DA Form 4856 or the Developmental Counseling Form is used to document counseling provided by counselors to soldiers in the US Army. The edition issued on July 2014 is effective and in use to this day.
This document is required to perform counseling sessions within the military and while the information recorded in the form is kept private any future disclosure is voluntary.
A fillable PDF-version of Form 4856 is available for download below.
The DA form 4856 is an important tool for a unit leader. It helps to assess negative behavior, provide helpful feedback or career advice and otherwise help the leader's subordinates.
The counseling form can be used in a variety of ways.
The counseling form consists of four parts. The first part calls for the patient's personal data, including name, rank, and organization as well as the basic information about the counselor.
The second part is for the counselor to fill out. It provides information about the individual, including the reason for counseling and any vital background information or observations.
The third part contains the summary and must be filled immediately after or during the session. It features the key characteristics and points of the discussion that happened during the conversation, the proposed plan of action and the general outcome of the session.
The fourth and final part contains the assessment of the action plan. Its purpose is to help the counselor evaluate whether the actions taken helped the individual achieve the desired results and - if necessary - to provide information for follow-up sessions.
After both the counseled and the counselor sign this form, a copy of the DA Form 4856 is given to both parties to keep.