Can I be counseled while on narcotics and on convelesant leave? | - Leader Development for Army Professionals
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Can I be counseled while on narcotics and on convelesant leave?

Can I be given a counseling statement while I am heavily medicated and not in the right state of mind? My LT called me in from CONLEAVE because I missed an appointment due to the prescription medication I was on. When I got there he asked if I was "high on my meds" and I said yes. He still followed through with the counseling and made me sign it. I dont even remember being counseled. What should I do?

Short Answer

If the Leader had knowledge that you were incapacitated then it would not be proper to counsel you. The proper time to inform the Leader was while you were on the phone.


Next if you were on Convalescent Leave this is an order from a doctor that is approved by the commander. Violating your con leave if not specifically directed by the commander is a possible violation of a medical order. The piece of information here is did the Leader obtain permission from the unit commander to call you in off of Convalescent Leave


While I am not an attorney I would suspect that signing a document with potential consequences while on prescribed medication is not legal as you cannot reasonably be held accountable for your actions or understanding. The fact that the counseling continued once you stated you were “high” is alarming. If you were driving and the LT allowed you to drive after this event it is a significant issue.

I hope you have a copy of the counseling. The acutal counseling itself may not be a big deal as the LT may have just been dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s for a missed appointment and nothing else will be said.

Course(s) of Action to Consider

If there is something more to this issue and the counseling is to be used against you in some way you might want to consider:

  • seeking legal consultation from JAG
  • discussing the issue with the LT and asking them to discard the counseling.
  • If they refuse and you are in danger of punishment from this counseling consider writing a memorandum to your 1SG/CDR addressing the issue and informing them of the specifics of the issue.

Be Professional

If you choose to speak with the LT or 1SG/CDR be professional, factual, and unemotional. This will keep you on the moral high ground and prevent comments regarding lack of professionalism, disrespect, etc.

Related Post

Do I have to Allow a Soldier Time to Respond to a Counseling Statement?


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posted on 01/23/2017 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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