all=1 Q&a | - Leader Development for Army Professionals
The Mentor - A Comprehensive Guide to Army Counseling and Leadership

Should the BN XO counsel the CSM for not taking his PT test?

Is it within the BN XO's duties and responsibilities to counsel the BN CSM for performance and when he is expected to take the APFT?

Get Tabbed - How to Graduated Army Ranger School

Regarding performance: This is the rater’s responsibility.

Regarding the PT Issue:

First, the CSM is required by AR 350-1 page 12 , para 1-24, e(5), to take a PT test and if he does not take the PT test within the scheduled time he is to be flagged IAW 600-8-2.

Ideally the CSM’s rater should have the frank discussion with the CSM and it should be in writing if need be. Failing to take a PT test tends to be an indicator of a larger issue. If the XO is having this discussion as a professional reminder (verbal) or perhaps as a gentle prod from the BNCDR, meaning the BNCDR has asked the XO to have the discussion to avoid embarrassment to the CSM, I would consider it acceptable and within the XO’s scope. Note: these are not formal written counseling sessions.

However, since an XO does out rank the CSM and is within the Chain of Command he could exercise general military authority. He/she could in fact formally counsel the CSM, but this would be outside of tradition and normal scope. Before conducting a counseling session I would encourage the XO to have the approval of the BNCDR at a minimum and as a courtesy inform the BDE CSM.

Having to have this discussion with a CSM is disturbing. It is extremely important to determine the underlying cause. Is it poor performance? Or is it an issue that the CSM is having difficulty facing from a personal or professional standpoint? Once you know the foundation of the problem you can determine the best way to proceed.

Bottom line: the CSM is the standard bearer and is expected to do the right thing even when no one is looking. If he is behind on his PT test and has an attitude about it, initiate an adverse action flag. If there are extenuating circumstances he should get a temporary profile so that he can overcome the specific issue. This issue needs resolution quickly. He needs to take the PT test or go!

Follow us and never miss a post!

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.

You might be interested in…

Army Counseling Software - Include over 250 Army Counseling Examples

Disclaimer: Though all content posted on is reviewed by our qualified subject matter experts, you should not make decisions based solely on the information contained in this post. Use information from multiple sources when making important professional decisions. This is not an official government website.


  • Part-Time-Commander


    Good information, Mark.

    As a rater, I believe it is your job to have these types of conversations with your direct reports when necessary, regardless of their rank.

    To me, having the XO confront the CSM is more of a cop out than anything else. As the BN CDR, I would do it myself. And I would put it in writing, in case I needed it later on.

    Just my two cents.

    Leave a Comment

    We will never publish or sell your email address, nor will we ever send you information you have not requested.