What Is a 6105 Counseling in the Marine Corps?

Demystifying the 6105 Counseling in the Marine Corps

If you’re a Marine or connected to the military, you might have come across the term “6105 counseling.” It’s a negative counseling, and it is never good for your career. Write a poor rebuttal and you could lose your GI Bill.

What Is a 6105 Counseling?

A 6105 counseling, often referred to simply as a “6105,” is a counseling form used by the Marine Corps to address and document substandard performance or conduct concerns.

Snippet of a portion of the MARCORSEPMAN Paragraph 6105

When Is a negative counseling Issued?

Marine Corps commanders issue 6105 counselings when they believe a Marine’s performance or conduct falls below the standards set by the military.

Purpose of a 6105 Counseling

The primary purpose of a 6105 counseling is to provide the Marine with clear, written notice of the specific deficiencies in their performance or conduct. But, in reality, it is designed to lay a paper trail for the Marine Corps to separate the Marine. However, as described in the MARCORSEPMAN, “Marine Corps policy is that reasonable efforts at rehabilitation should be made before initiation of separation proceedings.”

In cases involving unsatisfactory performance, pattern of misconduct, minor disciplinary infractions, or other bases requiring counseling under paragraph 6105, separation processing may not be initiated until the Marine is counseled concerning deficiencies and afforded a reasonable opportunity to overcome those deficiencies as reflected in appropriate counseling and personnel records.

Marines should be on the lookout for whether their command gave them a reasonable opportunity to overcome the alleged deficiencies before starting an ADSEP Board.

Key Components of a 6105 Counseling

A 6105 counseling typically includes the following key components:

Personal Data

The Marine’s personal information is recorded on the form, including name, rank, and unit.

Specific Deficiencies

The counseling outlines in detail the specific performance or conduct deficiencies that have prompted the counseling.

Plan of Action

The counseling form also includes a plan of action that outlines the steps the Marine should take to address and correct the identified deficiencies. Often, this is boilerplate language and not designed to be helpful for the Marine.


Both the Marine and their commanding officer have responsibilities outlined in the counseling, with expectations and timelines.

Consequences of a 6105 Counseling

Receiving a negative counseling can have significant consequences. It may affect promotions, assignments, and career progression. Marines are encouraged to take the counseling seriously and work on improving their performance or conduct. If a Marine’s command mentions the counseling being the precursor to the ADSEP Board, Marines should immediately speak with a military or civilian defense attorney.

How to Respond to a 6105 Counseling

If you receive a 6105 counseling, it’s essential to respond appropriately. One way to response is by writing a rebuttal. This rebuttal is a tactical decision depending on whether your case will go forward towards an ADSEP Board or if you are up for re-enlistment. As this rebuttal may have lasting career and life implications, such as whether you keep your GI Bill or not, you should consider speaking with a military or civilian defense attorney about how to draft a rebuttal.

If responding, the MARCORSEPMAN guidance includes: “The Marine’s statement must conform to Article 1122, reference (ao) United States Navy Regulations 1990 W/CH 1, regarding temperate language, limited to pertinent facts concerning the deficiencies identified in the page 11 entry, and shall not question or impugn the motives of another person.” If you or another Marines need’s help on this, Kevin Courtney Law can assist.


In summary, a 6105 counseling in the Marine Corps is a formal counseling form used to address and document substandard performance or conduct. It’s a crucial tool, in the commander’s eyes, in maintaining discipline and ensuring that Marines meet the high standards set by the military. But, for Marines, it can often be an unfair and misguided attempt to pin blame on a junior Marine. If you receive a negative counseling, schedule your free consultation with Kevin Courtney Law.