Posted on Feb 27, 2016
SGT(P) Landon Mintz
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Recently while in BLC our instructors have been showing us the digital forms for concealing and how to fill them out (DA FORM 4856). I have always known that they were in digital formats yes, but does any of your units do your soldiers packets completely digital? Personal Date, ERB, LES, Training records, etc. is one packet and only in a digital form? If so, your thoughts on the practice!
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Responses: 4
SGM Mike Barbieri
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I am not sure why I would need a digital copy of everything. I prefer a hard copy for the counseling itself so anything added during the session can be written in and initialed by the Soldier. I also like having the Soldier bring current copies of their LES and ERB as that forces them to look at them and allows me to see exactly what they see. I don't need to retain copies of them though.

Maybe scanning the completed counseling for a backup, but you need to follow up on the plan of action so you would need to scan them again once complete.

Additionally most information that we used to keep in counseling packets is available through ACT. I hate duplicating information if it is available somewhere else.
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SSG S1 Personnel Ncoic
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I would only use it for back up. You always want a hard copy in case the 1SG wants to do spot check or if IG comes for inspections.
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SGT(P) Landon Mintz
SGT(P) Landon Mintz
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I understand the purpose of having such documents for command teams to view but with the advent of local share drives I feel as if we should be doing it this process in the opposite manner. All these packets are viewable by 1SG and IG members who have access to share drives and If need be can be printed at a moments notice. I just believe we have such a chance to reduce the amount of duplicated items we constantly print every month. And as far as reviewing and signing these items every bit of this is available with digital signatures.
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SSG S1 Personnel Ncoic
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So you're telling me you want to put a soldiers counseling packet on a share drive? Why would you do that? So everyone can access it and see? Or just lock down the folder for you? I guess you're asking senior NCO's that are old school and know paper counseling packets. Your call. Once you're a leader you lead how you see fit.
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MSG Smc Student
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SSG (Join to see) Share drives are very easily access controlled. I'm a huge fan of NOT developing trackers for trackers and packets for packets.

The only thing I have hard copy here in Afghanistan is weapons qualification cards and PT cards. Everything else is digital.
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SSG S1 Personnel Ncoic
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MSG (Join to see) - You are correct. I would do the same thing in Afghanistan not in garrison though. I know exactly how easily they are access controlled seeing that I work in an s1 however there are pluses and minuses for everything we do.
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SGT Christopher Premore
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I think it makes more sense. All counseling if digital could be placed on the platoon shared drive and more effective when the Soldier changes to another squad or platoon they can just be transferred. It will cut down on the human error of misplacing a packet or having to track town the NCO that has the packet.
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