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Retention Interviews and Career Planning

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

The Army career counseling process is an on-going function that begins the day a Soldier enters the Army and continues throughout the Soldier’s Army career. The Army Career Counseling System involves four stages (integration, professional development, sustainment, and career development) which are designed to prepare Soldiers for the future, whether a full Army career or for return to civilian pursuits. Army career counseling is an integrated effort between commanders, officers, NCOs, and career counselors.

Army career counseling matches the needs of the Army and the Soldier and is an empowerment designed to facilitate a Soldier’s career development and growth within the framework of the Army’s support systems and unique mission requirements.

Career Counseling Sessions

Career counseling sessions must be conducted for all Soldiers in the rank of staff sergeant and below not in an indefinite status. As an exception, sustainment phase career counseling for Soldiers with nonwaiverable disqualifications is not required but is recommended.

Particular attention will be given to a Soldier’s individual qualifications and potential for promotion and further service. Soldiers not meeting required or desired standards will be counseled on educational development programs to become qualified before his or her current reenlistment window expires. Soldiers must also be informed if they are potentially noncompetitive in their current specialty. If retraining or reclassification is appropriate, Soldiers will be advised of alternatives in the Army and the potential effect on their career if they remain in a less competitive or overstrength specialty.

Soldiers must be asked about their future goals and personal plans for obtaining those goals. A candid assessment of the Soldier’s strong points, interests, and weaknesses will enable the Soldier to make proper decisions. All qualified Soldiers will be asked to reenlist. Those Soldiers who desire to separate, and are qualified to reenlist, will be advised of RC opportunities and enlisted or transferred to the RC.

Title: Integration
When Counseled: Within 30 days of assignment to unit
Who Counsels: Career Counselor

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Title: Professional and/or Career Development
When Counseled: 90 to 120 days after assignment to unit
Who Counsels: Career Counselor
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Title: Commander’s professional and/or career development
When Counseled: Annually on BASD anniversary
Who Counsels: Company/Troop/Battery Commander

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Title: Commander's Retention
When Counseled: 2 months prior to reenlistment window
Who Counsels: Company/Troop/Battery Commander
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Title: Retention
When Counseled: 1 to 2 months prior to reenlistment window
Who Counsels: Career Counselor
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Title: Retention Options
When Counseled: Within first month entering reenlistment window
Who Counsels: Career Counselor

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Title: Retention Follow-up
When Counseled: Within 4 to 5 months after entering reenlistment window
Who Counsels: Career Counselor
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Title: Retention Summary
When Counseled: 7 months prior to ETS
Who Counsels: Career Counselor
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Title: Reserve Component (RC) Transition
When Counseled: 180-das prior to ETS
Who Counsels: RC Career Counselor

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Title: Reenlistment follow-up
When Counseled: 60 to 90 days after reenlistment
Who Counsels: Career Counselor
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Title: Change of station and/or transition
When Counseled: 60 to 90 days prior to PCS/transition leave
Who Counsels: Career Counselor



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