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Retention Interviews and Career Planning

Related Information | Integration | Professional Development | Sustainment | Career Development

Sustainment Counseling. Retains quality Soldiers and enhances Army readiness. Reenlistment enhances Army readiness by aligning the current force with Army force structure requirements based on established priorities at the time of reenlistment. Reenlistment is a tool that supports the Army’s transformation. For those Soldiers that decide to separate at ETS, the career counselor will assist them in continuing to serve with the Army as they transition into civilian life. Transition comes in several forms: enlistment into the ARNG, transfer and/or enlistment into the USAR, or retirement.

Career Counseling Session - Sustainment

Title: Commander's Retention (DA Form 4591)
When Counseled: 2 months before entering reenlistment opportunity window (ROW)
Type of Counseling: Sustainment
Who Counsels: Commander
Guidance: If a Soldier is undecided about reenlistment, this is the time to help them analyze abilities, opportunities, limitations, and personal problems. Discuss the status of the Soldier’s MOS, the promotion cutoff score for his or her MOS, and opportunities for promotion. Soldiers in an over-strength MOS should be encouraged to consider the advantages of retraining at the reenlistment point. Interested Soldiers will be referred to the battalion or servicing career counselor. Soldiers who have limited potential for an Army career will be advised of needed improvements and told of shortcomings that need to be overcome. Soldiers will also be advised, in a frank manner, how they compare with their peers not only in their career field but in the Army overall. This counseling will enable Soldiers to weigh alternatives, become more competitive, or prepare for transition to civilian life.
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Title: Retention (DA Form 4591 / ROW & SFL-TAP Referral Form)
When Counseled: 1–2 months before entering reenlistment window
Type of Counseling: Sustainment
Who Counsels: Career Counselor
Guidance: This counseling is conducted with the purpose of obtaining a reenlistment commitment from the Soldier. A review of the Soldier’s qualifications from previous counseling will be conducted. Reenlistment options available to the Soldier will be discussed in detail. A review of Army benefits is also appropriate at this time, to include the transfer of Post 9/11 GI Bill education benefits. Soldiers will be apprised of current retirement programs, health care plans for Family members, education opportunities, and other monetary and personal benefits that an Army career provides. Should a firm reenlistment commitment be obtained, the unit retention NCO will ensure that the Soldier initiates a DA Form 3340. Coordination with commanders will be conducted if a bar to reenlistment is warranted. Appropriate record checks to verify eligibility will also be conducted, as appropriate.
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Title: Retention Options (DA Form 4591 / ROW & SFL-TAP Referral Form)
When Counseled: within first month upon entering reenlistment window
Type of Counseling: Sustainment
Who Counsels: Career Counselor

Guidance: This counseling is conducted with the purpose of obtaining a reenlistment commitment from the Soldier. A review of the Soldier’s qualifications from previous counseling will be conducted. Any additional reenlistment options available to the Soldier at this time will be discussed in detail. A review of the Regular Military Compensation Chart is also appropriate in this session, especially if confusion over military and civilian pay potential and benefits packages exist. A review of Army benefits is also appropriate at this time. Soldiers will be apprised of current retirement programs, health care plans for Family members, education opportunities, and other monetary and personal benefits that an Army career provides. Should a firm reenlistment commitment be obtained, the unit retention NCO will ensure that the Soldier initiates a DA Form 3340. Coordination with commanders will be conducted if a bar to reenlistment is warranted. Appropriate record checks to verify eligibility will also be conducted as appropriate.
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Title: Retention Follow-Up (DA Form 4591)
When Counseled: within 4 to 5 months after entering reenlistment window
Type of Counseling: Sustainment
Who Counsels: Career Counselor
Guidance: This counseling is conducted with the purpose of obtaining a reenlistment commitment from the Soldier. A review of the Soldier’s qualifications from previous counseling will be conducted. Any additional reenlistment options available to the Soldier will be discussed in detail. A review of Army benefits is also appropriate at this time. Soldiers will be apprised of current retirement programs, health care plans for Family members, education opportunities, and other monetary and personal benefits that an Army career provides. Counselors should also advise Soldiers to investigate civilian opportunities available through the Army Career and Alumni Program to compare available alternatives. A review of the Regular Military Compensation Chart is also appropriate in this session, especially if confusion over military and civilian pay potential and benefits packages exist. Should a firm reenlistment commitment be obtained, the unit retention NCO will ensure that the Soldier initiates a DA Form 3340. Coordination with commanders will be conducted if a bar to reenlistment is warranted. Appropriate record checks to verify eligibility will also be conducted, as appropriate.
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Title: Retention Summary (DA Form 4591)
When Counseled: 7 months prior to ETS
Type of Counseling: Sustainment
Who Counsels: Career Counselor
Guidance: Any unresolved issues and problems must be addressed. The goal is a firm reenlistment commitment. Review all options, incentives, and benefits to include RC programs. If appropriate, refer the Soldier to the unit commander, first sergeant, or command sergeant major for follow-up counseling. If a Soldier appears to be uncertain whether or not to remain in the Army, a comprehensive review of previous counseling sessions, stated goals, desires, and aspirations will be discussed. The objective is to enable Soldiers to make an educated decision and to provide all factual data that will assist in obtaining a decision on reenlistment, RC transition, or separation. Should a firm commitment be obtained, initiate a DA Form 3340 and immediately coordinate with the commander.



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