Free Consultations!

Correcting Injustice: How You Can Right the Wrongs of Military Discharge

Serving in the military is one of the noblest professions, but it’s not without its difficulties. One of the most significant challenges is facing injustice, especially regarding military discharge. Military members are often discharged under circumstances beyond their control, and these discharges can negatively affect their lives long after their service is over.

Possible Impacts of a Military Discharge

The impact of a military discharge can be far-reaching.

Unless you receive an honorable discharge, you’re ineligible for the following:

  • Post 9-11 GI Bill education benefits
  • VA compensation
  • VA pension

Additionally, if you receive a discharge under less-than-honorable conditions, you may be disqualified from receiving VA medical care.

These consequences can make it difficult for veterans to transition to civilian life. They can also have a significant impact on their financial and emotional well-being.

Opportunities to Review and Correct Injustices

Fortunately, the Department of Defense recognizes the impact that unjust discharges can have on veterans and their families. Former service members can request a review of their discharge and military records to rectify any instances of injustice.

Every military branch has a Discharge Review Board (DRB) to allow former service members to request a review. This review can alter their service characterization, reason for discharge, and re-enlistment code. It aims to address any mistakes made by the service and provide a fair evaluation.

If you've already submitted an application to the Discharge Review Board (DRB) and your discharge was not upgraded, there's still a chance for review. New guidance issued in 2014 specifically addresses conditions like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and others. You may be eligible for consideration under this updated guidance.

According to the Department of Defense, “liberal consideration will be given in petitions to changes in characterization of service” when evidence of PTSD or related conditions such as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) exist. The DRB reviews applications for former military members and can change your characterization of service, the reason for discharge, and your re-enlistment code based on mistakes made by the service.

The Positive Impacts of Record Corrections

Real stories of military members whose discharges were upgraded highlight the positive impact that correcting injustice can have. As an illustration, consider the case of a soldier who received a discharge classified as "under other than honorable conditions" (UOTHC) due to drug abuse. Subsequently, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) diagnosed the individual with PTSD and TBI. The DRB has upgraded his discharge to an honorable one, revising the reason for misconduct to a more favorable basis in light of his diagnosis.

In another case, a military member was discharged after reporting misconduct committed by a senior soldier and became a victim of reprisal. The DRB upgraded his UOTHC discharge as they concluded his command acted arbitrarily and capriciously.

Get Legal Help Correcting Your Record

Injustice can occur in any aspect of life, but it’s essential to take steps to correct it when it does. If an unjust military discharge is affecting your ability to obtain education benefits, VA compensation, or medical care, you have even more reason to right the wrong.

As a former Active Duty USAF Judge Advocate and now National Guard JAG, John Malek has 10+ years of experience and insight as a military legal professional. He uses his knowledge and skills to develop practical strategies to represent his clients and has served.

John is familiar with all aspects of the disciplinary process. He has reviewed thousands of cases and knows what the military looks for when deciding whether a discharge should be upgraded.

Don't let an unjust discharge hold you back. You can seek to correct the record and obtain the benefits you deserve.

Share this information with friends, family, and former colleagues to spread the word and help others right their wrongs.

If you have questions about this important topic, contact John Malek Law Group at (208) 747-0053, or submit an online contact form.