Of course, "The Mentor" , book is just a reference. But when you are doing something pretty cut and dry like a counseling for APFT Failure, or Failure to meet the recommended body fat %, then there is only so much room for variation. Your CSM has an excellent point though. It is critical for leaders to be both well spoken and well written. Use all available references, to include advice from those who DO have counseling expereince, to formulate a counseling that shows your leadership style, uses your thoughts and your words. If you do these things you are well on your way to becoming an effective counselor of soldiers.
Good Luck and keep the questions coming, or talk about your experiences in receiving, or not receiving the appropriate counseling.
DS2000, lets just say that my unit ALL does councilings on a monthly basis. Noone is allowed to go home is the monthly councilings are not done on time. The 1SG gets a copy of EVERY soldier's and NCO's councilings and reads them all before he will release us.
The problem with this is that he has set up a cookie cutter metod for councilings. raise PT 20 a month till 300. Shine boots better. Press uniforms better. Enroll in more college and courseponance courses. Hell a scum bag gets one that says that they worked to standard this month but need to work harder. Hell, I am the SotQ and I get the same line, verbadum.
Want to talk about a waster of personnel, time, and paper...
Posts: 69 | Location: Germany | Registered: 12 October 2004
Yes, Rubin. It is a waste of time and paper. The purpose of monthly performance counselings is to improve and develop a soldier. You cannot hope to develop a soldier when you give him/her the exact same counseling every month. However, this is not your 1SGs fault. Even though he is enforcing therequirement of soldiers being counseled monthly, each individual NCO has the ability to create and format their own counselings which should be tailored to the individual soldier being counseled. One of those specifics should be 3 short term goals for the current quarter, ie. improve PT score, improve weapons qual, appear before SOM Board, earn so many promotion points by completing correspondence courses or college classes etc. Then, you should be creating the plan with those soldiers to help them reach those goals. It becomes so much easier to creat the plan of action and or complete the assessment or follow up when you gave the soldier some very precise steps or guidance on what they needed to do to get where they want to be. Besides discussing how their duty performance for that month, you should be guiding them towards bigger and better things. If you give soldiers chewed up counselings, they themselves usually become chewed up counselors. Because soldiers will use your counselings as a template for their own counselings when they become NCOS. Give them a good baseline to start from.
On the whole, NCOs need to spend more time and effort in writing counseling statements for their soldiers. The more time we take now, the better our soldiers will be for it in the future.
I have been in the Army for 3 and a half years... an NCO for 4 months now. I've been counseled monthly for my entire military experience and counsel my soldiers every month. So see, there are NCOs out there who do their job. They did it to me, taught me well and now I pass that on to my soldiers. There is hope.
Good to hear SGT Lifer! But this was not a "let's bash all NCO's thread", believe me. Just wanted to hear what everyone's experiences have been and how we can improve this for the future. How effective were your counselings? What type of guidance did your supervisors provide you? Let us know.
I have been in the Army for almost 9 years now and I can certainly say I've seen far more instances where the Soldiers received little to no counselings in comparison to Soldiers receiving a monthly counseling every single month ON TIME (rather than "Hey sign these, date each one for each month since such and such date").
I am a newly promoted Sergeant. In my current unit, the only reason why the Soldiers actually have initial counselings is because we failed the Arms inspection. When I left to attend PLDC none of the Soldiers in my shop had counselings. My Platoon Sergeant had to tell ME who was lacking counselings due to the fact that the NCO's in the shop had none on file. At that point I was an E4 and had no Soldiers. I took the list from the Platoon Sergeant of all the persons who were missing counselings. One Soldier in particular had NO counselings since he was assigned to the Battalion 2 years ago! Come ON! The Sergeant in the shop, whom carries most of the responsibility on her shoulders due to the lack of effort of others, did her best to insure that everyone received an initial counseling when we all were assigned to the battalion when it was formed in November. Most of the Soldiers came from another unit, while some were remnants of the former battalion that was disbanded. This particular Sergeant made an effort, and put together packets and everyone had an initial counseling. BUT, when the two Staff Sergeants came into the shop, half of those packets were lost! Efforts made by one Sergeant lost when these NCO's came in and cleaned house. That is why it is CRUCIAL that you make copies of everything you do. We've been fighting and fighting with the Section Sergeant about counselings because we have Soldiers who are flagged for overweight (have been for months) and haven't even received a counseling for that! I vowed that when I was given a squad my Soldiers would all be counseled on time every time. I just returned from PLDC this week and my Soldiers have all received their counselings informing them of who their new Squad leader is and what is expected of them as a member of my squad. I've only had this squad for three days! I will not allow my Soldiers to be left out to dry like prior NCO's have done to me over the years. All my Soldiers counselings are in my leaders book AND in the Plt Sergeants files as well. I remember over the years, having missed out on promotion opportunities due to lack of counselings when a Platoon Sergeant changes out. Soldiers have to wait that little 90 day window to get approved to attend the board---normally. It is difficult to do that if you do not keep on top of counselings. Especially when the chain of command reviews those counseling packets before a Soldier can go to the board. I have a Corporal who just came over from the National Guard and he wants desperately to go to the board. Unfortunately I cannot allow him to go just yet, I have to wait those 90 days. But, that doesn't mean just wait and when the 90 days is up go ahead and send them. No, I have to keep up with the counselings every month as well. That way, when I send his packet up through the channels, when the 1SG and CSM review it, they can say "Yeah, he's ready or No he's not." Its no guarantee that he will be allowed to attend. But it hurts the Soldier far worse when there is NOTHING to show for his 90 days of initial work performance. I HOPE I can be a good squad leader to my Soldiers. I just wish that I had NCO's in the past who cared this much.
