Step 1: Which Board Do I Apply to?

First, you need to figure out which level of Board you're applying to. There are two sets of boards: one set is called the Discharge Review Board (DRB), and the other is called the Board for Correction of Military Records (BCMR). They can do slightly different things, and your application should be different depending on which one you're applying to.

Which Board Do I Apply to?

If any of these statements is true about you, you should apply to the higher board, the Board for Correction of Military Records (BCMR).

  • I was discharged more than 15 years ago.
  • I was discharged through a general court-martial.
  • I applied to a Discharge Review Board (DRB) before, and they denied my application.
  • I want to correct errors in my military records besides my character of discharge, such as my reenlistment code, the date of my discharge, or other records.

(If you applied to a DRB before, your application to the BCMR is called an appeal. Basically, this means the BCMR will look at what the DRB did and see if they agree.)

If nothing in the above list is true about you, that means you were discharged less than 15 years ago, you were not discharged by general court martial, and this is your first time applying for a discharge upgrade. You should apply to the lower board, the Discharge Review Board (DRB).