In the unfortunate circumstance where there is an error or an injustice in your military personnel records, or if you have received an unfair or erroneous characterization of service, there is a process available for you to get your records corrected by receiving a Military Discharge Upgrade
Military Discharge Upgrades Process
Each military branch has two entities that have the authority to either upgrade your discharge or correct your military records: the Discharge Review Board (DRB) and the Board for Correction of Military Records (BCMR).
Military Discharge Upgrade Review Board
The DRB may only upgrade discharges or change the reason for the discharge. It cannot change re-enlistment (RE) codes, reinstate service members, or otherwise modify or change any other contents of military personnel records.
Generally, discharges can be upgraded as follows:
- A General can be upgraded to an Honorable;
- An Other Than Honorable can be upgraded to a General or Honorable;
- A Bad Conduct Discharge resulting from a Special Court-martial can be upgraded to an Honorable, General, or Other Than Honorable; and
- An Other Than Honorable discharge received while in entry level status can be upgraded to an uncharacterized discharge.
The DRB cannot review a discharge resulting from a General Court-martial. In addition, it cannot overturn, pardon, or eliminate a court-martial conviction.
Board For Correction Of Military Records
The Army and Air Force BCMRs, and the Board for Correction of Naval Records are authorized to change your military personnel records in many ways. The only thing these Boards are prohibited from doing is to overturn a court-martial conviction. The BCMR can:
- Review and change the decision of a DRB regarding a discharge;
- Review and change discharges, including Bad Conduct Discharges or Dishonorable Discharges and/or Dismissals, resulting from General Courts-martial;
- Change discharges to/from medical/disability retirement, enabling a VA pension;
- Change re-enlistment (RE) codes;
- Eliminate disciplinary actions (fines, reductions in rank, etc.);
- Remove bad performance evaluations, counseling entries, etc.;
- Re-instate service member; and
- Make other changes to personnel records.
Defending Your Reputation And Your Rightful Military Benefits
People seek a Military Discharge Upgrade for different reasons. Some of our clients want to be eligible for education or VA benefits. Some want to re-enlist but have re-enlistment eligibility (RE) codes that prohibit them from active duty. Others may feel like they were railroaded into administrative discharge as they got close to eligibility for length of service retirement.
No matter the reason for your desire for a Military Discharge Upgrade, The Carlson Law Firm is here to help you. We are a veteran-owned and veteran-operated firm with strong ties to a number of military branches.
A number of our partners and associates are former JAG officers.