Army Company XO Initial Counseling Packet and Tips

Today, I want to share some of my best tips on how to conduct an Army Company XO Initial Counseling.

If you currently a Company Commander, or will be one day, there is a high probability that you will have a Company XO working for you.

If that’s the case, one of your primary jobs is to mentor and develop your Company XO. And the best way to do that is through counseling.

When a Company XO gets assigned to your unit, you have the responsibility to conduct their initial counseling within their first 30 days on the job!

This must be done in writing.

Listed below, I want to give you some of my best tips for conducting your initial counseling with your Army Company XO.

Let’s get started.

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Tip # 1 Think Back to When You Were a Company XO

If you were ever a Company XO before, what would you have liked your Company Commander to share with you?

What do you wish your Company Commander would have done during your initial counseling?

Use these thoughts as your starting point and make sure you incorporate any lessons learned into your counseling.

Tip # 2 Prepare Ahead of Time

Without a doubt, you can’t just wing it!

You need to prepare for your initial counseling with your Company XO.

That means you need to get information from the Soldier ahead of time (weapons qualifications, DA Photo, 2-1, previous OERs, list of personal and professional goals, etc.).

And you need to write up all the documents BEFORE the counseling session.

The more time you spend preparing the better off the counseling session will go.

Tip # 3  Just Do It: There’s No Such Thing as Perfect

Don’t worry about everything being perfect.

It won’t be.

The mere fact that you are making the time to counsel your Company XO puts you way above most Company Commanders.

If you are prepared to the best of your ability, things should go smoothly.

As they say, an average plan executed violently today is better than a perfect plan executed next week.

Tip # 4 Show a Genuine Interest in your Company XO

During the initial counseling session, and during drill weekends, show a genuine interest in your Company XO.

While they are there to assist you with the behind the scenes type of stuff (supply, admin, maintenance) they are also looking to you for mentor-ship.

Make sure that you invest some time with them one-on-one and involve them in your meetings, thinking sessions, and problem solving.

You are ultimately teaching them how to be a Company Commander so make sure you do your best to prepare them.

Final Thoughts

As Nike says, “Just do it!”

Don’t worry about whether or not your initial counseling with your new Company XO is perfect.

There is no such thing as perfect.

The mere fact that you are taking the time to put everything in writing already puts you in the top 10% of all military leaders.

Just follow the advice mentioned above and you will be well on your way.

On a side note, I’ve created a sample Company XO Initial Counseling packet.

This packet has everything you need to do your counseling right.

I provide sample questions to ask, the required paperwork, tips for success, a suggested reading list for your Company XO and so much more.

Best of all, my packet is only $10.

Using this packet will save you time and ensure you do things properly.

Order a copy today!

Buy Now

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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4 thoughts on “Army Company XO Initial Counseling Packet and Tips”

  1. I purchased this packet about a month ago and all I can say is thank you so much. You saved me so much time and the packet was really helpful.

  2. As a Company Commander it’s really important that you sit down with your XO and tell/show them what you want them to do. Most commanders never do this and the XO has to try and figure out what the boss wants, on their own. Personally, I think this is a big mistake. You owe it to the people you supervise to make sure that they know what you expect of them.

  3. Another great post, Chuck. I think it is particularly more important to counsel your XO than it is your PLs. First of all, your XO is your right hand man. You work with him daily on things that are very important to you and your success. Why wouldn’t you want that Officer to have the clearest idea of what your expectations are and what you expect your working relationship to be? Also, it gives your XO his first real taste of your style and how you operate. A lot of decisions and initiative are taken by the XO without consultation of the Commander, so it is better that the XO “know” you and understand what it is that you would want or do if you were there… It is all worth it, in my opinion, to sit down and conduct these counselings!

    1. I agree, Justin. Unfortunately, most leaders won’t take the time to do it.

      Even if your leaders don’t counsel you, you should sit down and counsel your Company XO. It’s time well spent.


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