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Discharge Upgrades

Is a negative discharge holding you back? Read below to get more information on your discharge upgrade options and whether you need a discharge upgrade attorney.

In simple terms, an involuntary discharge is the military equivalent of being fired from your civilian job. Unfortunately, and we argue, unfairly, this military termination can carry with it negative consequences which will follow you into the civilian sector. The reason for this is involuntary separation or elimination from the military is often accompanied by a negative characterization of service, even for actions that are not considered misconduct or criminal. Discharge Upgrade Information Depending on the type of discharge, you will be required to report it to future employers, landlords, and could lose hard earned via benefits. Read more about Discharges and the VA here. Even when the characterization is Honorable, a negative separation (RE) code can accompany the discharge, which can have implications in the civilian sector.

If you were discharged from the military with something other than an Honorable discharge or want to change your RE code, you should seriously consider applying for an upgrade or records correction. The first thing you should do is get your documents in order. Some service members never received a copy of their DD 214s. If this applies to you, obtaining a copy of this is your first step. You will also want all your medical records, a copy of your entire performance file, and a copy of all your separation documents. You can request your military documents using Standard Form 180. The last page of this form tells you where to send your request depending on your branch of service and date of discharge.

Once you have your documents in order it is time to appeal your discharge. The correct board of review to hear your appeal depends on a variety of factors including, what branch of service you were in, what correction you are requesting, where you are at in the process, and how long it has been since you were discharged. You can apply for a discharge upgrade/record correction yourself, or hire an experienced military attorney or discharge upgrade attorney to help you navigate the process and put together the strongest appeal packet possible. One of the biggest benefits of hiring an attorney is for a second set of eyes to review your separation paperwork. For example, if there were procedural errors in your separation process, those need to be identified and presented to the review board. A procedural error alone can be the sole basis for the board granting your discharge upgrade.

Remember, what you present to the review board is all the reviewing members will consider. Your process might have been unfair from the start, you may have had poor representation at the administrative separation/officer elimination board hearing, and you may be a decorated combat veteran with no bad paper in your file other than this one reason for your discharge, but the review board won’t see that unless you effectively present it. Give us a call today to speak free of charge to an experienced discharge upgrade attorney Hawaii Natanyah Ganz Bio about your options.

Contact us for a free and confidential case evaluation using the form below or by calling us at (808)358-7318

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