The Army publishes several resources that outline the basics of counseling. Begin by reading:
- The NCO Guide: FM 7-22.7, Chapter 5
- FM 6.22, Appendix B Note: This will change sometime in 2013 or 2014 to ATP 6-22.1
- FM 7-21.13, Chapter 6
- AR 600-20 and AR 623-3 requirement review
The AR 600-20 and AR 623-3 review will give you a solid, doctrinal foundation for counseling. Many of the finer points of counseling are passed down from leader to leader and simply aren’t in any regulation. If you have a specific question about counseling, find an experienced leader in your organization who will take the time to help you out, or use the form to the right of this post and submit a question to us. There are likely others with the same question you have; if you send us your question, we can publish the answer so that others can learn from it as well.
One of our sister websites publishes the ACO Learning Center, which hosts references and classes for counselors, free of charge. ACO is also the home of the “Counsel Quick” software series. The “Counsel Quick” programs are full of example counseling statements to give leaders a place to start filling out the DA FORM 4856.
My book, The Mentor, is a great counseling reference for new leaders. I wrote the first edition of this book over ten years ago to help junior leaders negotiate the specifics of numerous counseling issues. The book has come a long way since that first edition and now contains fifty example counseling statements, hundreds of NCOER bullets, and information on various topics, all relevant to leaders that are in your position.
There are a few other websites that publish free counseling information. When visiting these third-party sites, remember that you are responsible for what you write on a counseling statement. Carefully verify information before you use it, and don’t forget that it is your career on the line. These sites include: