How to Correct Your Discharge and Military Records

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By Debbie Gregory.

The Department of Defense (DoD) has renewed its efforts to ensure veterans are aware of the opportunity to have their discharges and military records reviewed for errors or omissions.

By utilizing Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs), Military Service Organizations (MSOs) and other outside groups, as well as direct outreach to individual veterans, the DoD is encouraging all veterans who believe they may have an error or injustice on their record to request relief from their service’s Board for Correction (BCM) or Discharge Review Board (DRB).

For express consideration are issues pertaining to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and sexual assault.

The DoD is reaffirming its intention to review and potentially upgrade the discharge status of all individuals that are eligible and that apply.

Veterans who desire a correction to their service record or who believe their discharge was unjust, erroneous, or warrants an upgrade, are encouraged to apply for review.

For discharge upgrades, if the discharge was within the last 15 years, the veteran should download and complete theDD Form 293.

For discharges over 15 years ago, the veteran should download and complete the DD Form 149.

Keep in mind that the more information provided, the better the boards can understand the circumstances of the discharge.

Explain why the veteran’s discharge or other record was unjust or erroneous; was it connected to or a result of unjust policies, a physical or mental health condition related to military service, or some other explainable or justifiable circumstance.

And keep in mind that post-service conduct and contributions to society are an integral part of an upgrade or correction. If you volunteered to build houses with Habitat for Humanity, or was a fellow with the Mission Continues, be sure to include that, along with documentation of support.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.