Posts: 34 | Location: Ft Hood, Texas | Registered: 15 August 2004
I agree and good attitude armyavncowgirl. I, as well was screw'd over and since being in the Army I have only received ONE counseling to my name. Now I am an NCO and I know what the right thing to do is. I will always make sure to counsel my soldiers monthly.
Posts: 40 | Location: Finally in the U.S. | Registered: 12 November 2003
Well, y'all asked for a can of worms, looks like you got it. But just in case, lemme throw another cup of gas on the fire. I have had good fortune in the past with 1st line supervisors, but now I am a Cpl. team leader in a different unit, and have yet to recieve anything but a verbal initial counseling from the 1SG. My Sqd Ldr constantly bitches at his team leaders to stay current on counseling our soldiers, but none of us have yet recieved a counseling from him. We have been here varying times, from 4-8 months, and have not missed a beat with our soldiers, but have never gotten a 4856 with any of our names on it. WTF? Oh well, at least I have had good NCO's in the past who have shown me the proper way to do things, so my soldiers are squared away.
"Life is hard. Life is harder if you're stupid." - John Wayne
I am an E-5 who has been doing monthly performance counseling statements since I became a team leader but I am yet to see anything happen with those counselings. I turn them in to the Plt Sgt who then puts a copy in the soldier's packet and gives the 1st Sgt a copy, so my question is what else is to be done with the counselings?
Alot of times nothing. But if a soldier is performing above the standard, month in - month out then when it comes times for a waiver for promotion...you have DOCUMENTATION that your soldier exceeded the standards. Which the 1SG and CO will look favorably upon, if evaluated effeciently. There might be another Joe...who is just as good of a troop, but if his SGT did not put it on paper, well then....its his/her word against YOUR documentation...and YOUR joe gets pinned!! Its a good feeling....when deserved...and it all works out like that.
On the other hand, if you have a dirt bag soldier who cussed you out, fails to meet the minumum standards and is insubordinate..then you have the documentation to take his/her pay, or initiate chapter paperwork. If you dont cousel the soldier, it never happened basically.
basically....if it wasn't documented, it didn't happen.
I might have misunderstood something tho....were u asking the PURPOSE of the tangible 4856???? (i explained) or where do they get filed or something?? LOLThis message has been edited. Last edited by: PA_in_2ID,
Posts: 548 | Location: Camp Hovey, Korea | Registered: 23 November 2006
I have a question that is a bit off topic. Recently, in the month of Aug I had an ankle surgery which I am currently recovering from. Shortly after the surgery I was asked my the 1SG to be the training and schools NCO at our company. I gladly accepted this position, with the knowledge that I was taking on a lot of responsibility. I knew that if i was trained correctly for the duties I would be just fine. About a month goes by and the stress level was getting a little high, manageable but high. It was ok though because I got the job done. I was there later than my fellow soldiers in my rank, and I worked my FPOC off all the time. I was new to completing training slides,training schedules, school requests, conducting APFT's as any NCOIC would do. I am a Private First Class. I was trained on a very small amount of information, not including training slides, apft, ranges or anything like that. However I was always willing to learn and realized that anything i learn as a young private can be used later in my career. The training slides looked like they were in a different language. I tried though. When they were presented to my 1SG and Commander( REAR-D) they were given back a few times with changes and updates...Some were my error, and some were just changes coming down from BN. All i ever wanted was to be shown directly how to accomplish this task. I went to SFC, SSG, another SSG, and a SGT. Nobody could sit me down and show me what RIGHT looks like. Than, the inevitable happened. The previous training and schools NCO returned from con-leave after 30 days. Thats when the fun began. I am not in an infantry unit, I am in a transportation/support brigade. So their are females working along side the male soldiers. I noticed that one of the male SSG's was speaking very inappropriatley with one of the office female lower enlisted. I mentioned something to the EO rep in the company and he stated he would look into it. That was the beginning of my hell. After that happened, My first line supervisor/SGT who came back from con leave started treating me differently. He started acting WAY more strict and hard on me. He stated new rules, new break times. Basically telling me im a S$%t bag as well. I was very confused at this point in time. I asked reluctantly why all of a sudden, he stated not as a response to that, but later in the conversation that he was aware that i