Fun fact: the correct name for initial counseling is reception and integration counseling. Did you know that there is actually a right way to conduct an initial counseling? Your CSM might have a format for the BN that he suggests using, but if you crack open ATP 6-22.1, it spells out exactly what is required in an initial counseling. We have conveniently converted that information into a ready to use sample initial counseling form. Use our example initial counseling and impress your rating chain!
First, let’s begin with Parts I and II. Fill in the ADMIN data according to your Unit SOP. The purpose of the counseling is an “Event Oriented – Reception and Integration Counseling as a Soldier in (Your Unit Here) in (Your Name)’s fire team (or squad, etc.).”
Next, let’s move to Part III. Part III needs to have specific pieces of information included, such as off limits areas. A complete list of this information can be found in ATP 6-22.1, but what is applicable to most units appears below.
Let’s move to Parts IV and V. The plan of action is very important. You just explained all of the standards of the unit, but how are you going to get this Soldier to meet those standards? This is a professional document. Any superior should pick up this document and know that 1) the Soldier understands what is expected from him and 2) you have a plan for this Soldier to achieve the Army’s expectations. Breaking tasks down into daily and weekly should help your Soldier organize his professional life.
For Part V, I suggest having the Soldier fill in some goals he/she wishes to achieve. This is not mandated in the ATP, but it helps you understand your Soldier and gain buy-in.
Due to the many specifics in a reception and integration counseling, there will be no copy and paste for this. Sorry folks! Make this specific to your unit! Best of luck and we hope our example initial counseling was helpful.