Performance and Professional Growth counseling
Thank you for visiting our Counseling page. Counseling is the process used by leaders to review with a subordinate the subordinate’s demonstrated performance and potential. It is one of the most important leadership development responsibilities for Army leaders. The Army’s future and the legacy of today’s Army leaders rests on the shoulders of those they help prepare for greater responsibility.
Thank you for your service.
What is Performance counseling?
What areas to cover
During performance counseling, leaders conduct a review of a subordinate’s duty performance over a certain period. Simultaneously, leader and subordinate jointly establish performance objectives and standards for the next period. Rather than dwelling on the past, focus on the future: the subordinate’s strengths, areas of improvement, and potential.
Performance counseling is required under the officer, NCO, and Army civilian evaluation reporting systems. The officer evaluation report (OER) (DA Form 67-9) process requires periodic performance counseling as part of the OER Support Form requirements. Mandatory, face-to-face performance counseling between the rater and the rated NCO is required under the noncommissioned officer evaluation reporting system. (See AR 623-3). Performance evaluation for civilian employees also includes both of these requirements.
Counseling at the beginning of and during the evaluation period ensures the subordinate’s personal involvement in the evaluation process. Performance counseling communicates standards and is an opportunity for leaders to establish and clarify the expected values, attributes, and competencies. The OER support form’s coverage of leader attributes and competencies is an excellent tool for leader performance counseling. For lieutenants and junior warrant officers, the major performance objectives on the OER Support Form (DA Form 67-9-1) are used as the basis for determining the developmental tasks on the Developmental Support Form (DA Form 67-9-1A). Quarterly face-to-face performance and developmental counseling is required for these junior officers as outlined in AR 623-3. Army leaders ensure that performance objectives and standards are focused and tied to the organization’s objectives and the individual’s professional development. They should also echo the objectives on the leader’s support form as a team member’s performance contributes to mission accomplishment.
Professional growth counseling includes planning for the accomplishment of individual and professional goals. During the counseling, leader and subordinate conduct a review to identify and discuss the subordinate’s strengths and weaknesses and to create an individual development plan that builds upon those strengths and compensates for (or eliminates) weaknesses.
As part of professional growth counseling, leader and subordinate may choose to develop a “pathway to success” with short- and long-term goals and objectives. The discussion of the pathway includes opportunities for civilian or military schooling, future duty assignments, special programs, and reenlistment options. An individual development plan is a requirement for all Soldiers and Army civilians as every person’s needs and interests are different.
Career field counseling is required for lieutenants and captains before they are considered for promotion to major. Raters and senior raters in conjunction with the rated officer need to determine where the officer’s skills and talents best fit the needs of the Army. The rated officer’s preference and abilities (both performance and intellectual) must be considered. The rater and senior rater should discuss career field designation with the officer prior to making a recommendation on the rated officer’s OER.
While these categories can help organize and focus counseling sessions, they should not be viewed as separate or exhaustive. For example, a counseling session that focuses on resolving a problem may also address improving duty performance. A session focused on performance often includes a discussion on opportunities for professional growth. Regardless of the topic of the counseling session, leaders should follow a basic format to prepare for and conduct it. The Developmental Counseling Form, DA Form 4856, discussed at the end of this appendix provides a useful framework to prepare for almost any type of counseling. Use it to help mentally organize the relevant issues to cover during counseling sessions.
Examples and templates in section is content donated by Soldiers to be used as a guideline and not Army doctrine. We ask for all our visitors to offer suggestions or work that will improve the site to help others. Any work donations will have names and units removed and replaced. It's important that all Soldiers information is replaced with something generic like Smith, Doe, or Schmidlapp, etc..
Training - We had a company live fire that extended from the end of April and into May. It was a company live fire exercise in which you were an M249 automatic rifleman in the lead team for the platoon. We were tasked of reacting to contact/ambush and assaulting one of the objectives (building 1). You performed both tasks without failure despite the obstacles (too much smoke/obscuration, night-time movements). As an E-3, help the other members of the team so that they are to accomplish these tasks (and more) to the efficiency you complete them.
Duty Performance - You have not had any issues with your duty performance. You have always been in the right place at the right time in the right uniform. You have had weekly haircuts, your barracks room was subject to random team leader inspections to which you have passed. If you see other members of the squad failing to meet these requirements, handle it before your team leader/squad leader does.
