How to fill DA 4856

How to fill DA 4856


Please use these templates as just an example or a guide. 

Any content donated should have names changed or removed.


In the Purpose of Counseling block you want to write the reason for the counseling session.  Depending on your style and/or the subordinate, you can write as little as one word (i.e. event, marriage, promotion) or even use a paragraph format. 


o Event-oriented

o The purpose of this counseling is to discuss PFC Schmidlapp's violation of Article 92: Failure to obey order or regulation, Article 107: False official statements, Article 86: Failure to report

   In the Key Points of the Discussion block, the leader and counseled individual should attempt to develop a mutual and clear understanding of the counseling issues. It is important to get the subordinate to do most of the talking—encourage the subordinate to participate fully in the session. Leaders respond and ask questions without dominating the conversation but help the subordinate better understand the subject of the counseling session, such as duty performance, a situation and its effects, or potential areas for growth. Leaders must be open to adjusting their understanding of the situation based on the subordinate’s input.

   To reduce the perception of bias or early judgment, both leader and subordinate should provide examples or cite specific observations. When the issue is substandard performance, the leader must be clear what did not meet the standard. During the discussion, the leader must clearly establish what the subordinate must do to meet the standard. It is very important that the leader frames the issue at hand as substandard performance and prevents the subordinate from labeling the issue as unreasonable. An exception would occur if the leader considers the current standard as negotiable or is willing to alter the conditions under which the subordinate can meet the standard.


Personal Issues - Areas I want you to improve in are your attention to detail, patience, and keeping your professionalism in front of your peers and subordinates. You should set an example for...

Promotion - In order to be considered in the primary zone for promotion to RANK a soldier must have ____ months Time in Service and ____ months Time in Grade. You currently have ____ months...

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A plan of action identifies a method and pathway for achieving a desired result, limited to one or two realistic goals tied to work or life events with milestones that allow for monitoring progress. Before developing the plan of action, the leader must assess whether the counseled subordinate understands the purpose and any related issues. The plan of action must be appropriate and specific, showing the subordinate how to modify or maintain specific behaviors to reach goals set during the counseling session.


During our next counseling session we will review how well you accomplished your tasking(s) and ...
o Sustain areas identified
o Improve upon areas identified


o PFC Schmidlapp, next week you’ll attend the map reading class with 2nd Platoon. After class, SGT Smith will coach you through the land navigation course and help you develop your plotting skills.  After observing you...


o PFC Schmidlapp will report all appointments to me until I state otherwise.

o PFC Schmidlapp will report to first call by 0545 every work morning unless instructed to be somewhere else by your chain of...

o PFC Schmidlapp cover down on 2 weekend CQ shifts for corrective action. The shifts will run from...

o I will continue to guide you in the right direction to further your military career

o I will ensure that the PFC Schmidlapp is fully briefed on what is expected of him

o I will see all of PFC Schmidlapp's appointment slips, e-mails, etc.