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If you were a victim of sexual assault prior to your military discharge, you may be entitled to a discharge upgrade.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2015 has many provisions designed to combat the problem of sexual assault in the military.  One of these provisions specifically requires each of the military services to establish a confidential process through which a victim of a sexual offense may challenge the terms or characterization of their military discharge or separation based on a showing that their discharge was adversely affected by the offense.  In other words, if you or someone you know was separated from the service after being a victim of sexual assault and the reason for the separation or characterization of the discharge is not what it should be, there may be a valid case for a change in the separation reason or characterization.  For example, sometimes after an individual has been a victim of sexual assault, they might begin to act out negatively or seek mental health assistance.  They may even go down a path of substance abuse.  In the military, this kind of behavior could lead to an adverse military discharge or to a discharge that is inaccurately based on mental health.  Likewise, that victimized servicemember could receive something other than an Honorable Discharge.  The NDAA is trying to resolve this problem by allowing victims a confidential way to revisit their military discharge.  I have assisted sexual assault victims with trying to correct their military discharges and I understand the process well.  If you or someone you know wants to look into trying to change their separation reason or discharge characterization, 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.

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