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The Mentor - A Comprehensive Guide to Army Counseling and Leadership

Don’t I deserve a clean start?

I have not been a great Soldier in the past. I admit I have a loud mouth, but I am trying to correct my performance. Unfortunately, my chain of command will not cut me any slack. I have decided to do my best, but my Platoon Sergeant won't allow me to recover.

Example: A Specialist gave me a monthly counseling statement. The counseling was positive and I was glad someone was finally realizing that I was trying to improve. My Platoon Sergeant came by during the session and read my counseling statement. He then told the Specialist he could not counsel me because he was inexperienced and the PSG completed the counseling himself... needless to say the counseling was bad. I have also been given an invalid Article 15 while with this unit. I appealed it to the Battalion Commander who overturned the entire Article 15--further upsetting my chain of command.

Current Situation: We were in the field. My supervisor (the Specialist) was not in the field with us. He also went home on leave later that month. When we returned from the field, I was presented with a counseling statement that had been written by the Specialist who had not seen me for the majority month. The NCO who presented it to me stated he was just following orders. I was infuriated. I felt that the Specialist could not counsel me because he did not observe my performance for the month. I wrote "Whatever" in the Comments section of the counseling out of anger. Naturally, the chain of command is upset with me again. Here are my questions:

  1. Is the counseling invalid because the SPC was absent for the majority of the month?
  2. Does any regulation prohibit disrespect to a SPC?
  3. Does any regulation prohibit me from writing anything I want on a counseling?

Counsel Quick - Army Counseling Software

It appears you have taken ownership of your previous mistakes. It is good that you have decided to change. That being said, the difficult part will be living with the consequences of your previous actions. You must recognize that you have a number of obstacles to overcome. That does not mean, however, that you should be treated unfairly or unprofessionally.

Is the counseling invalid because the SPC was not present for the majority of the month?

If the counseling statement only addressed issues for which the Specialist was present, then I would have to say the counseling is valid. You could make the argument that the counseling is not a complete picture of your monthly performance. With that said, there is nothing in writing that demands that the individual who conducts a counseling session must be the individual who observed the performance.

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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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