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Can I counsel a Soldier that is not in my Chain of Command or NCO Support Channel?

Can someone outside a Soldiers chain of command issue a professional development counseling? The FM 6-22 and the counseling form use the term "leader" as the one giving the counseling. What is the definition of leader per Army Doctrine with regard to counseling...really need this information as this situation is turning into something it should not.

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Short Answer: Absolutely!


Regarding this questions include but are not limited to: : ADP/ADRP/ 6-22, ATP 6-22.1, FM 7-22.7, and the Military Manual for Courts-Martial/UCMJ.

Definition of Leader with Regard to Counseling Session

As defined by ADP 6-22 Glossary 1: Army leader– Anyone who by virtue of assumed role or assigned responsibility inspires and influences people to accomplish organizational goals. Army leaders motivate people both inside and outside the chain of command to pursue actions, focus thinking and shape decisions for the greater good of the organization. –  Glossary 1 ADP 6-22

Counseling Answer:

Yes, any leader within or external to the chain can conduct a counseling session with a Soldier.  However when you are not in the Soldier’s direct Chain of Command for example- Squadleader, PLT LDR, CO CDR, BN CDR, BDE CDR, DIV CDR or NCO Support Channel: Squad Leader, PLT SGT, 1SG, CSM, etc. The issue can become emotional.

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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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  • SSG Schuette


    Thank you for this excellent advice. It is very specific to the current situation I am dealing with. I fully intend to move forward with this issue as advised from this site.

    Thank you,

    SSG Schuette

    • Mark Gerecht


      SSG Schuette, we are always happy when our information is of assistance. I am always looking to connect with Active duty members. Would you be willing to have a phone conversation with me?


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