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The Mentor - A Comprehensive Guide to Army Counseling and Leadership

Can a leader backdate a counseling statement?

My squad leader is trying to backdate my monthly counseling statement. Can he do that?

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Leaders usually cannot backdate a counseling statement.

A counseling statement should reflect the date of the actual counseling. However, a written counseling can reference a previous verbal counseling. Let’s say you were verbally counseled on 2 Nov. Your squad leader may give you a written counseling statement on 10 Nov that states:

“On 2 Nov I verbally counseled you about… I am recommending…”

This would be acceptable as long as the counseling is dated 10 Nov. The counselor is being clear that the counseling is referencing a previous incident.

If the squad leader wrote the counseling statement on 10 Nov and asked you to date the counseling statement 2 Nov, it is a different story. If the intent is to deceive or fudge the truth, it is unacceptable. I recommended annotating your disagreement in the closing block.

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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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The Mentor - A Comprehensive Guide to Army Counseling and Leadership

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  • Jake Brown


    Are you going to post again anytime soon?

    • Preston


      Mark posts on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Check out the “New Posts” area on the homepage or follow us on Twitter or Facebook for the latest. Thanks for your interest!

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