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Discharge Upgrades


Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

Discharge Review Boards

When you were discharged, you may have been told your discharge would be "automatically upgraded" in six months. This is not true. You may have been told "you can apply to have it upgraded." This is true, but without experienced counsel your odds of getting it upgraded are not good. You need an attorney experienced in military discharge upgrades. 
At the law firm of William E. Cassara, PC, we have succeeded in getting numerous discharges upgraded over the years, and have appeared before all service discharge review boards. Mr. Cassara has taught discharge upgrades to both civilian and military lawyers, and is frequently called upon to present Continuing Legal Education courses on the subject of military discharge upgrades. You can get free assistance from the VA or DAV in certain cases, but they are not lawyers, and frequently never speak to their clients until the morning of the hearing. It is truly a case of "you get what you pay for."

Which Civilian Attorney Should You Hire?

Military law is not like other areas of criminal law, and is a unique system unto itself. You need an attorney with experience in military discharge upgrades. Mr. Cassara has years of experience in private practice and in military discharge upgrades. Contrary to what you might have heard, you only get two shots at this. You can do a "records review" and then you can appear in person before the Discharge Review Board. Frequently, we advise clients to skip the "records review." Unless you have hired an attorney with experience in military discharge upgrades, he or she will not know when and how to properly present your case.

Changing The Reason For Your Discharge

If you were discharged prior to your ETS or EAS date, and want to have your discharge upgraded, you need the advice and guidance that a Georgia discharge upgrade attorney can provide. Email our firm with the following information:

  • What service you were in
  • When you were discharged and what type of discharge you received
  • A brief summary of the circumstances leading to your discharge

While no one can guarantee you a particular result, one of the best indicators are past results. Look at our recent accomplishments pages for an indication of what we have done for others, and what we can do for you.

If you have further questions regarding discharge upgrades, schedule a free consultation at the law firm of William E. Cassara, PC, today.


What should I do if I need more information or want to seek a discharge upgrade?

By William Cassara | May 31, 2017

Contact Mr. Cassara by phone or by using the contact form on this page. Please include the following information: the date of your discharge, the reason for the discharge, the service you were in, and the type of discharge you received.

How long does the discharge upgrade process take?

By William Cassara | October 31, 2016

Depending on your service, it can take six months to two years. Personal Appearances take longer than “records reviews.”

Can I appeal the decision of the Discharge Review Board?

By William Cassara | August 25, 2016

Yes. Appeals are generally submitted to the Board for Correction of Military Records, but can also be filed in Federal Court. In addition, you can ask the Discharge Review Board to reconsider its decision based on “newly discovered evidence.” Army Regulation (AR) 15-80, at, contains all of the information you need to know about the process.

How does the discharge upgrade process work?

By William Cassara | December 31, 2011

Along with the Application for the Review of Discharge, DD Form 293, you are allowed to submit a written “brief” to the Discharge Review Board, explaining why you believe a Discharge Upgrade is warranted. Mr. Cassara will usually file a written submission, along with any supporting documents that justify the upgrade of your discharge. There are […]

What will justify a discharge upgrade?

By William Cassara | December 31, 2011

The best reason to get your discharge upgraded is because the characterization of service you received was unfair, unjustified, or inequitable. An attorney with experience in military discharge upgrades can evaluate your request, and advise you of your chances of success. Examples of an unfair characterization of service include that the standards employed at the […]

What kind of discharge upgrade can I request?

By William Cassara | December 31, 2011

You can request that your discharge be upgraded to Honorable, or any other characterization of service. We recommend requesting an Honorable Discharge in nearly all circumstances. Soldiers discharged under Other Than Honorable conditions after 1 October 1982 while in entry level status (less than 6 months service) may request upgrade to an uncharacterized discharge. To […]

How do I apply for a discharge upgrade?

By William Cassara | December 31, 2011

The first step is to get copies of all of your military records. To get a copy of your military records, complete the SF-180, Request Pertaining to Military Records, (Fillable SF 180). You can go to this link, type in the information while the form is on screen in your browser, and then print out […]

What discharges can be upgraded?

By William Cassara | December 31, 2011

Any administrative discharge, whether it resulted from an administrative board or not, can be upgraded, regardless of the characterization of service. In addition, discharges resulting from special court-martials can be upgraded. The Discharge Review Boards will not consider discharges resulting from a general court-martial.

How long after I am discharged can I apply for an upgrade?

By William Cassara | December 31, 2011

Depending on your service, it can take six months to two years. Personal Appearances take longer than “records reviews.”