What is a DA Form 4856

DA 4856 also known as Developmental Counseling Form is a document made for an information exchange between counselors and soldiers in the Army. All the E-4 rank soldiers should receive this counseling once per month. This document has more or less fluent format. It is filled out with basic recommendations that every army non-commissioned officer provides to the soldiers under his or her command, especially when problems appear. This paper helps to solve difficulties and build strong and trustful relationship in the military unit.

The DA 4856 spans two pages. There are four main parts to be completed.

  1. The first part of Form DA 4856 is related to Administrative Data. It contains lines for personal information including name and rank of a person that is being counseling. The name of the counselor and the military group can be mentioned too.
  2. The second part has a title ‘Background information’. It includes a fillable space with a brief description to it. Counselor may write in some additional comments describing the facts and observations noticed. In general, this part should characterize the reason for counseling.
  3. The third part should demonstrate the summary of counseling. It is the largest part of Form DA 4856 and takes two pages. This block is supposed to be filled out during the process or immediately thereafter. An individual should mention main topics and key points of discussion, highlight plan of future actions, mark session closing and leader responsibilities.
  • Section intended for key points usually describes the reason of the counseling.
  • The Plan of Actions is created for understanding the counselee’s duties in this matter.
  • In the session closing the counselee may express his or her point of view towards the counselor’s decision and put a signature.
  • Finally, in the Leader Responsibilities Part, the counselor accepts his or her responsibilities and signs the DA Form 4856.
  1. At the last part, entitled Assessment Of The Plan Of Action, the counselor and counselee later consider whether or not the plan worked. Thereafter, they put their signatures.

A person should be seriously-minded while filling the form out not to miss some significant details and to avoid misunderstandings.

The Developmental Counseling Form is available online in two versions, PDF and DOC. You may print it and fill out by hand or use as a fillable one online.

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