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Army Counseling Software - Include over 250 Army Counseling Examples

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.

Army Counseling Software - Include over 250 Army Counseling Examples

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.

3. Write a professional, factual, and unemotional statement about what occurred and explain the details to the best of your ability.

4. Talk to the Platoon Sergeant about the issue and request to see the 1SG/Commander on Open Door policy.

Items to Consider

1. Has this Soldier ever refused to sign a counseling statement before? If so this favors the leader that allegedly falsified the counseling because this leader can simply stated that the Soldier has refused to sign counseling statements in the past.

2. If a Soldier refuses to sign a counseling statement the leader should call in a witness and let the Soldier refuse to sign in front of the witness and then the leader has the witness write a short statement in the session closing block of the counseling statement.  If should read something like: I SGT Wrong observed SPC Right refusing to sign this counseling statement. Then date and sign.

Related Post(s)

You might find the following posts of interest:  Should I refuse to Sign:


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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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Army Counseling Software - Include over 250 Army Counseling Examples

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