Military Discharge Upgrades and the Board of Corrections of Military Records

The quality of your discharge affects your civilian life

When leaving military service, members receive a Department of Defense Form 214 (or an NGB-22 if National Guard). Your DD-214 is a summary of service, including discharge characterization. The VA will require this document before you can obtain benefits and most employers will request to see your DD-214 before offering you a job. Thus, if your DD-214 reflects misconduct or other adverse information it can have an immediate impact on your ability to gain employment in your civilian life and may prevent you from obtaining professional opportunities.

What is the Discharge Review Board?


Each branch of service has a Discharge Review Board (DRB) that evaluates requests from former service members who desire to have their discharge upgraded. Normally, this applies to those who receive a General, Under Honorable Conditions, Other than Honorable, or Bad-Conduct Discharge. Those who receive a Dishonorable Discharge or Dismissal are not eligible to apply to the DRB.

What are the consequences of a less than honorable discharge?

It is no secret that a less than honorable discharge can have a devastating impact on your ability to obtain that civilian job you have been dreaming about. Moreover, you may lose your education and medical benefits. A lot of people join the military for the GI Bill and hope to attend college after their service. These benefits may be taken from you if you receive a less than honorable discharge.

At Capovilla & Williams we are well versed on the different ways to upgrade your DD-214 or correct an error in your military records. Call us today to take action and get your life back on track

See the breakdown below for more information:

What the Board of Corrections of Military Records (BCMR) has the authority to do:
  • Change your discharge to or from military retirement or medical discharge
  • Change reenlistment codes
  • Review a Discharge Review Board decision
  • Reinstate a veteran into the military

Basically, a BCMR can do anything to alter your records except overturn a courts-martial conviction.

What a Military Discharge Upgrade Board has the authority to do:
  • Upgrade general discharges, other than honorable discharges, and special court-martial bad conduct discharges.
  • Change the reason for the discharge.

One example of a discharge that qualifies for an upgrade may be that a combat veteran who served honorably had a single bad incident such as drug or alcohol abuse as a means of self-medicating post-traumatic stress disorder and was administratively discharged from the service.

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