How many of you soldiers out there actually receive a monthly performance counseling from your 1st line supervisors? Out of those soldiers,.........how many of you have received counselings that you feel are helping you develop as a soldier?
For you NCOs,.........how many of you have received your initial counseling within the first 30 days of your rating period? How many of your supervisors took the time to sit down with you and explain the NCOER Counseling Checklist and how it is used,.....informed you of your rating scheme,.......and or provided you with examples of what constitutes a SUCCESS and and EXCELLENT rating as it would pertain to the specific place you work or the specific job you do on a day to day basisi?
I have a sinking suspicion that I'm not really going to like what I hear,......but I asked the question so,.........answer away!
Also,.......to the NCOs,......what do you know and understand the regulation/guidance to be in regards to the requirement for performance counselings for E-6s and below,.........and where did you get that guidance from? Again,......just a hunch,.....but I'm curious to see the responses.
I have been at my unit for one year. I have not receieved a single counseling since I have been here. I asked my platoon sergeant why I have never gotten a counseling from my first line supervisor? He said, "Oh, you read the SOP and you know what we expect of you, we told you your job and your boots to be spit shined and highly pressed uniform.... that was your 'initial counseling' except it was just a verbal one". He continued on saying how I stay out of trouble and how I am squared away and I do well at work, etc. Then he said "You really should not worry. It is better to get no counseling than to get a negative one."
I asked my uncle, who is a SFC in the Army, about counselings and he said that is just pure lazyness and he cannot believe that the NCO's in my unit are not counsling their soldiers and he is surprised that the 1SG has not said anything about....
I am going to the SOQ board next month... I wonder if the board members look at my file and see if I have any counselings.... Oh, by the way I am only a PFC.
Posts: 40 | Location: Finally in the U.S. | Registered: 12 November 2003
Nando,.......I know I should be shocked and appalled but I am only apppalled. Unfortunately,........this seems to be the norm rather than the exception. You have found yourself in a very precarious situation for a young soldier to be in. Since you have already addressed the issue with your platoon sergeant,..........the next step would be to ask to speak to your 1SG, (using your chain of command/NCO Support Chain of course),....as the issue needs to be addressed. Normally,......once you brought it to the PLT SGT,......he/she would bring in the NCO who is supposed to be counceling you and the problem would be solved shortly thereafter. You would probably see a performance counseling within the next two weeks.
The statement that your PLT SGT made is both incorrect and against the guidance set forth in FM 22-100, Appendix C,...in regards to monthly performance counseling. You should be advised of your montlhy duty performance,...ie strengths to maintain,.....areas which need improvement,.........things that you accomplished that month such as taskings,......APFT,...CTT,......etc.,....as well as upcoming events for the folowing month. Your professional growth and guidance should be addressed,....ie. military correspondence course enrollment,....or college class enrollment,.....as well as plans to prepare and send you to a company soldier of the month board,.......which will help prepare you for promotion board when the time comes.
There are so many other things that may be addressed with the soldier,.....but these are some of the basics. In the area of counseling,......the saying, " No news is good news!," is absolutely wrong. Counseling is not supposed to be only a negative thing. It is supposed to give you and idea of how you are doing in your day to day performance as a soldier,......and should be a guideline for you so you know what you need to work on or where you are headed.
I would talk to my 1st line supervisor again,.......and maybe show him/her a copy of the regulation where it states that soldiers E-4 and below are to receive monthly performance counselings from their 1st line supervisors. If this doesn' work,.....go through your 1st line,...and make an appointment to see your PLT SGT again. If this attempt fails,.....I would use my chain to make an appointment with my 1SG and address my concerns with him/her. If this doesn't work,.......there is always the BN CSM. You deserve a monthly counseling,.......as do all soldiers. It is not only fair,........and very helpful for you,.......but it is the Army Regulation and as a result it must be adhered to. You and your fellow soldiers are getting the short end of the stick if your leaders are not developing you in this way.
The proverbial, "can of worms," would be non-existant in this case if NCOs were consistently doing those things required and directed to them by the leadership reg (in regards to counseling),.....and by the most recent version of the NCO Guide. The requirement to counsel soldiers is one of the most basic yet most important responsibilities that an NCO has in the development of his/her soldiers. The requirement to counsel E-4s and below monthly has not changes cince I have been in the Army and right now that stands at 15 years. Soldier learn how to lead by our examples,....whether good or bad. they will become the leaders that we are,.......and we have no one to blame,....or to be proud of,......but ourselves, depending on what type of example we are setting for them. More replies please,...........
