Veterans can request correction of military records through a review board

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The Defense Department wants to make sure its veterans know they can ask to correct inaccuracies or injustices in their military records, including an upgrade to the dump, officials from the policy bureau have said. DOD legal.

“Veterans who believe they have suffered unfairness or injustice warranting a correction to their service record or who believe their dismissal was unfair, wrong or warrants an upgrade are encouraged to apply,” said Christa Specht, director of Office of Legal Policy.

For example, veterans who have received less than honorable discharges may file a request to request that their military records be amended as long as they provide additional supportable information for approval by the Military / Naval Records Correction Board or the Discharge review board from their military department.

Additionally, applications for a military department review board who allege a veteran suffers from a mental health issue, post-traumatic stress disorder, head trauma, assault sexual or on-duty sexual harassment will be considered on a standard of “liberal consideration”. , according to a May 26 memorandum from the Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.

Additionally, on February 19, 2021, the department ordered secretaries of military departments to identify and review the records of any service member who has been unintentionally separated, fired, or refused re-enlistment or continued service in accordance with policies. of the previous administration regarding gender identity. Military departments have issued additional guidance to their respective commissions for the correction of military / naval records for the review of military records so that, where appropriate, individuals who meet current membership standards and who are by Elsewhere eligible are offered the opportunity to join the military.

Commissions can also grant relief on the basis of leniency, Specht said, noting that those who left the military with a less than honorable discharge may still have positive accomplishments or evidence of good conduct to provide a commission. review in support of an upgrade. This may include indications of rehabilitation such as a long professional history, absence of further misconduct, character references, or evidence of significant volunteer work.

One incentive for veterans to request an upgrade on their release is to be able to take advantage of Veterans Affairs Department benefits, such as the GI Bill and VA mortgages, said Margarete Ashmore, deputy director of the Legal Policy office of the DOD.

How to request a change

Veterans who wish to request release upgrades, reviews of previously denied upgrades, or corrections to other military records should complete the appropriate form and return it to their department’s review board at indicated on the form. The links to the forms can be found at the end of this article.

  • For releases less than 15 years ago, veterans must complete form DD 293.
  • For releases over 15 years ago or in cases already considered for an upgrade and refused by a military department release review board, veterans must complete form DD 149.
  • For file corrections other than releases, veterans must complete form DD 149.

If a veteran is unsure of how or where to request an upgrade or discharge correction, the VA, in partnership with the DOD, provides resources that can be used to help with requests and provide personal instructions in response to some questions on the public website. .

Essential information to include in applications

Veterans must include the following information:

  • Explain why the discharge or other record was unfair or erroneous: how is it related or resulting from unfair policies, a physical or mental health problem related to military service or some other explainable or justifiable circumstance?
  • Provide support, where appropriate, for key facts. If a veteran has a relevant medical diagnosis, for example, it would be helpful to include medical records that reflect that diagnosis.
  • Submit copies of applicable service records.

Specht pointed out that the more information a veteran provides, the easier it is for review boards to understand the circumstances of the requested correction.

Personal records of veterans who served after 1997 should be accessible online and can generally be retrieved within hours of a request through the Defense Personnel Records Information Retrieval System (DPRIS). To obtain a DPRIS personal file, visit the website, select “Individual Veterans Access” on the left side and follow the instructions. Veterans must register to access and verify their mailing address before requesting records.

Those who served before 1997 or for whom electronic records are not available from DPRIS can request their records from the National Archives National Personnel Records Center using the EVetRecs website.

Other help

Further information is available at:

For more information:

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