How To Upgrade Your Military Discharge

Honorable discharge certificate with dogtags and American flag
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Are you a veteran who needs to change, correct, or modify your discharge? If you qualify and take the proper steps you can apply for a review of discharge and possibly have it changed.

As society has changed throughout the years, many actions that were once a guarantee of a less-than-honorable discharge now are often not applicable reasons for involuntary termination from military service. Therefore, veterans who appeal a less-than-honorable discharge often are successful in having it upgraded. The formation of a new board of appeals for discharges was designed to ensure all previous decisions on appeals were made according to the law and DoD policy.

Each branch has a discharge review board with authority to change, correct or modify discharges. The board has no authority to address medical discharges or those issued by a general courts-martial. The veteran or their surviving next of kin or legal representative may apply for a review of discharge by writing to the military department concerned using the DOD Form 149

How To Contact Service Review Boards

You can also visit the VA's How to Apply for a Discharge Upgrade web page for helpful instructions on how to file an appeal.

If Your Appeal Is Denied

If your appeal to your service's board of review and correction you can appeal that decision to a new board of appeals, the Discharge Appeal Review Board (DARB). The DARB will review a previous denial of a discharge review and make a final decision on your case. 

See:  Unfairly Discharged from the Military? New Review Board Offers One Last Chance at Appeal

Know All Your Legal Rights and Benefits

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