The general public is familiar with only two types of military discharges: Honorable and Dishonorable. However, there are many others, which may be punitive or administrative in nature, related to medical conditions, or for the convenience of the government.
Your discharge may matter very little to a civilian employer, but your eligibility for state and federal Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits greatly depend on it. Understanding the nature of your discharge can help you determine what perks of military service are open to you. Since some benefits require specific types of military discharges to qualify, you may be hoping for an upgrade or correction.
According to the Department of Defense (DOD), it’s likely that tens of thousands of service members deserve discharge upgrades. Fragmented and confusing information about how to apply has historically kept many from doing so. Fortunately, Joseph L. Jordan, Attorney at Law, is here to represent you. We provide legal representation to clients all over the world and are dedicated to helping service members from any branch of the military, including the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. We will actively defend you no matter where you are stationed. Here’s a look at how our team can assist with a discharge upgrade.
Administrative Separation Boards
As with a court-martial, an administrative separation board—also known as an administrative discharge board or board of inquiry—has the potential to end an otherwise successful and admirable military career. When faced with an administrative separation board, it’s vital to take it seriously and act quickly. Because the Discharge Review Board is less likely to upgrade your discharge if you waive your administrative separation board, it’s usually best to take advantage of your right to a fair hearing regarding your continued service.
Whether you have already received a less desirable discharge following the outcome of your administrative separation board, or you are currently facing disciplinary action, Joseph L. Jordan, Attorney at Law, can serve you. We are experts on military law and administrative separations, and we will zealously advocate on your behalf. If you have questions or concerns about defending yourself, or you’re hoping to receive a discharge upgrade, contact us to speak with a trusted and experienced military defense lawyer. We’ll take on the role of appealing your case to the DRB.
Determining Your Eligibility for a Discharge Upgrade
All branches of the military concur that service members have a strong case if they can prove that their discharge was connected to any of the following:
- A mental health condition, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Sexual harassment or assault during service (known as military sexual trauma, or MST)
- Homosexuality or Transgenderism
In general, you have 15 years from your date of discharge to apply for an upgrade. We can represent you before your discharge is completed, and the sooner you begin working on your upgrade the more quickly you can take advantage of your upgraded benefits, including the GI Bill and other health benefits. Speak with us to help you make the best decision for your situation as soon as possible.
Submitting a Discharge Upgrade Application
Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to upgrade the Character of Discharge (“Bad Conduct,” “Other Than Honorable,” etc.) as well as the Narrative Reason for Discharge (“Homosexual Conduct,” “Misconduct,” etc.). You will need to provide evidence that the reasons behind your discharge are unjust, inequitable, inaccurate, or based on faulty or incomplete information.
Discharge upgrades and corrections are handled by a discharge review board (DRB). This service-specific panel reviews and determines the outcome of your application.
The types of documents you must submit with your application include:
- Personal statement and justification of your request
- Specific dates when relevant incidents, diagnoses, and reports occurred
- Military service records
- Medical records
- Copies of certificates and degrees
- Records of courts-martial, if applicable
- Statements from coworkers, friends, family members, people you knew while on active duty, and others who can support your request
Joseph L. Jordan, Attorney at Law, can collect and submit supporting documents to ensure a smooth application process and promote the best possible results.
Our military attorney can help you determine the likelihood of a discharge upgrade when applying for the first or second time. We’ll help you gather all the necessary supporting documents to help change the outcome and restore your honor.