Can my chain of command refuse to give me copies of counseling statements? | - Leader Development for Army Professionals

Can my chain of command refuse to give me copies of counseling statements?

My chain of command will not let me make copies of counseling statements inside of my counseling packet because they have already given me one copy I would like to make additional copies because I am missing a few and would like to start fresh that way I know I have everything I need. Are they allowed to do this ?

Short Answer



You are entitled to any document that you sign. Furthermore in the footer of the DA FORM 4856 at the bottom it states: Note: Both the counselor and the individual counseled should (key word being should) retain a record of the counseling.  It seems very strange that your unit will not allow you to have a copy.

Items to Consider

You might consider asking to see your 1SG/CDR on open door policy to request the copy of the counseling statements.  If they refuse to do so consider asking to see the BN CSM/CDR on open door policy. You can also request assistance from your local IG/JAG office

Whatever course of action you choose be sure to be factual, professional, calm, and unemotional.  Only you can decide which course of action is most appropriate.


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posted on 02/13/2017 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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  • John Cornelius


    I received a counseling for having a soldier write an essay on the importance or proper hand washing and drying after I followed him out of the restroom and he did not was his hands yet I grabbed two wet door handles following him. Now I am in some form of Army time out sitting in the orderly room. I guess that’s the best way to describe it. I am just sitting in the orderly room all day every day. Was I wrong? Do I have any options?

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