My unit had a problem with no one doing the "monthly" counsellings. I recieved my initial counselling a week after arriving and then my counsellings became sporadic and more event orientated. I am now a fairly new SGT and have 1 soldier who I am in charge of. I also have a new BDE CSM who was appalled at the BDE's counselling record. Know each BN CSM has to review the counsellings for all E4 and below soldiers every month for accuracy, informative, helpful and clarity. This month was my first ever counselling session and I took a long time to tell my soldier what I expected of him (all of the stuff he was already doing). I have a clue of what to do for counselling but am nervous about either being to focused or to broad on my next counselling.
I guess I will have to ask around some more for advice. Oh yeah... I just changed duty position and my NCOER rater changed. Should I be expecting another initial NCOER counsellig from my new rater?
Posts: 234 | Location: Somewhere out there | Registered: 25 September 2003
Im glad that someone actually had the nerve to mention this. Im probably one of the few individuals who was regularly counseled by my supervisor when I was junior enlisted. My first assignment, my NCOIC was meticulous about it, however when I PCS-ed to my following assignment, it only continued becuase I (as a SPC) nagged my NCOIC to death about it. He eventually got around to it, however they were rarely on time.
Now that I am at my current assignment (which is joint and I only have Navy supervisors...oh the horror!) counselings are a thing of the past. Granted, I have been promoted to SGT since then, but as far as my quarterly counseling...nope. I have had to go over my NCOER form with my supervisor (he's a Navy guy and my Senior Rater is a civilian) as far as how to fill it out, but that is as close as I have seen to any sort of counseling.
I think that counseling (wether they are monthly or quarterly) are only beneficial if the person giving them feels that they are worth it. If you have an NCO who does not see the importance behind them, you end up with a half-ass counseling form that will not produce anything of merit. If they are applied correctly by someone who knows how, I think that they can be a very valuable assest to a soldier. Unfortunately, I don't have soldiers of my own (Im the junior SM and the only Army member in the office) to counsel so I haven't been able to practice what Im preaching here.
Posts: 20 | Location: Ft. McPherson, GA | Registered: 07 November 2003
Well,.......let me give you some info on a very helpful reference that I have given to my newly promoted NCOs as a promotion gift,.....on behalf of the sodliers/officers in the section. There is a paperback book that you can purchase at the clothing and sales store called, " The Mentor". It has a royal blue cover and has some of the NCO chevrons in yellow/gold on the front cover. If I remember correctly it costs about 13 dollars. Although this book is only a tool which provides sample counselings done for many different instances,.........it is a great reference for young NCOs who are just learning how to counsel,..........or OLD NCOs who maybe were never really properly counseled themselves and therefore never devloped their own counseling skills. You should use this book in CONJUNCTION with the current FM 22-100 appendix C,....and remember,...the civilian reference never takes the place of the military regulation. However,......I WISH they had a book like this when I was a new SGT,....just learning how to counsel soldiers. It would have helped me out immensely! It gives those who are not very experienced at counseling a starting point to begin formatting their own individual counseling statements,....but kind of spurs your thinking process as far as what basic things you need to cover,...depending on what type of counseling you are doing.
Also,......there is nothing wrong with bringing a counseling that you are developing or working on to the PLT SGT,...or next NCO in your chain,...or even the 1SG,...to ask them to review it for you or ask what they think or if you have left anything out,.....etc. Make sure you do this prior to sitting down with the soldier and actually conducting the counseling with them. In fact,....it is probably a good idea until you really feel comfortable and get to the point where you know you have covered all angles with the counseling. None of these NCOs should have a problem with reviewing your counselings for you. In fact,.....I would welcome any junior NCO who is seeking guidance on counselling. It shows they care about being good at what they do,...that they care about fulfilling their responsibilities as an NCO and a leader,.....and that they care about and are doing their best to mentor and develop their soldiers.
