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Fillable Form DA 4856

A DA Form 4856 is also known as a Developmental Counseling Form. It will be used by the Department of the Army to record the outcome of various counseling conducted on members of the Armed Forces.

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What isDA 4856 Form?

DA 4856 Form, officially known as the Developmental Counseling Form, is a form completed by counselors and leaders providing services to United States Army soldiers. This form contains personal information of the soldier, the reason counseling occurred, discussion points, and a plan for the soldier.

Through this form, the leaders will be to review their subordinates and their demonstrated performance and their potentials.

Form DA 4856 will be destroyed upon reassignment, separations at ETS, or upon retirement because it is no longer needed by the office.

How to Fill Out DA 4856 Form?

The DA Form 4856 is a developmental counseling form with four parts namely:
Part I - Administrative Data
Part II - Background Information
Part III - Summary of Counseling
Part IV - Assessment of the Plan of Action


Part I - Administrative Data
Name
Enter the full name of the soldier.

Rank/Grade
Provide the rank or grade of the soldier.

Date of counseling
Provide the date the counseling occurred.

Organization
Enter the name of the organization of the soldier.

Name and title of counselor
Provide the name and title of the counselor.

Part II - Background Information
This part must be filled out by the leader. Before filling out this part, it is advisable if possible for the leader and their subordinate to start the session by having a review of the plan of action agreed previously.

Provide the reason for the counseling session (performance, professional, or event-oriented counseling). Include your observations and specific pertinent and objective facts on the issue before the counseling was scheduled. Indicate if there has been a previous counseling session for the soldier.

Part III - Summary of Counseling
This part should be filled during or immediately before the counseling ends.

Key points of discussion
Provide the key points of the discussion on the space provided.

Plan of Action
This part must be filled out by the leader. Highlight the actions required of the counseled soldier to carry out after the counseling section to reach the agreed goal. The plan of action should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound (SMART). Include a timeline for implementation and assessment

If you entered event-oriented counseling as the reason for Part II (Background Information) of this form, remember that corrective training as part of the plan of action cannot be tied to a specific time frame. The corrective training will only be complete once the subordinate attains the required standard.

Session Closing
The leader must summarize the key points of the discussion and assess the counseled soldier’s understanding of the plan of action. This must be discussed with the counseled soldier and may agree or disagree by selecting the box and provide remarks if applicable. The counseled soldier must provide his signature and date the counseling occurred.

Leader Responsibilities
The leader must list the necessary resources and commit to providing them for the counseled soldier. The counselor must provide his signature and date on the space provided.

Part IV - Assessment of the Plan of Action
This is where the plan of action is assessed if it produced the desired result. This will be the basis for follow-up counseling. This should be completed by the leader and the soldier counseled.

Name of counselor
Provide the name of the counselor.

Name of individual being counseled
Provide the name of the individual being counseled.

Date
Provide the date this section was filled out.

Submission

This form will be kept as a file of the respective office of the individual counseled.

Tips:

  • Both the counselor and the individual counseled should retain a record of this form.
  • Ensure that before the conduct of the counseling, you selected a suitable place and time.
  • Before the conduct of the counseling, outline the components of the counseling session to make it easier to fill out the Form DA 4856.
  • Organize the information and draft a plan of action even before the counseling and plan the counseling strategy.
  • Information entered in the form is not publicly disclosed. Only the progress of the counseling will be reported.
  • The assessment of the plan of action should be completed before the start of the follow-up section for it is a way to obtain useful information for future follow up counseling.
  • The leader must not forget to conduct the assessment based on the resolution of the situation or based on the established timeline discussed during the plan of action.
  • Before filling up this form, you may know more about the military counseling process by reading the Army Techniques Publication (ATP) 6-22.1. The ATP 6-22.1 provides doctrinal guidance for all leaders, military, and civilian, responsible for planning, preparing, executing, and assessing counseling actions. Trainers and educators throughout the Army will also use this publication.
  • If possible, record the counseling session. Guidelines for recording the session may also be found in the Army Techniques Publication (ATP) 6-22.1.
  • For Part II (Background Information), you may identify the reason for counseling by looking at how the three (3) major developmental counseling differ from each other:
  • Event-oriented counseling involves a specific event or situation. It may precede events such as participating in promotion boards, attending training courses and preparing for deployment or redeployment. It also addresses events such as noteworthy duty performance, an issue with performance or mission accomplishment, or a personal issue. Examples of event-oriented counseling include specific instances of superior or substandard performance, reception and integration counseling, crisis counseling, referral counseling, promotion counseling, transition counseling, or adverse separation counseling.
  • Performance counseling is the review of a subordinate’s duty performance during a specified period. The counseling focuses on the soldier’s strengths, areas to improve, and potential.
  • Professional growth counseling includes planning for the accomplishment of individual and professional goals. During the counseling, leader and counseled soldier does a review to identify and discuss the soldier’s strengths and weaknesses and to create an individual development plan that builds upon those strengths and compensates for shortcomings.
  • If possible, schedule future meetings before dismissing the counseled individual.

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