Initial Counseling NCO

1. The purpose of this document is to record the initial counseling of the platoon leaders within UNIT. This initial counseling was conducted on ________, between _________ and ______________.
2. Your principal duties: XXXXXXXXX. Responsible for all personnel assigned in the areas of training, safety, soldier/family welfare, as well as personal and professional development.
3. Your appointed duties include: XXXXXXXXX.
4. PROFESSIONALISM. In addition to your principal duties, the most important responsibility you have as a leader is to set a proper professional example. Especially important are the ethical values of loyalty, duty, selflessness, and integrity. Failure to meet standards in these areas indicates a basic flaw in your character and may precipitate a relief for cause.

a. Selflessness. You must place the goals and missions of the unit above your personal goals. You must be dedicated to their accomplishment in spite of their impact on your personal welfare or comfort.
b. Pride/Team. You must show pride in what you, your squad, platoon, company, and battalion do. Once committed to executing a mission, you must give 100% and maintain a positive attitude. Always remember that your squad or platoon is part of a team and that what you may have to do may not always be best for your squad or platoon, but someone thinks it is best for the team. When you get to choose what you will do, think about what would be good for the unit.
c. Orders. Execute your orders as completely and rapidly as possible. Obey the spirit of the order, not just the letter of it. Execute implied tasks just as faithfully as specified tasks; you will be held responsible for both.
d. Missions. I assume all missions given to you will be accomplished. If your mission is in danger of failing, tell me ASAP so we can adjust our plans.
e. Honesty. Be absolutely honest in your communications with me and with your subordinates. Cheating during training or falsifying documents will never be condoned.
f. Conduct. Be a good example of the American Soldier both on and off duty. Drink prudently and do not abuse alcohol; under no circumstances should you drink and drive. Stay in control of your finances and don't overextend yourself.
g. Take Responsibility. Do the harder right, not the easier wrong. It does not matter what everyone else did, or didn't do, you will be held responsible for the decisions you make. Be willing to stand-alone for what you know is right against your peers, your subordinates, or me.

5. PERFORMANCE. The principal duties as discussed in paragraph 3 above are performance oriented. It is expected that you will perform all of your duties to meet and exceed the Army and unit standards. Don't wait to be told to do something you know needs to be done. Take initiative and don't be afraid to make a mistake. I anticipate that you will fail to meet standards from time to time, and this will result in an opportunity for retraining. However, a pattern of substandard performance after opportunities to retrain indicates either an inability or unwillingness to meet the standard. If the standard is sound, an inability or unwillingness to meet it may be cause for relief.

a. Competence is the key to accomplishing your duties. Do all you can to develop yourself into a great NCO and soldier.
b. Physical fitness and military bearing will go a long way toward communicating that you are a competent professional. Always stay fit and be sharp.

(1) You will pass the APFT at least twice a year. The goal for squad leaders and platoon sergeants is 270 or above. You will also meet the proper height-weight standards.
(2) Always present yourself as well groomed and always meet Army haircut standards. You will shave first thing every morning to include in the field. You will wear all of your uniforms properly and maintain a sharp appearance.
(3) Display mental and physical stamina. Never give up. The standard is you will try and try again, then seek help. The goal is that you will always attempt to complete the mission unless told to stop.
(4) You will act energetically and will communicate clearly and with confidence. Never complain or criticize other officers/NCO's in front of soldiers.

c. Leadership is what the Army pays you for. To lead, you must know where you are going. Therefore, define your objective, then get your squad or platoon there.

(1) Always put the mission first. If you or your squad or platoon stop trying, you have failed. The goal is 100% mission accomplishment, IAW published standards, without unnecessary energy or resources expended. Also instill in your subordinates the desire to achieve and accomplish the mission.
(2) Lead from the front. You will try the hardest, work the longest, get the dirtiest, be the coldest, and LEAD your soldiers.
(3) Take care of your soldiers. Be more concerned for their welfare than your own and ensure they know it. Take care of your soldiers' families. The Army is a lifestyle, and not just a job, know how to influence lives.
(4) In discipline, be strict but fair and remain consistent. If you bring a soldier to me, expect fair but strict punishment.
(5) Give clear guidance (task, conditions, and standards) to your subordinates so they can accomplish their mission. Avoid "yesterday management."
(6) The Commanders, 1SG's and XO's orders are mine - comply with them. Utilize their knowledge and experience to your advantage.
(7) Be a leader not a hero. A leader makes hard, unpopular decisions, while a hero decides on what the population wants. Soldiers like their heroes, but they respect their leaders.
(8) By virtue of your position you are owed the respect of your subordinates; despite this, you will make every effort to earn their respect. Don't make them earn your trust, give it to them and make them prove themselves unworthy. Most soldiers will appreciate this trust and will fight to keep it. Don't make a superior fight to earn your respect. It is owed to him or her and he or she should have to prove to be unworthy of it.

d. Training is our #1 priority. You will use your abilities and resources to train your squad or platoon. Always remain ready to fight anywhere, anytime. Never waste an opportunity to assess the performance of tasks in training.

(1) Understand training management as outlined in FM 25-101 and make it work when you train. Maintain a current squad or platoon collective task assessment.
(2) Conduct tough and realistic training. It is your responsibility to ensure all your squad's or platoon's training is well planned and thoroughly resourced. Training time is precious. Every time you train, it will be oriented on METL supporting tasks and Battle drills we determine to be most important.
(3) Train your soldiers on the things that will make them successful. If they do not qualify with their weapon and pass PT tests, you as their trainer will be held responsible for getting them there.

e. Responsibilities. For you to be a useful and dependable squad leader or platoon sergeant, you must be held responsible for all of your duties, your soldiers and their actions, your equipment, and any other Army facilities you have influence over. You must hold your subordinates accountable in the same way.

(1) Take care of the equipment and facilities you are responsible for. Keep them clean and serviceable. Get them fixed when they break. Do not lose things. When you recognize someone has mistreated, broken, or lost something, be the bad guy and hold him or her responsible for it.
(2) Conserve our limited training resources. Do not waste supplies.

f. Safety. Ensure that safety is foremost in your and your subordinates' minds. Preach it often, but don't become paralyzed by the fear of an accident. You live in a hazardous environment and must know how to safely operate in it. In whatever you do, conduct a thorough risk assessment and devise specific risk reduction measures to prevent accidents. The goal is that your subordinates do this on their own. The standard is that no soldiers lose life, limb, eyesight, or have irreversible damage done to them that you could have prevented.
g. Remember that you are accountable to both me and to your senior rater. Both of us should know what you and your squad or platoon are up to at all times. Hold your subordinates responsible to stay in touch one up and one down at all times. Check in with me prior to PT and before you and your squad or platoon leave for the day.

6. I have attempted to be specific, but there are still many facets we have not yet discussed. Communicate with me regularly, so that we both know where you stand overall. We will assess and discuss your performance during monthly and quarterly counselings.