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Can my squad leader give me a backdated counseling statement?

My squad leader just gave me a counseling statement for something that happened three weeks ago. The counseling was dated as if it occurred on the day of the incident. Can he do that?

Army Counseling Software - Include over 250 Army Counseling Examples
backdated counseling statement

Can my squad leader give me a backdated counseling statement

No, your squad leader cannot do this. An incorrect date on a counseling form could be considered a false official statement or possibly an act of fraud. This may be an innocent mistake made by an inexperienced leader or the act of a leader who lacks integrity. Either way, this counseling statement will have your name and signature on it. You want to make sure it is correct.


Your options:

  • Although I do not recommend it, you could refuse to sign the counseling statement. See Should I refuse to sign counseling statements I don’t agree with?
  • Tell your squad leader that you are uncomfortable signing the DA 4856 because of the inappropriate date and request that he change the date.
  • Simply line through the date and insert the correct date (the actual date of the counseling). Place your initials beside your correction.

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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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  • moses


    how do I counsel a soldier on leave during the counseling period, in other words what do I write on the 4856

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