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How do I write a Plan of Action for a counseling statement?

I am writing a counseling and want to make sure I have a good plan of action. Do you have any guidance on how to develop a POA?

A good plan of action should contain specifics (e.g. date/time to complete a task, documentation or proof required). It is also important that the Soldier participate in the developing the Plan of Action.

Example plan of action for a Soldier in debt

Let’s say a Soldier owes a debt the plan might look like:

SPC Brown, you will contact ABC Cars and establish a plan to pay this debt.  You will provide proof the debt is paid or provide me a written agreement between you and the agency as to when and how this debt will be paid.  This will be accomplished by ___Date.  If you need my assistance or believe you are being treated unfairly let me know and I will assist you.

I have made arrangements for you to attend a financial planning class on ___Date.  You will attend this class and construct a budget. You will take all your bills, income statements, and anything else that will help the planner assist you in developing a solid budget.  You are encouraged to bring your spouse.
Further actions of this nature could result in more serious punishment to include UCMJ and/or Separation from the Service
If you need any additional assistance or have any questions please bring them to my attention immediately.

Extract FM 6.22 Appendix B, B-56. A plan of action identifies a method and pathway for achieving a desired result. It specifies what the subordinate must do to reach agreed-upon goals set during the counseling session. The plan of action must be specific, showing the subordinate how to modify or maintain his or her behavior.

Example plan of action for a Soldier who needs corrective training

PFC Miller, next week you’ll attend the map reading class with 1st Platoon. After the class, SGT Dixon will personally coach you through the land navigation course. He will help you develop your skills with the compass. After observing you going through the course with SGT Dixon, I will meet with you again to determine if you still need additional training.

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.

posted on 02/01/2011 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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