Negative Counseling Rebuttals

If you received a negative counseling, you’ll need to learn how to write counseling rebuttals. Kevin Courtney Law can help you draft your rebuttal today.

What is a Negative Counseling?

In the military, each branch of service can write negative counselings for service members. Sometimes these are called adverse actions, a 6105, Page 13s, Letter of Reprimand, or a Letter of Caution. The purpose of the counseling is to document a perceived deficiency to allow the service member to improve their performance.

However, after counseling hundreds of Marines and Sailors, Kevin Courtney Law knows not all 6105‘s or Page 13’s are fair. In fact, some are solely based on allegations and hearsay. When that is the case, Kevin Courtney Law can help service members write a rebuttal and protect their reputation, career, and military record.

What are Counseling Rebuttals?

A rebuttal to a negative counseling is a written response objecting to the allegation. In some cases, when a service member is taking responsibility, it is an acknowledgment of guilt and a promise to do better. There are various strategies to take when reviewing a negative counseling. It is important to discuss which legal strategy is best for both the service member’s career and short term future.

How to Respond to a Negative Counseling?

When choosing to respond to a 6105, Page 13, or Letter of Caution, it is important to be organized. The letter should be typed, addressed to the proper authority, and cite the appropriate legal references. Counseling rebuttals should address the undisputed facts, list known witnesses who support the undisputed facts, and explain why the allegation in the negative counseling is either misunderstood or wrong. Finally, the rebuttal should be supported with documentary evidence when possible.

When a service member disagrees with the allegation, refusing to sign or acknowledge the negative counseling is not the best plan. All this does is make the command irritated and unlikely to assist the service member in the future. Signing the counseling is not an acknowledgement of guilt; it is acknowledging receipt of the counseling. If a service member needs time to write a counseling rebuttal, they should ask for at least two business days.

There are some tactical reasons why withholding the defense and documentary evidence is better. For example, if a service member believes the case may go to an administrative hearing, why give away the defense now? Instead, it may be beneficial to surprise the government with the complete defense at the hearing. These decisions should not be made alone. Discuss your options with an attorney before making a final decision.

Drafting Counseling Rebuttals with an Attorney

When writing a counseling rebuttal, a service member should enlist the help of an experienced military attorney. Kevin Courtney has helped Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers draft and edit counseling rebuttals and can help you too.