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The Mentor - A Comprehensive Guide to Army Counseling and Leadership

What reg says I can’t order a Soldier to sign a counseling statement

What Regulations states I cannot order a Soldier to sign a counseling statement?

The Mentor - A Comprehensive Guide to Army Counseling and Leadership

There is no regulation specific to this issue.  It would most likely fall under an illegal order.  Forcing a Soldier to sign a counseling statement basically comes down to the leader using intimation. This is not a good leadership trait.  When the Soldier states he/she was forced to sign you lose creditability and in some situation could possibly face legal action.  The Soldier has the option to agree, disagree, or not sign at all.  If the Soldier refuses to sign see this post for more information: Can I force a Soldier to sign a counseling statement? Why should you care if the Soldier refuses to sign? The intent of the counseling statement is to document the issue, develop a plan of action, and assess the plan of action, not force the Soldier to sign.

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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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  • Anonymous


    Is it legal to have someone else counsel a soldier other than the one named on the actual counseling statement?

    • Mark Gerecht


      This is inappropriate based on the information you provided. Potentially illegal and potentially falsifying a government document.

      BLUF:  The counseling represents the event as it occurred. Therefore, the name on the counseling will be the name of the individual actually conducting the counseling.  In most cases this would be the individual who personally observed the behavior.

      There are several way to fix this issue:

      Do nothing. Does it really matter?  Is this worth the fight?
      Counselor cross out the incorrect name and inserts their information
      You disagree with the counseling statement and make a note as to what actually happened.

      Ultimately the choice is yours.  Choose wisely.


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    This is a frustrating issue and anywhere else it would be grounds for dismissal (fired) but in the army we as leaders must play the system just as good as the soldiers are trying to. Do not order them to sign, just ride them all the time no more verbal warnings anytime they mess up 4856’em over and over again no smoking or dropping keep it on paper. Get five of the Event-Oriented counselings then send the recommend UCMJ one up.

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