Where do I go to get “bad paper” out of my permanent file if I am already separated from the service?
If a reprimand or non-judicial punishment (NJP) is filed in your permanent file while you are in the service, it stays in there unless it is later removed. Sometimes, it is the reason you are later separated from the service. Sometimes you leave the service voluntarily. Either way, the reprimand or NJP stay in your file even after you are separated, retired or in the Individual Ready Reserves (IRR). If you do become separated or retired, you may no longer care about the “bad paper” in your permanent service file. However, sometimes I do have clients that would like to get that reprimand or NJP removed from their file even though they are no longer on active duty. Why? For some people it is simply because they feel they received that “bad paper” in error or that it was unjustified. Some of my clients just want their file to truly represent their honorable service and to not be encumbered by the unjustified “bad paper” in their file. For other people, the “bad paper” is causing them problems in their civilian job progression or schooling. There are another set of people who would like the NJP or reprimand removed from their permanent file because they would like to serve their country again in some capacity. While these individuals may be able to reenlist in the Reserves or even go back onto active duty, they are well aware that they will probably not get promoted with the “bad paper” in their file. A failure to promote may lead to them being later forced out of the service again. So, in that case, it would be better to try to get the reprimand or NJP removed from one’s permanent file before you apply to serve again. It is important to know where you should apply for removal before you do so. Sometimes, it depends on your status. For instance, if you are active duty Army, you would apply to the Department of the Army Suitability Board (DASEB) for removal of a reprimand or NJP. However, if you are separated, retired or serving in the IRR from the Army, you need to file to the Army Board for Corrections of Military Records (ABCMR). If you are in the Air Force, Navy or Coast Guard, you must apply to the appropriate service’s Board for Corrections of Military Records whether you are serving on active duty or not. It is important that you know which board to submit your application to, so that you do not waste your time. It is also important that you submit evidence showing that you were given the “bad paper” in error or that it was an injustice. I have a great deal of experience submitting appeals to all of these boards on behalf of servicemembers and former servicemembers. And I have had a great deal of success on behalf of these clients. I can help you too. It may make all the difference in your future. To speak to an experienced court-martial and military defense attorney, call Bill Cassara at 706-860-5769 for a free consultation.