I got a less than honorable discharge, is it difficult to get this upgraded?

There is a specific board for each of the services designed specifically to review discharges and determine whether they should be upgraded.  These are called Discharge Review Boards (DRB).  The DRB is a board with objective members who will review your specific circumstances and make a decision as to whether they should upgrade your discharge or not.  It can be an uphill battle to convince the boards that you deserve an upgrade, so you need someone with experience to help you.  I have a great deal of experience and success applying to the DRBs on behalf of my clients.  When I represent a client before the DRB, I do not just fill out a DD 293 and send it in.  Instead I send in a formal brief that is specific to your case with enclosures.  The brief fully explains what occurred at the time of your discharge, as well as what you have been doing since your discharge.  I work hard to try to convince the board that you are worthy of an upgrade.  The DRB gives all applicants an option to select a “records review” or a “personal appearance.”  Some applicants don’t realize that you can have both.  So what is the difference and how do you get both?  A records review is just what it sounds like, the board will review and consider your personnel records and any paperwork that you send them to consider.  It helps to include paperwork showing or explaining to the board what you have been doing to better yourself since your discharge.  During a records review, you may not appear or have an attorney appear before the board on your behalf.  A personal appearance is when you or your representative may go before the board and speak to them about why you deserve a discharge upgrade.  During a personal appearance board, the board may still consider your records and submissions in addition to what you tell them orally.  Additionally, witnesses may appear on your behalf during a personal appearance board.  If you request a records review first and it is not successful, you may then request a personal appearance.  If you opt to request a personal appearance first, you can’t go back to a records review as the board will consider your records during the personal appearance.  Therefore, in most cases I recommend that you request a records review first, so that you have an opportunity to have a second bite at the apple if the first is unsuccessful.    I have a great deal of experience with records reviews and personal appearances before the DRBs.  I have experience with each of the services.  I have the experience you need to present your case for an upgrade in the best possible and professional way.  Call today if you want my help in getting you the military discharge characterization you should have received the first time.  Don’t wait.  You must submit your request to the DRBs within 15 years of your discharge.  After that, you will need to submit your request to the appropriate Board for Corrections of Military Records.  If you were discharged as a result of a court-martial and are serious about getting your discharge upgraded, give me a call and we can talk about the best course of action for you.  Likewise, if you were administratively discharged and would like to get your discharge upgraded, I am here to help.  If you believe that your actions leading up to your discharge may have been caused by you suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the boards have been considering many of those particular cases favorably for the applicant.  Therefore, this fact needs to be a part of your application if you believe it is applicable to your situation.  Don’t do this alone, I am here to help.  To speak to an experienced court-martial and military defense attorney, call Bill Cassara at 706-860-5769 for a free consultation.


William E. Cassara- Military Law Attorney

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