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When do I fill out the assessment portion of the DA Form 4856?

Nobody seems to have any information on when and how to fill out the assessment block of the 4856. TOP, what's the answer?

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The assessment portion of the 4856 is very important. In fact, when it comes to separating Soldiers for substandard performance, a good JAG defense attorney will not process a separation packet that does not have the plan of action and the assessment blocks filled out.

You should include the assessment date or dates in the plan of action and then:

1. On the assessment date (which you should have listed in your plan of action) pull out the counseling statement and with the Soldier present annotate your assessment in the assessment block.  You and the Soldier should sign the assessment. This is important for derogatory counseling statements.

2. If you are conducting monthly or quarterly counseling statements you could write the following note in the counseling statement requiring an assessment: “See monthly or quarterly counseling statement dated: 05-320__ for the assessment portion of this counseling form.”

When you prepare the next counseling (usually it will be a monthly or quarterly), ensure you address the counseling statement requiring the assessment.  It is usually best to conduct the assessment as the first item of business in the new counseling statement.  The assessment should cover what the Soldier successfully completed, what they failed to complete, any adjustments to the plan of action and any additional information that is relevant to the situation.  Once you have conducted the assessment, move on to the rest of  your scheduled counseling session.

In summary: 

The counseling statement requiring an assessment will either contain an assessment or a statement that says something like see counseling statement dated:  05-3-20__ for the assessment portion of this counseling statement.

Then in your new counseling as the first item of business have a section that states something like:  Assessment of Counseling dated:  04-2-20___. Then type in your assessment of the previous counseling. Once your assessment is complete, move on to address the purpose of the new counseling.

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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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