Posted on Nov 26, 2020
SSG Human Resources Specialist
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Hey battles I’m just joining. I have a scenario based question. If a senior leader in your NCO Support Channel showed up to you AO to conduct an event oriented counseling without any mention to deficiencies prior too or a DA 4856 in hand the day of counseling but conducts what can be perceived as a grilling session and precedes the conversation by saying “I told your leadership to not tell you I’m coming”. The following day sends you a DA 4856 that reads you were disrespectful but mentioned nothing to the conversation that was had the previous day. 1. How would you respond? 2. How would you view that leader/leadership? 3. How would you proceed moving forward?
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1SG First Sergeant
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You can always check disagree on the 4856 and write in why you disagree.
The other thing to do is be objective. Did this person point out a legitimate issue with something you had done? Remove personal feelings, no one likes being told they suck at their job. If the issue is legitimate, fix yourself. If the issue is not legitimate, lick your wound and move on with your bad self.
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1SG First Sergeant
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2 mo
SSG (Join to see) Ive been apart of a few one-way railroading "counselings." Unless they raise specific concerns they can codify, then roll that water off the ducks back. I know it's confusing and pisses people off, but let it go. Sounds like your leadership is normally pretty good so Id chalk this up to a bad day and dont sweat it.
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SSG Human Resources Specialist
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1SG, that’s normally no issue. I’ve been for 14 years so I wholeheartedly understand taking a chewing and still having some left back there. The approach is what concerns me. If my direct leadership is having “issues” none which were brought to my attention verbally or written. Then my 1SG arrives and says I told them not to tell you I was coming (twice now). Would that not raise the hair on your head? Would you approach counseling that way? Also, how do you then proceed and be successful in an environment where if an issue arrises it doesn’t get mentioned to the concerning SM? Instead it is packaged in what I would call an attack.
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1SG First Sergeant
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2 mo
SSG (Join to see) in the grand scheme of things, whether he told your NCOIC he was coming or not is irrelevant. The chewing is coming either way. Why would he say that to make it a big deal? I have no idea.
My recommendation moving forward would be to go to 1SGs office and ask him to clarify the issue. Can't fix anything when you don't know whats broken. You may also get a different demeanor one on one in a different setting.
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SSG Human Resources Specialist
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2 mo
1SG (Join to see) I will keep that in mind moving forward.
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SFC Patient Service Tech
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Here is how I see things. The SNCO that was paying the visit may have chosen to tell leadership to not say anything that way answers/responses wouldn't be rehearsed. That, I can see merit in. As for the other stuff....

I would respond with Checking a DO NOT AGREE box on that form, make my statement in said given box, and just continue mission. I would certainly perceive that Leader as having poor leadership/mentoring skills. Especially if the "disrespectful" counseling had no substantiating bullets in said counseling talking about the specific disrespect. I would also have the knuckles ready to knock on the door of the Commander IOT use the Open Door Policy.
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SSG Human Resources Specialist
SSG (Join to see)
2 mo
SFC, thank you for your response. I understand your point of view on making sure that the responses within the conversation are organic in nature and not rehearsed. From my point of view I was at a disadvantage because of no prior notice to any wrongdoing. If your leadership hasn’t brought any issues to you but one day your 1SG or CSM came to you guns blazing would you not question the motive?
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SFC Patient Service Tech
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2 mo
SSG (Join to see) - Hell yes I would question the motive
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CSM Darieus ZaGara
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It is not out of the ordinary for a Senior Leader to look to see something for themselves. If they arrive and there suspicions are substantiated, they have an obligation to speak with you about the matter. The rest depends on how the encounter developed.

Having said this, it is not common to send a counseling form for signature. You do not have to concur with the content, you do have to sign.

There is a great deal missing here. If you were wrong, or their suspicions substantiated take the counseling as a learning point. If it was wrong do not concur and be prepared for further discussion. Remember the position-Parade Rest. I found through the years it was best to go to PR and not open ones mouth. The result is always a professional acknowledgement of the situation. Followed by yes CSM or whomever. Good luck.
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SSG Human Resources Specialist
SSG (Join to see)
2 mo
CSM, thank you for your response and your perspective. As leaders we are charged with maintaining good standards of discipline and correct conditions that do not adhere. At what point does that get taken out of context? I mean is it mortally and ethically right to confront a service member and beforehand tell the direct leadership to not say I’m coming. With no prior mention to substandard performance or delinquencies? Is that something that you would do or would you question the actions of that leader and attempt to figure out the root in the issue?
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CSM Darieus ZaGara
CSM Darieus ZaGara
1 mo
I said it was not out of the ordinary to drop in, and I would have dropped in without notice just to observe with my own eyes. The rest of it would have gone much differently. Because the issue is yet unknown it is hard to say what the reaction would be. If there was malice in conduct, it would dictate an immediate corrective action. If there was an error in judgement, or simply poor style, it would require that I pull the NCO to the side, talk through the issue and provide guidance on how to better handle the situation. Still not enough info. SSG (Join to see)
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SSG Human Resources Specialist
SSG (Join to see)
1 mo
CSM Darieus ZaGara I understand that approach wholeheartedly.
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