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The Mentor - A Comprehensive Guide to Army Counseling and Leadership

Can I reduce a new Soldier for inefficiency?

A Soldier recently joined the unit a couple of months ago. In that brief time, she has managed to mess up or break just about everything she has touched. We've implemented corrective training again and again. Unfortunately it appears that she is flatly unable to perform her job. How do I go about reducing this Soldier for inefficiency?

Counsel Quick - Army Counseling Software

First you will have to wait until the Soldier has been in the unit for 90 days. See AR 600-8-19 paragraph 10-6:

A Soldier must have served in the same unit for at least 90 days prior to being reduced one grade for inefficiency.

After that, you need to make sure you have all your documentation together. If you haven’t been counseling often, start doing it now. You need to document what corrective training has been conducted as well as the outcome. Be sure to fill in the assessment blocks on these statements. You must show documented efforts to help the Soldier improve.

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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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  • Jo B. Rusin


    Before you get to the point of having to reduce the Soldier for inefficiency, you might want to talk with her former boss at her last assignment. Was she able to do her job there or did they also have problems with her? If you have done everything you can as a leader to correct the behavior, there is a chance that something else is going on. For example, it is possible that she may be having family problems, experiencing PTSD symptoms, or be pregnant. Consider referring her to mental hygiene, the chaplain, or to the medical clinic for evaluation. Exercise all your options before you take final action and lower the boom.

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