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When is an initial counseling required for NCO’s?

Do you have to conduct an initial counseling every year for an NCO?

The comprehensive guide to the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP)
Yes.  The start of a new rating period requires an initial counseling.
Example:
1.  An NCO could get an initial NCOER counseling  5 January and receive a change of rater report in May of the same year.  This would then trigger another initial counseling in June
2.If the NCO receives an annual report say January 2013-December 2013, he would receive an initial counseling in January 2014.
AR 623-3 para 1-8e states:

Counseling. Initial. counseling will be conducted within 30 days after the beginning of the rating period, and quarterly thereafter, for NCOs, WO1s, chief warrant officers two (CW2s), lieutenants (LTs) (includes first lieutenants (1LTs) and second lieutenants (2LTs)), and captains (CPTs). Counseling for all other grades will be on an as-needed basis. It aids in developing a duty description for the Soldier and identifying major performance objectives to accomplish during the rating period. Counseling will also be used to guide the rated Soldier’s performance during the early part of the rating period. Use of the appropriate support form for grades WO1 through colonel (COL) and NCOs is mandatory and required in conjunction with counseling.

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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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