DA FORM 4856 Fillable – Army Pubs 4856 PDF

DAFORMFILLABLE.COM | DA FORM 4856 Fillable – Army Pubs 4856 PDFDA FORM 4856 – Developmental Counseling Form is an essential tool used within the military for documenting counseling sessions between leaders and their subordinates. This form plays a crucial role in the professional development of soldiers, ensuring that their performance and potential are thoroughly assessed and guided. Updated on March 1, 2023, this form is actively prescribed under ATP 6-22.1 and is used by the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).

DA FORM 4856 – Developmental Counseling Form

Form Number DA Form 4856
Form Title Developmental Counseling Form
Form Date 03/01/2023
Form Proponent TRADOC

Purpose and Importance of DA FORM 4856

What is DA FORM 4856?

DA FORM 4856, titled Developmental Counseling Form, is designed to help Army leaders provide structured guidance and feedback to their subordinates. It facilitates a formalized process for addressing performance issues, career development, personal concerns, and other relevant topics.

Key Features

The form includes several sections that enable leaders to comprehensively document the counseling session:

  • Administrative Data: This section captures essential information such as the name, rank, and organization of both the counselor and the counselee.
  • Purpose of Counseling: Clearly defines the objective of the counseling session.
  • Key Points of Discussion: Summarizes the main topics covered during the session.
  • Plan of Action: Outlines the agreed-upon steps that the counselee will take to address the issues discussed.
  • Session Closing: Includes a summary of the session and the counselee’s comments.
  • Leader Responsibilities: Details the follow-up actions the leader will take to support the counselee.
  • Assessment of the Plan of Action: Provides a space to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan and the progress made by the counselee.

Utilization and Benefits

Why Use DA FORM 4856?

DA FORM 4856 is pivotal in the development of soldiers because it ensures that they receive consistent, documented feedback on their performance and progress. This form helps in identifying strengths and areas for improvement, thereby enabling targeted developmental efforts.

Benefits for Leaders and Subordinates

For leaders, this form provides a structured approach to mentoring and coaching, ensuring that they can systematically address issues and set clear expectations. For subordinates, it offers a transparent and documented record of their professional development, which can be invaluable for career progression and self-improvement.

Completing DA FORM 4856

Step-by-Step Guidance

  1. Fill in the Administrative Data: Ensure all personal details of the counselor and counselee are accurate.
  2. Define the Purpose of Counseling: Clearly state the reason for the session, whether it is performance-related, professional growth, or personal matters.
  3. Discuss Key Points: Cover all relevant topics thoroughly and document them succinctly.
  4. Develop a Plan of Action: Collaborate with the counselee to outline specific steps they will take to address the issues or goals discussed.
  5. Summarize the Session: Provide a concise closing summary and capture any additional comments from the counselee.
  6. Outline Leader Responsibilities: Document the actions the leader will take to support the counselee’s plan.
  7. Assess the Plan: After a set period, review the progress and effectiveness of the plan of action.

Privacy and Security

Privacy Act Statement

The Privacy Act Statement on DA FORM 4856 ensures that all personal information collected during the counseling session is protected. This statement underlines the authority under which the information is gathered, its purpose, and how it will be used, thereby ensuring transparency and confidentiality.

Security Classification and Distribution

The form is classified as UNCLASSIFIED and has a distribution restriction code of A, meaning it is approved for public release and its distribution is unlimited.

Changes and Updates

Recent Updates

The current version of DA FORM 4856, updated on March 1, 2023, replaced the previous version from July 1, 2014. These updates ensure that the form remains relevant and effective in capturing the necessary information for developmental counseling.

Accessing the Form

The form can be accessed electronically, with the latest e-file update made on August 21, 2023. This ensures that users always have access to the most recent version.


DA FORM 4856 – Developmental Counseling Form is a vital document for the professional development of soldiers in the Army. By providing a structured and documented approach to counseling, it helps leaders effectively mentor their subordinates, fostering an environment of continuous improvement and growth. Understanding and utilizing this form correctly is essential for both leaders and soldiers to achieve their professional goals and maintain high standards of performance within the Army.

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DA FORM 4856 - Developmental Counseling Form