling then a two weeks later I got into trouble for going to sick call and not letting anyone know I was there my squad leader was in alc so the plt sgt said he wanted me counciled for it, it hasn’t happened yet but do u feel like this would be enough to chapter me

      • Mark Gerecht

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        If your workout session violated your profile you could have received an Article 15 for that incident. Based on the information you provided I would find it hard for the command to chapter you. Now with that stated that does not mean you cannot be chaptered in the future if you continue to be counseled, receive an Article 15, or have unsatisfactory performance. I would encourage you to read AR 635-200 as it pertains to separation.

        The best course of action is to do your job and stay out of trouble. The best way to do that in my opinion is to build trust between you and your leaders.

        Hope this Helps. Did you find this information useful?
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