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When do I destroy a DA Form 4856?

DA Form 4856 says at the bottom, to destroy this form upon re-assignment... Are there any exceptions to this? We have been told that we can keep them for up to a year after the soldier leaves, because we are a school. Can you shed some light on this?

The Mentor - A Comprehensive Guide to Army Counseling and Leadership

As you stated, the DA FORM 4856 specifically states:

“This form will be destroyed upon: Reassignment (Other than rehabilitative transfers), separations at ETS, or upon retirement”.

Therefore the only way I believe you could legally keep copies for 1 year would be to have the Commander implement a local policy that states you will retain all DA FORM 4856 for 1 year in the event a student wants to contest his AER. This should provide sufficient justification.  I would also run this policy through JAG or the IG and get their approval on the policy.

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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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