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Can a leader write “Soldier Refused to Sign” on a counseling statement the Soldier never knew existed?

Can an NCO can write "service member refused to sign" if Soldier never received the counseling nor ever knew about it until today. The Soldier never refused the counseling but is getting punished.

The Mentor - A Comprehensive Guide to Army Counseling and Leadership

Short Answer



It is not appropriate for a leader to put “Service Member Refused To Sign” if the Soldier was never presented with the counseling. If a leader writes a statement like this in the DA Form 4856 they have falsified a government document and placed their integrity in question. If this occurred the issue should be brought to the attention of Chain of Command. As it is most likely punishable under the UCMJ.

I would recommend the following steps:

1. Obtain a copy of the counseling

2. Determine the date of the counseling

3. Determine if you were present for duty on the day of the counseling.  Perhaps you were on leave, pass, or even on a detail away from the unit.

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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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