If you’re looking for information about an Army Disrespect Counseling, you are in the right place. As a leader of Soldiers, there’s a good chance that at some point in your military career you will have to sit down with a subordinate and counsel them for disrespecting a superior NCO or an Officer. A few examples of disrespect might include:
- A Soldier who rolls their eyes at a NCO or Officer
- A Soldier who shouts at a NCO or Officer
- A Soldier who says something degrading or inappropriate to a superior
- A Soldier who walks away from a superior when they are talking to them
While these things don’t happen very often, they do happen from time to time. I had to do a few of these counselings myself during my 15 year career. Therefore, I’d like to share a few helpful tips to conduct a successful Army Disrespect Counseling session.
- Address the Issue Immediately – Meet with the Soldier right after the instance (no more than 5-10 minutes, and preferably the moment it happens) and conduct a verbal counseling. Tell them what they did wrong, tell them that type of behavior is not acceptable, and tell them that you will sit down with them as soon as you type up the written counseling statement. Make sure you do a written counseling in addition to the verbal counseling.
- Put Everything in Writing on a DA Form 4856 – Collect the facts, write down exactly what happened, address which UCMJ Rule Article was violated and prepare the written counseling statement. Make sure it is facts based and do not let your emotion get your best of you. Let a trusted peer or superior review the counseling statement before you present it to the Soldier.
- Use the Magic Bullet Statement – Make sure that you add the magic bullet statement to your counseling statement. This lets your Soldier know that you are serious.
- Have a Witness – When you conduct the Army Disrespect Counseling make sure you have a witness with you so you don’t have any false allegations made against you.
- Wait Until You Calm Down – Try to wait until your emotions have calmed down before you conduct the formal counseling; you don’t want your emotions to get the best of you. At a minimum, wait a few minutes.
- Address What Went Wrong, What the Standard is, And What Your Recommended Punishment Will Be – During the formal counseling session, make sure the individual knows what they did wrong, what the standard is, and what punishment you will recommend. If you are recommending an Article 15 or UCMJ Punishment, you might want to sit down with the Commander for a moment or two (ahead of time) to get their leadership input and guidance. That way you are both on the same sheet of music.
These are my best tips for conducting an Army Disrespect Counseling.
On the counseling statement itself you want to include a summary of what happened, explain what UCMJ Article was violated, what punishment you will give/recommend, what the plan of action is, and what you will do as a leader to work with the Soldier.
Here is an example Army Disrespect Counseling
“On 3 April 2010, you (PFC Alexander) disrespected 1SG Allen. When the 1SG was talking to you about being late for formation, you got in his face and started yelling at him. When he asked you to stop yelling, you pushed a few things off his desk and told him to “screw off.”
Disrespecting a Non Commissioned Officer is a direct violation of Article 91 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. As your Platoon Sergeant, I cannot condone this type of behavior in our unit. Therefore, I am recommending you be reduced from E3 to E2 via Article 15. Additionally, I am recommending you receive 14 days restriction and extra duty.
You will report to the Company Commander’s office today at 1700 hours for your Article 15 proceedings.”
If you ever have to administer an Army Disrespect Counseling, make sure you follow the advice in this article. At a minimum, educate yourself about your rights, and the Soldier’s rights. Deal with the issue quickly, put everything in writing, and wait until your emotions calm down before you administer the counseling. Good luck!
If you have faced this situation and would like to share any other tips that helped, you can do so in the comment area below. Also, if you have any questions about disrespect counseling, you can ask them and we will attempt to provide an answer. Thank you.