Determining when wall-to-wall counseling is inappropriate
Although an effective technique when properly used, there are some places where wall-to-wall counseling is the wrong thing to do.
Conducting a wall-to-wall counseling session in front of the 7th Army commander, for instance, would probably not be the wisest decision, as it would probably lead to the initiation of a relief for cause NCOER. However, the presence of high level VIPs should not be the only determinant in the decision to delay or withhold a wall-to-wall counseling session.
Soldier's physical size
Always consider the size of the soldier before initiating a wall-to-wall counseling session. If the soldier is twice your size and his forearms are bigger than your thighs, and the soldier still requires wall-to-wall counseling, a partner will be required. Details on selecting a partner will be covered in the chapter titled "Preparing for a wall-to-wall counseling session."
Soldier's hobbies and interests
While leadership actions rarely require you to take into account the soldier's hobbies, this is one place where knowledge of what the soldier does for fun may prove immensely helpful. If the soldier is heavily involved in kick boxing, martial arts or just happens to be the world heavyweight wrestling champion, a simple wall-to-wall counseling session may turn into a trip to the hospital for both the leader and his assistants. In such cases, restraint and discipline will prove profitable for all concerned.
Wall-to-wall counseling after drinking binges
Leadership actions should never be conducted while you are impaired by alcohol. Ass-beatings given after a six-pack have three drawbacks:
- The soldier will not realize the purpose of the session. He will, instead, believe that you got wasted and beat the crap out of him for no reason whatsoever. You will lose respect m the soldier's eyes as well as in the eyes of the rest of your unit. The soldier may decide to reciprocate and wall-to-wall counsel you at a later time on your transgression. Since wall-to-wall counseling is a tool only the wise leader who knows his troops intimately can properly use, its use by subordinates who may decide to rashly apply it is inadvisable.
- The soldier may decide he has been assaulted and call the military police. Since the MPs take a dim view of leaders who get drunk off their asses and beat up on subordinates, you may find yourself facing a court-martial you never intended to face.
- Perhaps most importantly, the leader may have gotten so drunk that the subordinate is able to turn the counseling session into a first-rate ass beating directed against the leader.
Since the hospital will treat your injuries as an "alcohol related incident," they will call your commander (who may have never read this field manual) who will enroll you in the detox program. The detox program, especially if they put you on Track III (residential treatment facility) rates in the entertainment department right up there with getting checked for the clap.
When counselee is counselor's sexual partner
In the section about conducting wall-to-wall counseling while under the influence of alcohol, we pointed out that the leader must know his troops intimately in order to effectively counsel them. When the leader knows the counselee too intimately, though, there are bound to be inherent problems with the session. First, you can safely figure that you will never again get into this lady's pants after the session is done. Second, she will probably tell the commander what the two of you have been doing for the last six months, and then you will have some very heavy explaining to do. Third, but not least, she will tell every other female on post what you did, and then you will get no more for the rest of the time you are stationed at that post...even in the red light district with a fifty dollar bill pinned to your jacket. Therefore, the best advice at this stage of the game is: don't sleep with your subordinates.