Effective Counseling And Its Importance To The Army And The Growth Of Soldiers

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Counseling is important to any career, but effective counseling has an even more specific, crucial place in a soldier’s career. Effective counseling effects career growth, mental stability, and helps identify quality soldiers as lead soldiers to the right career path. Effective counseling also establishes goals and helps a soldier find his or her place.

Effective counseling begins with respect. The respect exists between someone higher ranked that has a genuine interest to mentor and counsel someone of a lower rank in their professional growth as a soldier. Mentoring more times than none leads to effective counseling. According to an article published by the Fort Hood Sentinel, “A quality counseling session does not dwell solely on the past; it focuses on the future and what can be done better.” (Sgt 1st Class Cameron Held,2009). The Fort Hood Sentinel article also states, “It is the responsibility of leaders and soldiers to work together to ensure goals are set and understood” (Sgt 1st Class Cameron Held,2009). According to the article mentioned above, effective counselling does not rely solely on the past, but it also focuses on the future. Sometimes during counselling, it is necessary to bring up the past to better the soldier for the future. It’s like that old saying goes “those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. Learning from mistakes is a necessary part of mentoring and counseling a soldier to grow both personally and professionally.Another point that the article made is that it is the responsibility of both the soldier, and the leader to work together to set goals. A leader can only provide the tools to equip the soldier to grow professionally, it is the soldier’s responsibility to take those tools and use them accordingly. The most frustrating part of being a leader is wanting the successes of a soldier more than they do themselves. A leader sees potential and provides the resources to the soldier to grow professionally, but the soldier must want it for him or herself and their career.Documentation is another valuable point if not the most valuable point regarding counselling. Without documentation it is hard to prove successes and areas of opportunity. Documentation is not only important for the leader that is providing the counselling, but also the soldier who is receiving the counseling. The soldier must understand the importance, and the impact counseling has on his or her career and the role that documentation has in his or her career growth. Documentation also leads in effective communication. If communication is a struggle for some soldiers, then documentation is even more important.

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Soldiers cannot perform to standard if they don’t know the standard. Remember, quality counseling enables leads to set their soldiers up for success and access their full potential. A part of communication is making sure that both parties involve understand the terms of communication and can accurately describe after the conversation is over the important points talked about in the conversation. Without understandable communication, counselling can be null and void.

In conclusion, counseling is a vital point in a soldier’s life, rather it is for personal growth or professional growth. Without counselling a soldier does not know what is expected out of their leader and what is ahead of them in their Army career.


  1. SGT 1st Class Cameron Held, Assistant Inspector General S. C. (2009, November 26). Developing Army leaders: Counseling an important responsibility. Retrieved October 22, 2018, from http://www.forthoodsentinel.com/news/developing-army-leaders-counseling-an-important-responsibility/article_74020744-d697-54aa-8694-6c62ff61c94a.html 


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