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What can I do to a Soldier that secretly recorded our counseling session?

Top, I had a Soldier secretly record a counseling session in which I was not the most professional leader. What can I do to him? Can he use this against me? What can I do about it?

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Short Answer

Leave the Soldier Alone


There is not much you can do, especially if you were unprofessional and/or your conduct was inappropriate.  There is nothing to my knowledge that prevents a Soldier from recording their counseling session, unless the recording was done in a location in which recordings are strictly prohibited.

If you were unprofessional and the Soldier chooses to take the recording to your leadership and or JAG there are potential consequences that you may face depending on the severity of your behavior and/or unprofessional conduct. However the Soldier cannot use the recording to “BLACKMAIL” you as that would be a violation of the UCMJ.

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Courses of Action to Consider

If you made a mistake it is best to own up to it and take responsibility.  The worse possible mistake you could make is to allow the Soldier to intimidate you or hold this issue over your head.  If the Soldier attempts to do this it would probably be best for you to either report the issue to your chain of command immediately or seek advice from the local JAG to determine how best to handle the issue.

As a leader in today’s Army if you struggle with self control issues, anger management issues, and/or find it necessary to raise your voice or berate people your career is endanger of imploding and you need to seek assistance in resolving these issues.

Technology has changed so much in recent years that a Leader should assume that all of their actions are being recorded.


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posted on 12/09/2016 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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  • stacie


    I’m a soldier who is seeking divorce. My husband has been recording me secretly and after I talk for a while tells me I’m being recorded to use against me to get our daughter. Is it legal in Texas for him to do this to me. Also he is sure I won’t be granted my daughter because of pcs-ing to another state? Help please!

  • Michael Hasbun


    What this individual needs to do is not worry about punishing the Soldier and fix himself. If he was doing the right thing, all the recording devices in the world would be irrelevant.

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