Are you a veteran who needs to change, correct, or modify your discharge or dismissal? If you qualify and take the proper steps you can apply for a review of discharge and possibly have it changed.
Each of the military services maintains a discharge review board with authority to change, correct or modify discharges or dismissals that are not issued by a sentence of a general courts-martial. The board has no authority to address medical discharges. The veteran or, if the veteran is deceased or incompetent, the surviving spouse, next of kin or legal representative may apply for a review of discharge by writing to the military department concerned, using DoD Form 293. This form may also be obtained at a VA regional office, from veterans organizations. However, if the discharge was more than 15 years ago, a veteran must petition the appropriate service Board for Correction of Military Records using DoD Form 149, which is discussed in the “Correction of Military Records” above. A discharge review is conducted by a review of an applicant’s record and, if requested, by a hearing before the board.
Discharges awarded as a result of a continuous period of unauthorized absence in excess of 180 days make persons ineligible for VA benefits regardless of action taken by discharge review boards, unless VA determines there were compelling circumstances for the absence. Boards for the correction of military records also may consider such cases.
Veterans with disabilities incurred or aggravated during active military service may qualify for medical or related benefits regardless of separation and characterization of service. Veterans separated administratively under other than honorable conditions may request that their discharge be reviewed for possible recharacterization, provided they file their appeal within 15 years of the date of separation. Questions regarding the review of a discharge should be addressed to the appropriate discharge review board at the address listed on DoD Form 293.
How To Contact Service Review Boards:
- Air Force: Air Force Board of Correction of Military Records
- Army: Army Review Board Agency (ARBA) Note: The Army now accepts online applications for changes using the ACTSOnline system.
- Coast Guard: Board for Correction of Military Records of the Coast Guard
- Navy and Marine Corps: The Board for Correction of Naval Records