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The Mentor - A Comprehensive Guide to Army Counseling and Leadership

Can an NCO Make me Counsel Another Soldier for an Incident in Which I was not Present and Therefore Do Not Know the Facts of the Situation?

Can an NCO make me counsel another Soldier for an incident in which I was not present and therefore do not know the facts of the situation?

The Mentor - A Comprehensive Guide to Army Counseling and Leadership

Short Answer

Typically YES!


Let’s say one of your Soldiers got into a fight downtown.  Your commander was informed by the military police or civilian police.  In this case you could be directed by someone in your chain of command or NCO support channel to counsel the Soldier even though you were not present.

Example Counseling

The counseling might go something like this:

____{INSERT RANK/NAME} on ____{INSERT DATE/TIME}, I was informed that you were allegedly involved in a physical altercation at _______{INSERT LOCATION}.  The incident is currently under investigation.  If the command determines you committed this offense action will most likely be taken.  This action could range from corrective training, revocation of privileges,  punishment under the UCMJ, and/or other administrative actions.   I will keep you update you on the situation as appropriate.

The commander has currently directed the following actions ______{INSERT ACTIONS}

At this time you should seek assistance from the local JAG to determine your rights with regard to this situation.  You can make verbal or written statements all of which may be used in attempting to resolve this matter. You will uphold the Army Values and ensure your actions


By writing the counseling in this manner it is clear you were not present and you are simple exercising your authority as a leader to ensure the good order and discipline of the service.  This is the best answer I can provide without knowing the specifics of the situation.



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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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