Physical Fitness - For most of the month, our company was involved in many pass and review/change of command ceremonies. Though we were not able to get sufficient PT in, you always asked to conduct PT on your own time. It is this initiative that will separate you from your peers. Make sure that this continues not only with PT but anything else you see where taking action without being told to will benefit the squad.
Promotion - You have recently been promoted to E-3 two months ago and are not eligible for promotion to E-4. Do not let this affect your performance. If and when early waivers are eligible, if you continue to perform well, you will receive one.
Future Training Events - In June, we have a field exercise. Use this time to start cleaning and prepping weapons/equipment and work on your packing list.
- Make sure you mentor the other members of your team. You are the only experienced junior enlisted and your knowledge will benefit the new guys greatly.
- Continue to enforce the standards and discipline according to Army regulations.
- Be ready for the JOAX in June a week ahead of schedule i.e packing list, 2404 weapons, etc.)
o Training: During the month of January the unit continues GRF status, returned from block leave, squad STX, combined training with the Canadian army and 10-mile road march.
o Duty performance: During the month of January your performance was outstanding. Your attention to detail, accountability for your gun team and dissemination of information have improved substantially. You recently received your UCMJ action for underage drinking but in my option, I feel you have gotten stronger because of it. It definitely shows how resilient you are to take a hit and to keep soldiering.
We were able to finally get the gun teams to get in some good quality training on Sicily DZ. We found out that we have much to learn when working within the team. I understand that you have no line experience but it is our prioity to get you trained up and moved out ASAP. We all feel you will be an asset to whatever team you go to. The work you did out in the field will go a long way in the upcoming months. I am looking to you and your fellow gunner to assist in bringing the squad up to par. Our platoon is still going through a big change with our leadership. Let's not let that slow down our progress though.
The road march was a test of our mental and physical toughness. You stepped up big time encouraging and pushing our weaker paratroopers. As you know we lost half our fire power during this march. I will make it of the utmost importance to build the squad up with the appropriate personnel. If that doesn't work, then we will make every effort to bring them up to standard. Your physical fitness is still among the highest in the platoon.
Areas to improve:
I will start teaching fire team battle drills so that whenever we have a member of the squad leave, then he will be ready to take a team of his own.
Upcoming events: JOAX prep, JOAX, machine gunners course, PLT STX, PLT live fires.
o Ensure soldier read and understood the counseling
o Take more time with each task and making sure things get done right the first time
Sustains: teaching and mentoring, experience, weapon knowledge, physical fitness
Improves: time management, fire team battle drills
o Short term goals:
Short and long range marksmanship course
Long term goals:
o Training: During the month of November the unit returned from JRTC and went right into Operational Readiness Survey (ORS), change of command, S2 classes, OICE inspection, M-4 zero range and GRS prep.
o Duty performance: The month of November was a pretty busy month with ORS. Ensure that you remember everything that took place because it should not be the last time we go through one. The entire squad worked hard on cleaning equipment, weapons, and filling out 2404's. One thing that everyone in the squad needs to do is know how to read a TM-10 and properly fill out a 2404. Attention to detail is something that you will hear me talk about over and over again.
Change of command was very quick and not as painful as it could have been. So far the new commander seems to the quite the chance of pace and hopefully for the better. Lets make sure that we continue as we did with our last commander, with him knowing that we are the best platoon in the company.
The S2 classes were long and boring but showed us that we need to work on our time management as a whole. With a three and four day weekend most of the squad still did not complete the SERE 100 training. Everyone must take more time and accomplish task as soon as possible instead of putting it off for the work day. As you saw this brought nothing but longer work days for everyone.
Look to improve: As you know, you are stepping up and taking the position of gun team leader. Pretty much the whole platoon admires your natural leadership ability. You have been doing the right things since you've been here. You have been recommended to be promoted to SPC before your peers. With this trust you need to continue doing what got you here. As a young leader still fairly new to the unit, you need to take every moment to improve your tactical and technical knowledge. I challenge you to train your men with every moment you have. You can never say you or they know too much. We now have no experienced paratroopers in weapons squad so we must all step our game up, big time.
o Ensure soldier read and understood the counseling
o Continue to mentoring and developing PFC Smith
o Continue to work towards your short and long term goals
o Learn everything you possibly can about to M240B and using our gun team
o Make all necessary preparation for WLC such as medical and packing list
Sustains: common sense, physical fitness, motivation, punctuality, discipline, military bearing
Improves: continue to improve technical and tactical knowledge
o To help ensure you are keeping within the standards.
o To provide you with whatever means necessary to accomplish your mission.
o To guide you in the right direction to further your military career.
