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DA Form 4856

The 4856 Form is one of the official documents used by the Army to record the results of the activities carried out with personnel. This document is filled out when any kind of counseling session for the Army staff takes place. All the information included in this form is discussed by the counselor and the subordinate, and the results must be signed and dated by both parties. Though this document must be preserved until the soldier retires, the content of the form is not available to the public.

What is a Developmental Counseling?

The consultation procedure plays an essential role in the Army service. In a broad sense, it helps to solve a wide variety of questions and problems that inevitably occur in the course of carrying out any joint activities. It works with respect to any type of organization, but it is especially relevant to the Army structures, where the military personnel is obliged to act following the strict defense regulations. It can certainly cause some difficulties, and counseling serves as a powerful means to solve these issues.

Though this document is officially named as a developmental counseling form, it covers a more extensive list of problems solved and purposes pursued.

When Is It Needed?

It is possible to attribute all the variety of situations that may result in individual mentorship to three main types of counseling, namely: professional, event-oriented, behavioral.

The behavioral or the performance consultations are organized when a soldier makes some mistakes or violates the Army discipline. In this case, it is important to reveal why it has happened and what support the subordinate needs to correct his behavior. The subordinate must understand his responsibility and learn about the possible methods of disciplinary punishment.

Professional advice is important to support the subordinates in their growth and development, to inform them about the skills improvement and career growth opportunities they have, for example, to attend a military education center or to get a promotion.

The event-oriented counseling covers more types of possible planned and unexpected situations and circumstances, for instance:

  • Reception consulting, organized for the soldiers, Officers, and any other new staff members who enter the military unit.
  • Family events, whether happy or tragic, like a marriage, divorce, death, or heavy disease of the family member.
  • Preparatory counseling, when a soldier is directed to another place for specialized counseling, like some medical centers or the military Chaplain.

Why Is It important?

The consulting sessions, whether they are conducted regularly or organized in connection with some events, are aimed at discussion of the situation that has to be changed and working out the plan of the appropriate activities. These activities must certainly be goal-oriented, workable, clear for the soldier, and scheduled for a certain time. It is also advisable to provide the possibility for the future estimation of the results since they are achieved.

What a Counseling Session Consists of?

A conventional meeting between the subordinate and the leader, when it is necessary to fill out the 4856 Form, includes the next steps:

  1. Preparation for the consultation meeting. This stage starts from the moment when the problem situation occurs. Then it is necessary to collect all the data about this event and the person to be consulted. After these preliminary actions, it is possible to schedule the meeting and to choose the most suitable surroundings for that purpose.
  2. Carrying out the complete counseling session. The meeting between the subordinate and the tutor must include all the main stages of the problem discussion, as it is represented in the 4856 Form. So it means to discuss and fill out all the sections of this form and compile an efficient plan of action. You can practice filling out the form using our form-building software.
  3. Subsequent analysis and evaluation of the results. This final step should take place a certain time after the consultation to make it possible to complete everything and understand whether it helped to solve the problem or not.

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Recommendations for filling out the Form

The Army form for consulting the staff consists of two pages that include four parts. Even though the content of this document is mostly descriptive, some questions can still occur when filling it out. To solve them, you can use our form building software with a step-by-step guide that is easy and useful.

Put in an Administrative Information First

step 1 - put in an administrative information first - filling out da form 4856

Part I of the document is devoted to the general data about the parts involved in the consultation process. It is necessary to start with putting out their names and ranks, as well as indicate the organization they belong to. And don’t forget to write down the date of counseling.

Describe the Situation That Was the Reason for the Tuition Session

step 2 - describe the situation that was the reason for the tuition session - filling out da form 4856

In this part of the form, the adviser should briefly explicate the facts he knows about the event or the situation which led to the counseling process. In Part II, it is also possible to set forth some observations or vision of the event by the leader. On the whole, this section of the form is to indicate the problem necessary to solve in the process of bilateral talks.

Formulate the Summary of Discussion

step 3 - formulate the summary of discussion - filling out da form 4856

It is recommended to fill out this part during the discussion or immediately after it, while it is possible to reproduce the key details of the process. Here the leader explains what questions were discussed and how they relate to the problem solved. It is very important not to miss anything in Part III.

Draw up the Plan of Action

step 4 - draw up the plan of action - filling out da form 4856

In this section, the counselor describes what exactly the subordinate will do after the meeting to solve the problem indicated in Part II. Simply put, it means the list of the goals and the activities necessary to fulfill each of them. These goals must be achievable and practically oriented to change the difficult situation or the soldier’s behavior, if necessary. As for the actions, they must be limited in time to give the opportunity to assess the results and the effectiveness of the strategy chosen.

Sign and Date the Protocol of the Meeting

step 5 - sign and date the protocol of the meeting - filling out da form 4856

When all the points are discussed, the counseling session may be closed. Before the form is signed by both parties, the supervisor has to repeat the main information to another party to ensure that he really understands everything correctly. After this discussion, the soldier indicates his agreement or disagreement with the content of the filled-out form, signs, and dates it. He can also add his personal remarks to this document, if necessary.

Set Forth the Role of the Counselor in the Future Actions

step 6 - set forth the role of the counselor in the future actions - filling out da form 4856

Part III also provides the free space to fix the role of the counselor in the implementation of the future action plan. Define the area of responsibility of the leader and what he should do to supervise the achievement of the goals set. The counselor must sign and date this part of the document.

Evaluate the Results of the Plan Implementation

step 7 - evaluate the results of the plan implementation - filling out da form 4856

This last part of the advising form is dedicated to the estimation of the effectiveness of the actions carried out within the approved plan. The assessment is carried out sometime after the previous counseling. It is supposed that both parties discuss the results of the work together and decide whether it looks successful or not. This part of the form is filled out by the subordinate and the leader together. The information included in this section can be used for the next counseling sessions.