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Air Force Letter of Counseling

A Letter of Counseling is merely the formal documenting of an infraction. It's a way of describing an unacceptable behavior so that the receiver cannot fail to understand it. Often, Airmen don't realize or understand the seriousness of their behavior. A formal letter of counseling is a way to get their attention and let them know their behavior is not acceptable and explain the possible consequences. The offender is required to sign the Letter of Counseling indicating that he or she received the counseling. If the behavior described by the LOC is not corrected, the LOC will serve as justification for more serious administrative action. Otherwise the matter ends there.

Normally, when an LOC is written and the recipient signs it, the supervisor sends it to the orderly room for filing. But some supervisors build in another level of correction; they don't initially send the LOC to the Squadron. They don't want to see their troop get in trouble so they just hold on to it. No one knows about it but the supervisor and the offender. But it's there, lying in the supervisor's desk drawer like a coiled cobra ready to strike if disturbed. If the offender continues the offensive behavior, despite being counseled, then the LOC (and any MFRs that have been written) is forwarded to "the squadron". When an LOC (or similar paperwork) is forwarded to the Squadron orderly room, it is understood that the supervisor recommends that the commander file it in the Airman's PIF. This action will often produce an appointment with the First Sergeant.

In the grand scheme of things, a Letter of Counseling is not a career stopper or an adverse administrative action. However, it can mark the beginning of the transition of the attempt to correct bad behavior from the workcenter, where a troop has friends and supervisors who care for him, to the squadron, where things get more serious. As long as the LOC is kept in the workcenter, and no one outside your immediate chain of command is aware of it, the concern and punishment it might generate is limited. But when it goes to the orderly room and the First Sergeant and Commander get involved, you become subject to all the consequences the Air Force and the UCMJ can support.


AF Form 174, Record of Individual Counseling (xfdl format)

AF Form 174, Record of Individual Counseling (pdf format)

A formal Letter of Counseling is normally recorded on an AF Form 174, Record of Individual Counseling, but if you don't have an AF Form 174 on hand, the counseling may be recorded on plain bond paper or squadron letterhead. If using bond paper or letterhead, the format is the same for Letters of Counseling, Letters of Admonishment, and Letters of Reprimand. The only difference is the subject line (Letter of Counseling rather than Letter of Reprimand). When writing a Letter of Counseling, the following information should be included: More...


References for LOCs/LORs


Letter of Counseling Example (Not Wearing a Mask, Article 92)

Letter of Counseling Example (Article 92 Failure to Obey Orders or Regulations)

Letter of Counseling Example (Article 92 Failure to Obey Orders or Regulations)

Letter of Counseling Example (Article 91 Insubordinate Conduct/Disrespect toward an NCO)

Letter of Counseling Example (Article 111 Reckless Driving/Drunken Driving)

Letter of Counseling Example (Article 92 Failure to Obey Orders or Regulations)

Letter of Counseling


FROM: MSgt Reed

SUBJECT: Safety Incident, 10 Nov 12

1. On the night of 8 Nov 12, SSgt Denver began a periodic PMI on the SSUPS, picking up where you left off, according to the job ticket. While cleaning the interior of the equipment, he noticed heat rising from the transformers and subsequently discovered that power was actually turned on.

2. We are extremely fortunate that SSgt Denver wasn't electrocuted. I read the log and the job ticket and I don't understand why power would be on at the stage of work you were at. In addition, signs were posted on the SSUPS and the main circuit breaker indicating power was off.

3. Your conduct jeapordized your safety and the safety of your crew. I am disqualifying you on all high power equipment until we can be assured that you are qualified to safely work on it. TSgt Phillips will conduct safety training with you and I will schedule you for a QA personal inspection to evaluate your understanding of safety procedures. Only after passing that inspection will you resume work on high powered equipment.

Civil Enginneering, XXXXX

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