Last Updated: 16 Jan 16

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since 13 Feb 10.

APFT Failure

Tips, techniques, and professional advice for preparing a Developmental Counseling Form (DA Form 4856) for APFT Failure and Flag Action

Possible topics to discuss during counseling:

PT Test Failure Counseling, as a minimum, should include:

  • Soldier’s responsibility to maintain standards.
  • Date soldier failed APFT.
  • Date soldier will be re-tested.
  • Notification to soldier of flagging action.** (DA Form 268, Report to Suspend Favorable Personnel Actions (Flag) is required along with this counseling.)
  • Future actions if soldier fails to pass PT test.
  • Notify soldier of enrollment in an additional/supplemental PT program.
  • A soldier's Plan of Action and Leader's Responsibilities.
  • Soldier’s and counselor’s signatures.

Flag Counseling**, as a minimum should:

  • Notify the soldier of the reason for counseling.
  • Notify the soldier that a flagging action may be initiated if the behavior continues.
  • Notify the soldier of the type of discharge that could result from the possible separation
  • Notify the soldier of what behavior is expected of him/her in the future.
  • Have the soldier's and counselor's signatures.

When a soldier's conduct or performance approaches the point where a continuation of the conduct or performance would warrant initiation of a flagging action, he/she will be counseled by a responsible person about his/her deficiencies at least once before initiating a flagging action. Additional formal counseling is discretionary. Such factors as the length of time since the prior counseling, the soldier's conduct and performance during that period, and the commander's assessment of the soldier's potential for becoming a fully satisfactory soldier, should be considered in determining whether further counseling is necessary. The soldier's counseling or personnel records must establish that the soldier was afforded a reasonable opportunity to overcome the deficiencies.

Possible Plan of Action:

  • Enroll SPC Doe in the unit's Extra Conditioning Physical Fitness Program monitored by the unit MFT.
  • Start working on SPC Doe's weak areas.
  • Inform the chain-of-command, within 90 days, when SPC Doe is ready to take another record APFT.

Possible Leader Responsibilities:

  • Enroll SPC Doe in the unit's Extra Conditioning Physical Fitness Program monitored by the unit MFT.
  • Monitor SPC Doe's progress.
  • Do PT with SPC Doe to give him/her moral support and to ensure that he is working on his weak areas.
  • Schedule SPC Doe for another record APFT within 90 days, when he and the commander both feel that the soldier is ready.

**Important note on flagging a soldier for APFT failure:

IAW Message, dated 251850Z Jul 01, subject: Clarification and Reinforcement of Army Training Policies, "Record APFT" is defined as an APFT administered by the commander and specified beforehand that the results are for record; this is to include a make-up or retest APFT... commander may administer the APFT as often as they wish (for record or practice) as long as they adhere to the policy described below:

  • The Active Component (AC) will take the APFT for record at least twice each calendar year...
  • A minimum of four months will separate record tests for AC soldiers.
  • The intent is for AC take a record APFT every six months.
  • An APFT other than to meet the above requirement is not to be considered a record APFT. An APFT given individually to a soldier in preparation for institutional training is a practice APFT. An APFT given during institutional training is part of course application and/or requirement. FLAGGING ACTION WILL ONLY APPLY TO RECORD APFT SCHEDULED BY THE COMMANDER.


DA FORM 4856 - Page 1

DA FORM 4856 - Page 2