The assessment portion of the 4856 is very important. In fact, when it comes to separating Soldiers for substandard performance, a good JAG defense attorney will not even process a packet that does not have the plan of action and the assessment blocks filled out.
You should include the follow-up date or dates in the plan of action and then:
- Pull out the counseling statement on the date specified in the plan of action and annotate your assessment in the assessment block. You and the Soldier should sign the assessment. This is important for derogatory counseling statements.
- If you are conducting monthly or quarterly counseling statements you could write the following note in the previous counseling “See monthly or quarterly counseling statement dated: xx/xx/xx for assessment.”
Your plan of action should state:
We will conduct an assessment of this counseling session during our next monthly/quarterly counseling.
When you prepare the next counseling, ensure you have a review section of the previous counseling listed in the new monthly or quarterly counseling. It should cover what the Soldier successfully completed, what he failed to complete, and items that require adjusted suspense dates. Once you have conducted the review, move on to the regular counseling session.
Read The Mentor: Everything you need to know about leadership and counseling for more information about Counseling, Leadership, Corrective Training, and Separations in the Army.