Thanks DS2000, appreicate the info. I purchased a book about 6 months ago that explains how to properly fill out the NCOER. I mainly bought it to explain to my Navy supervisors how to properly fill out our NCOER's. I used it in conjunction with 623-205 and it proved very helpful to him. The name of the book is "Don't Just Fill in the Blanks: Writing and Understanding the NCOER". It's a green spiral-bound book that I think cost about 12 bucks or so. Very good investment. It also give about 500-600 different examples of bullet comments. Whether you are in my situation or not, I would recommend it to anyone.
Posts: 20 | Location: Ft. McPherson, GA | Registered: 07 November 2003
[color=olive:497cefa781][/color:497cefa781] my goodness, what a topic...i'm a young buck sgt...i have been fighting to be counseled since i pcs'd to my current unit in FEB...nine months later w/a request of change of rater/rating scheme (not just for not being counseled) i FINALLY recieved my initial. i did receive an ncoer upon pcs'ing, it was my first, i was 9 mo into my new stripes for that...well now i'm 18 mo into my rank w/one ncoer and no qtrly counseling. even though i'm "young" in my rank, i understand that it is my responsibility to understand the regs that govern what is supposed to be going on...not only for me, but my soldiers. i was religiously counseled as a jr. elisted soldier on personal/professional growth, when i needed a kick in the FPOC, and even for praise. i have continued that since i've stepped into the nco world. this next piece is disturbing; it is a true account of what i was told about counseling at my current unit during my initial counseling conducted by my det sergeant. (in my previous units i always kept counseling packets on all of my soldiers.) as a courtesy to my new nco i asked him if he needed to see the counseling packet on my soldier...mostly because i wanted him to know as my new rater that i was doing my job as an nco and counseling my soldier...he responded w/ "you don't have to counsel him every month, i don't care when you counsel him, if you counsel him at all...there's nothing in a reg that says montly counseling is mandatory" needless to say, i do counsel my soldier monthly just like i was a jr joe... i am a young buck who takes being an nco seriously. it disturbed me to hear this from a sr nco. there's a lot of things leaders need to do that aren't "madatory" to ensure the corps stays strong, and all soldiers have the opportunity to benefit from good leadership.
good topic...thanks for the vent...
Posts: 13 | Location: Ft. Benning | Registered: 26 August 2003
Well,.........the comment that your Det SGT made was bogus. It IS in the regulation and it IS a monthly requirement. Bottom Line Up Front. And oh by the way,.........the SMA ( Tilley) put out his guidance in 2002 via e-mail saying that all SSGs and below would now receive monthly counselings. I happened to be working at the BDE HQs in the 3rd I.D.s DISCOM at the time and I distinctly remember reading that message. I also distinctly remember the BDE CSM enforcing that guidance soon after it was put out to us.
and for whoever had the question about changing raters and should she expect a new initial counseling from her new rater? The answer is yes. Your new rater should do you initial / NCOER counseling no later than 30 days after becoming your rater. That is also in AR 623-205.
Well, here we go! I am currently in my fourth assignment in 8 years. At no point in time during these 8 years have I recieved a counseling on a monthly basis. There have been times when my squad leader has had to do 8 months worth of counseling in a few days because our CSM wanted to review them. Other times my PSG had to do them because my SL either had no time, or just plain didn't care. I just want to say for the record though, that not all NCO's neglect counseling on purpose. In todays army we are expected to do more with less. That includes leaders. With a higher soldier to NCO ratio, NCO's are finding themselves hard pressed to not only complete missions and training, but they also find themselves taking work home with them. Now this is just a question, how many of you type the counseling form and them perform the counseling, or perform the counseling and then generate the form?
I have done it both ways,........depending on the situation. I tend to leave the Plan of Action at the top on the back side of the DA4856 blank since I try to involve the counselee as much as possible in coming up with the solution to the problem, ( if it is that type of counseling),.....and I always write in the Leader's responsibilities belwo where the counselee signs. The assessment portion (last block on the back side down the bottom), is always hand written for me,.......because this is where myself and the soldier go over the outcome,...ie. do a follow up on either the corrective training and if it was effective or on the plan of action and if it did or did not acheive the desired results. When you have to counsel a soldier on something that happened ( fact ),...but do not know what circumstances led up to that event,.....then you should not pre-type the counseling because your plan of action may be completely different once you have all the facts.
* Just a learning/ teching point. I have had to re-do a couple of counseling statements after I had a little more info to go on to make my decision on what course of action to take.