made an EO complaint. How he knew I spoke to the rep, i dont know. But the complaint I made wasnt even about HIM. It was an E6 it was about. the company has a real problem with senior fraternizating with lower enlisted. At this time i knew something was wrong. It wasnt right for him to suddenly change how he treated me because I made a complaint. Also, he began treating the females a lot differently as well. He was VERY VERY HARD on me, and would let the females get away with everything and anything.. Speaking to NCO's with disrespect, eating at their desk (which i wasnt allowed to do), using the command entrance. And just overall treating them superior to me. Holding them to different standards. The training slides I was trying to get done correctly, he told me to go to BN and ask A Master Sergeant how to do them. I was really shocked at this. But i did as i was told, the Master Sergeant wasnt there so I wasnt shown how to do it. I thought this was wrong. I spoke to a few NCO's and asked their advice. I concluded that in my opinion this was the beginning of a favoritism, and gender descrimination case. I filed an informal EO complaint. NOTE- i did not want to do this, and I am normally not the type of soldier who would do this, but I am a strong believer of Our ARMY and its regulations. I am a college student,with 600 correspondance hours, actively trying to get a waiver for SPC. I am very serious about my career. The females who were being treated exceptionally, one was facing UCMJ, and the other had been on a NO PT profile for about 8-10 months...No surgery just a temporary profile. (My profile is another issue he brings up from time to time) I was being treated as if i was a crap soldier, in which I feel in no way I am. So i filed the complaint, and he brought me in our office again(my first line supervisor) AGAIN he claimed to know I filed a complaint..This time he was correct, it was about him.. However i felt it was'nt right he approached me about the complaint. In this meeting he explained everything the way he always does, where he tried to talk me off, or leave me no possible way to say anything with out him turning it against me. He stated I should have been a man about it and not gone to EO. I did go to him several times, and tell him he treats females differently. His response was that his leadership style demands people are treated differently. I spoke with E0 and the 1SG and requested I be moved. I made sure I told them that I was proud of how hard I worked, and they all thought I did a good job. Aside from blaming me for the training slides not being done correctly, my response was I was never trained, and i was told that, that wasnt an excuse.." as long as their is google, the fact that you werent trained is not an excuse"
. YESTERDAY- i went to my old platoon Sgt and I ASKED her for a counseling, being it that it was the 4th, and I hadnt recieved one. I was hoping to get a nice counseling for my efforts an accomplishments in an E-5 sgt slot as a PFC. He told me that the my counseling wasnt done by her but done by my first line supervisor who I had filed the complaint against. I knew from that point that it was unfair from the start. When he read the counseling statement, every single thing he wrote was negative, Everything. And I wrote my remarks, and he scrubbed every line I wrote and disagreed with it, And read every line he wrote, and tried to sell me on how it was 100% correct. I was discouraged. I worked so so hard in this position. I feel with everything inside me that this is his retaliation against me. I am contemplating making the EO complaint filed last week a FORMAL complaint. I have no negative counselings and no UCMJ. My last Squad leader who went to Ranger BAT told me I was his best soldier hes had. I hold myself to a high standard and always exceed the standards.
I guess what im asking is, what do you think of this? Is this normal? Am I wrong or right? how to bounce back from this
sorry about the spelling and punctuation. thanks for reading!!!
Sounds to me like he's taking reprisal against you for making a complaint which is completely wrong. I would go ahead and go forth with the formal complaint and ensure that you let the EOA know that you made the informal complaint and everything that was done to you in return for making that complaint.
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of Patriots and Tyrants.
Unfortunately no one likes EO complaints unless something serious is involved. Monthly counselings are fairly unimportant unless you end up doing something wrong down the road and need to fall back on a bunch of good months however. Personally I wouldn't have signed the monthly counseling and if anything came down on me I would explain why. It would have been easier if you would have gone to the 1SG or commander or the E6 off the bat but since that's gone just talk to someone and see if it can be worked out without making another EO complaint.
Especially because it's obvious whomever you're making the complaints to doesn't care to do anything besides say it was you.