Army Counseling Forms: A Comprehensive Guide

FREE 7+ Sample Army Counseling Forms in PDF MS Word
FREE 7+ Sample Army Counseling Forms in PDF MS Word from

As a member of the military, it is essential to have a clear understanding of the Army counseling forms and their significance in your career development. Counseling is a vital part of the Army's professional growth and plays a crucial role in guiding soldiers towards achieving their goals and maintaining high standards of performance.

What are Army Counseling Forms?

Army Counseling Forms, also known as DA Forms, are official documents used to record counseling sessions between a leader and a subordinate. These forms serve as a means of communication, documentation, and evaluation of a soldier's performance, behavior, and potential. They are a crucial part of the Army's counseling process and are used to set goals, provide feedback, and offer guidance for improvement.

Types of Army Counseling Forms

1. DA Form 4856

DA Form 4856 is the most commonly used counseling form in the Army. It is used for a variety of counseling purposes, including performance counseling, professional growth counseling, and event-oriented counseling. This form provides a framework for leaders to document their discussions with subordinates and is an essential tool for assessing and improving performance.

2. DA Form 2166-9

DA Form 2166-9, also known as the NCO Evaluation Report, is used to evaluate the performance and potential of non-commissioned officers (NCOs). This form provides a comprehensive assessment of an NCO's leadership abilities, technical skills, and professional attributes. It is crucial for career progression and is used to determine promotions, assignments, and future training opportunities.

3. DA Form 4858

DA Form 4858, also known as the Developmental Counseling Form, is used to provide counseling and guidance to soldiers on specific developmental areas. This form focuses on setting goals, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and creating an action plan for improvement. It is particularly useful for soldiers who require targeted counseling to enhance their skills or overcome challenges.

Why are Army Counseling Forms Important?

Army Counseling Forms are important for several reasons:

1. Communication: Counseling forms provide a structured means of communication between leaders and subordinates. They ensure that expectations, feedback, and guidance are clearly conveyed and understood.

2. Documentation: Counseling forms serve as official records of counseling sessions. They provide a historical account of a soldier's progress, achievements, and areas for improvement. These records are crucial for performance evaluations, promotions, and career development decisions.

3. Evaluation: Counseling forms enable leaders to evaluate a soldier's performance, potential, and growth. They help identify strengths, weaknesses, and areas for development. This evaluation process is essential for setting goals, creating action plans, and supporting a soldier's professional growth.

4. Accountability: Counseling forms hold both leaders and subordinates accountable for their actions and responsibilities. They provide a clear record of expectations, commitments, and progress. This accountability fosters a culture of professionalism, discipline, and continuous improvement.

Sample Army Counseling Forms

Here is a sample of the information typically included in Army Counseling Forms:

1. Soldier's Name, Rank, and Unit

2. Leader's Name, Rank, and Position

3. Date and Time of Counseling

4. Purpose of Counseling

5. Key Points of Discussion

6. Goals and Objectives

7. Action Plan and Timeline

8. Follow-Up and Evaluation

9. Soldier's Acknowledgement and Signature

10. Leader's Signature and Date

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Army Counseling Forms

1. How often should counseling sessions be conducted?

Counseling sessions should be conducted regularly, at least once a quarter, or more frequently as needed. Regular counseling sessions ensure ongoing communication, feedback, and guidance to support a soldier's professional growth.

2. Who is responsible for initiating counseling sessions?

Both leaders and subordinates share the responsibility of initiating counseling sessions. Leaders are expected to schedule regular counseling sessions, while subordinates can request counseling when needed or when they require guidance on specific areas of development.

3. Can counseling forms be used for disciplinary actions?

No, counseling forms are not intended for disciplinary actions. Disciplinary actions are documented using separate forms and processes, such as the DA Form 4856-EB, for formal counseling and the DA Form 2627-1, for administrative counseling.

4. Are counseling forms confidential?

While counseling forms are generally confidential, they can be accessed by authorized personnel, such as superiors and administrators, for official purposes. It is crucial to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of counseling sessions to foster trust and open communication.

5. What should I do if I disagree with the content of a counseling form?

If you disagree with the content of a counseling form, you have the right to express your concerns. You can discuss your perspective with your leader, provide additional information or documentation, or request a re-evaluation of the counseling form. It is important to approach the situation professionally and constructively.


Army Counseling Forms are an integral part of the Army's counseling process and are essential for effective communication, documentation, and evaluation. These forms serve as a tool for leaders to guide their subordinates towards achieving their goals and maintaining high standards of performance. By understanding the different types of counseling forms and their significance, soldiers can actively participate in their own professional growth and development.


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