Air Force Letter of Counseling 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. See the example below. When writing a Letter of Counseling, the following information should be included:

What the member did or failed to do and the associated dates

What improvement is expected

That continued violations of standards will result in more severe action

That the individual has 3 duty days to submit rebuttal documents to the initiator. When calculating the response due date, the date of receipt is not counted, and if the individual mails their acknowledgment, the date of the postmark on the envelope will serve as the date of acknowledgment

That the person who initiates the LOC, LOA, or LOR has 3 duty days to advise the individual of their final decision regarding any comments submitted by the individual

That all supporting documents received from the individual will become part of the record

The document must include a Privacy Act statement. Written administrative counseling, admonitions, and reprimands are subject to the rules of access and protection as outlined in The Privacy Act of 1974. The same rules apply to any copies kept by supervisors or in the individual's UIF or Personnel Information File (PIF).

The format isn't as important as the documenting of improper behavior. Although failure to include all the information required above could technically prevent the use of the document as support for further, more severe actions, I have never seen a document disallowed because of it. In real life, supervisors with enough balls to recognize, correct, and document bad behavior are relatively rare. Most of us tend to look the other way as long as possible. We don't want to write up our "friends" or subordinates. We often force our Senior NCOs to assume more responsibility for managing or disciplining our troops than we should. So, on those rare occasions when a supervisor does meet his or her management responsibility, their actions, even if poorly documented, will generally be welcomed and supported by the First Sergeant and the CSS. The important thing is your signature and your willingness to live up to your responsibilities as a supervisor.

First Sergeant/MSgt Mike Lane has kindly provided the following MS Word template (shown below) and references for use in preparing counseling letters.

LOC, LOA, LOR Shell an up-to-date LOC template in .doc format

Derogatory Statements for Letters of Counseling, Admonition, and Reprimand

The Military Commander and the Law, a comprehensive reference




AF Form 174.




Failure to Obey


9. SUMMARY OF COUNSELING (Give details, facts, specific dates, times, names, sequence of events, etc.)

During the ORI on 31 May 09, at shift change, you were told by SSgt Smith that we would comply with Mopp 4 requirements at Bravo Site whether anyone came out to inspect us or not and you acknowledged his direction. Early on 1 June 09 we went into Alarm Blue while we were at S-24 and you failed to comply with Mopp 4 requirements. You have violated Article 92 (failure to obey).

AFMAN 10-100 Airman's Manual and the Osan Air Base ATSO Guide exist as standards to be complied with. Members of the Air Force, regardless of rank, must meet standards of performance and regulations every day. Your actions have brought discredit upon yourself and the United States Air Force. Your actions require me, as well as your section supervisor, to seriously question your integrity and capability as a Munitions Storage Crew Member. I will not tolerate this type of behavior from a member of the Munitions Storage Section. Further violations of standards will result in administrative action.







I recommend that you realize the seriousness of your actions and their consequences and follow instructions and adhere to the Air Force Core Value, "Integrity First". This means to do what is right even when no one is looking. Examine your career objectives and determine which course of action you will follow. You will acknowledge receipt of this letter by signing in the designated block. You have 3 duty days in which to submit any information in rebuttal to these charges.

Privacy Act Statement: AUTHORITY: 10 U.S.C. 8013. PURPOSE: To obtain any comments you desire to submit (on a voluntary basis) for consideration concerning this action. ROUTINE USES: Provides you an opportunity to submit comments or documents for consideration. If provided, the comments and documents you submit become a part of the action. DISCLOSURE: Your written acknowledgment of receipt and signature are mandatory. Any other comment or document you provide is voluntary.




Back of Form



I acknowledge receipt of this communication on 10 June 09. I do / do not intend to submit information in rebuttal to these charges. I understand I have 3 duty days in which to submit my rebuttal.








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