Discharge Upgrades & Military Record Changes

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Step-by-Step Guide: How To Apply for a Discharge Upgrade

Discharge Upgrade Basics

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DD Form 214, Discharge Papers and Separation Documents

A Certificate of Release or Report of Separation is generally issued when a service member performs active duty or at least 90 consecutive days of active duty training. It is used to prove military service for benefits, retirement, employment, and membership in veterans' organizations.
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Discharge Conditions: How to Request Review

The reason for your discharge and the “character” of that discharge is very important in deciding if you (and/or your dependents) are eligible for military and veteran benefits as a result of military service. The reason for your discharge is listed on the DD-214 Certificate of Release which is issued at the completion of military service.
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Discharge Conditions

When a member of the Armed Forces is released from their obligation to serve, he or she receives a formal discharge which is identified on the DD-214 Certificate of Release or other separation documents.  There are five ways to characterize a discharge:

• Honorable;

• General (under honorable conditions);

Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program

Free Help Filing for a Discharge Upgrade or Appealing Vet Benefits Denial

The Veterans Consortium believes that our Veterans deserve the benefits and compensation they were promised, and the best legal services free of charge to meet their challenges and needs. These services are provided worldwide and are 100% free to veterans. 

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DoD Memorandum Clarifying Guidance to Discharge Review Boards Considering Requests for Discharge Modifications Due to Mental Health Conditions, TBI, Sexual Assault, or Sexual Harassment

Generally

On August 25, 2017, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued the Kurta Memo. The memo gave clear guidance to Military Discharge Review Boards (DRB) and Boards for Correction of Military/Naval Records (BCM/NR) on discharge upgrade applications. Specifically, the memo talked about applications for a change of a discharge due to:

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Get free appeal help to the CAVC from the Veterans Consortium

Help with Discharge Upgrades and VA benefit denials from the BVA (a high-level appeal).

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Army Board for Correction of Military Records

The Army Board for Correction of Military Records (ABCMR) is the highest level of administrative review within the Department of the Army with the mission to correct errors in or remove injustices from Army military records.
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The American Veterans and Servicemembers Survival Guide

This detailed 600 page Veterans and Servicemembers Survival Guide was originally developed by Veterans for America and is now made available free of charge by the National Veterans Legal Services Program on their website. It was published in 2009 so more recent changes will not be included.
The logo for the Army Review Boards Agency. A golden eagle on a red seal with the scales of justice. A text ribbon reads "Justice, Equity, Compassion."

Army Discharge Review Board

The Board reviews discharges of former soldiers, except those given by reason of a sentence of a General Court Martial or over 15 years since discharge. The purpose of the review is to determine if the discharge was granted in a proper manner.