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The Mentor - A Comprehensive Guide to Army Counseling and Leadership

Can my former supervisor counsel me for taking action approved by my new supervisor?

A couple of months ago I had some trouble with my Supervisor, an E-4(P). Her supervisor (E-5) moved me to work for him and he took care of my EOM counseling and everything. During that time, the E-4(P) continued to text me. Because of the history between us, I thought It would be safer for me to block her numbers from my phone so that I wouldn't be tempted to respond hot-headedly. Before I blocked her numbers, I asked the E-5 if it would be okay to do so and he told me yes until things cooled down. After I blocked her, all three of us sat down and discussed the problems. I told both of them that I had her number blocked. That was two weeks ago. Today she came to my barracks room and asked me if I had gotten her text or phone calls. I told her no and when she asked why, I responded that I had blocked her. She told me that I shouldn't have done that (yelled at me) and that I had to fix it right then and there and that I couldn't shut the door until I had done so. Since I am an E-3 I followed the E-4’s order. Then she sends me another text moments later telling me that she is my supervisor again and that she will be giving me a negative counseling statement. What courses of action do I have? I plan to mark Disagree and explain I had permission to block her number because of her unprofessional behavior. Should I refuse to sign the counseling statement?

The Mentor - A Comprehensive Guide to Army Counseling and Leadership

There are no rules for what you can and can’t be counseled about.

That being said, if you informed the E-4 that you had blocked her in the meeting with the SGT and the SGT had given you permission to block her to allow things to cool down, I do not see any problems for you. The fact that she may now be your supervisor again confuses me. Was the issue resolved? Did the SGT inform you that she was your supervisor again?

Bottom-line, I do not believe she can justify counseling you for blocking her. If she does counsel you, mark disagree on the counseling statement. Do not refuse to sign a counseling statement. Read Should I refuse to sign counseling statements I do not agree with? for details.

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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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