Your overall performance: During the month of February for the most part your performance was below average. I say below average based on others soldiers in the squad. I know you have the potential to do so much better. You need to step it up much further then what you are doing now. We have given you plenty of time off and allowed you to travel on pass. You need to still work on your motivation and become a more valuable soldier to the unit.
Physical Fitness: Your physical fitness has never been in question since your arrival to the unit. I want you to continue improving though, never take a day off of PT and always push yourself to give 100%.
Areas of concern: Continue to work on your attitude and motivation. If your back is still bothering you, then seek the help from the PA and turn in whatever medical paperwork you have from home that you presented to me. When you move to SSG Doe's squad, you need to come with a better attitude and bring something to the fight as I always say. Don't be a burden, be an asset.
o continue to build SM tactical and technical knowledge.
o find activities outside of work to boost morale
o move to another squad because of constant back pain
Sustains: Being in the right place at the right time, responsible
Improves: Attention to detail, morale, military bearing
o Try to help assist in finding activities to improve soldiers morale
Duty performance: During the month of January your performance was average. Your were on profile for some time during the month. I understand you have issues with your back but you need to get better and back in the fight. You were not able to conduct the road march so I cannot give any feedback on that.
We were able to finally get the gun teams to get in some good quality training on Sicily DZ. We found out that we have much to learn when working within the team. You did a good job teaching how to put the gun into action. This is what I am looking for and expecting from you on a more consistent basis. It is going to take time to build up a dependable effective gunline. We have new paratroopers that have much to learn and need plenty of mentoring. You should be bringing more to the fight based on your ability to retain what you've learned and quickness to pick up things quickly.
Areas of concern: Since you have been here, you have been constantly walking around with a depressed attitude. Your morale and motivation has been low. We took some time to the side and spoke about it. You have to understand that no one made you enlist in the armed forces. We will provide what help we can for you but you must understand that you must still fulfill your obligation to the Army. Enough with the walking around sad and miserable. It's time to face your decision you made as a man and serve your time honorably.
I want you to continue improving your tactical and technical knowledge within the squad. As a PFC you should be looking at moving to SPC early. I need you to take more initiative and develop yourself into a better paratrooper and I will develop you as a leader.
Performance - For the month of September, the only major event our platoon had was a JFEX. Unfortunately, we did not participate it as we had to escort VIPs. You took this time to study up on the various weapon systems and vehicles so that you could better speak about the various instruments to your VIP. You also took the initiative and gathered the squad so that they also could better speak about this. This provided the newer members in our squad valuable knowledge and got them up to speed with our key systems. You received praise from both of your VIPs when the JFEX was over. Good job.
PT - You have never had a problem with PT. What seperates those who score a 270 vs those who receive a 300 is that the latter go to the gym on their own time. I know with the late release times we have had to get ready for this JFEX, it has been hard to go to the gym on your own time. Don't get lazy. You are being recommended for the board and a 300 will get you full promotion points.
Maintenance - Though we did not go on the JFEX, you ensured that the communication gear was ready to go. Most people would not have done this and waited till the last minute. You had brought to the attention to the armorer the humidity is causing the guns to rust. Again it is this initiative that is highly regarded at the next rank.
Self-Improvement - Though a date for you going to the board has not been set yet, start studying. Make sure that you study not only the weapon systems but the 82nd history, drill and ceremony and anything else that might be covered in the MOI.
Areas of concern: You still have much to learn when it comes to being the platoon RTO. You yourself admitted to only having a basic knowledge of operation with the ASIP. There is plenty of training that you need to conduct with your peers and PFC Joe.
You have been told repeatedly that you must clean the platoon CP everyday in the morning and before COB cleaning it and clearing the board of expired appointments, profiles, etc. Lately you have made it in on a daily basis but I want to see you doing it without being reminded.