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Requests for Upgrade of Discharge Characterization

Did you know you can appeal for changes if you feel your military discharge was unjust, incorrect, or needed an upgrade? In particular, if you can show that your discharge was related to any of the following conditions, it is likely that you will have a strong case for an upgrade:

  • Mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD);
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI);
  • Sexual assault or harassment while in service; or,
  • Your sexual orientation (including discharges under the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy).

Continue reading to learn what else you need to know if you’re interested in obtaining an upgrade of discharge.

Options if You Were Previously Denied an Upgrade

If you have already applied for a discharge upgrade or correction and your request has been denied, you still have options. One of the first steps should be contacting your service branch's Discharge Review Board to learn how to appeal the decision. It is also possible to submit additional evidence not included in the initial appeal or to request reconsideration of your application by providing new evidence.

Before taking any action, you should contact an attorney specializing in military law who can provide additional guidance on proceeding with your case. Remember — you are not alone in this process; help is available.

Additional Important Information

Time Limit

The application window for a discharge upgrade or correction can be limited in certain venues. There are 3 year and 15 year limits and applications can get more difficult over time. so call an attorney as soon as possible!

Burden of Proof

When applying for a discharge upgrade or correction, the burden of proof is on the veteran. Remember that the Discharge Review Board will not gather evidence or subpoena witnesses for you to support your case, you must do that yourself. That is why it is critical to apply as soon as possible to give yourself the best chance of success.

Victory for Clients, Done the Right Way

At John Malek Law Group, we understand that requesting discharge upgrades can be difficult, and we want to support you every step of the way. We are here to support all veterans seeking an upgrade or correction in their discharge characterization. If you or someone you know is in this situation, contact our military attorney at John Malek Law Group.