If you are a former servicemember who received a discharge characterization you feel was unfair or inappropriate, you are able to seek a review and upgrade of your discharge through the Discharge Review Board for your former branch of service. Anyone can apply, but it helps tremendously to have an attorney prepare your application and shepherd it through the process, which may include an in-person hearing. A discharge upgrade can be critical for your future, particularly if the current discharge has rendered you ineligible for benefits through the Veterans Administration.
In order to prevail, we must show that your current discharge is either inequitable or improper.
An “inequitable” discharge is one where the characterization of the discharge or the reason for the discharge is not in harmony with the service’s traditions or policies. An example might be, “my discharge was inequitable because it was based on one isolated incident in 28 months of service with no other adverse action.”
An “improper” discharge is one that violates a law or regulation, or has a false or erroneous basis. An example might be, “my discharge was improper because my pre-service civilian conviction, properly listed on my enlistment documents, was used against me in the discharge process.”
Preparing for the Discharge Review Board
I assist my clients in getting compelling evidence together to submit a strong package to the Discharge Review Board. Remember that the Discharge Review Board is not interested in your good behavior since the discharge – they are only looking at what happened during the time you were a servicemember.
An application to the DRB must be submitted within fifteen (15) years of the discharge. If the 15-year period has elapsed, then the Discharge Review Board is not an option, but the service’s Board for Correction of Military Records may be.
Contact me now to discuss your discharge upgrade or military records correction case.