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Newly Announced Department of Defense Guidelines

On August 25, 2017, the Department of Defense announced clarifying guidance to the Military Discharge Review Boards and Boards for Correction of Military Records for Veterans who petition for either an upgrade or a correction to their discharges based on mental health conditions, such as PTSD and TBI, that existed at the time of discharge but may not have been diagnosed or were misdiagnosed and for Veterans who were the victims of sexual assault or harassment, even if they did not report the incidents of assault or harassment.

The guidance encourages Veterans to include evidence to support the request for discharge relief and provides examples of evidence to include.

The most important part of the announcement is that liberal consideration will be given to Veterans who seek discharge relief when the application for relief is based in whole or IN PART on matters relating to mental health conditions, sexual assault, or sexual harassment. This means that the Discharge Review Boards and Boards for Correction of Military Records may provide relief for both minor and significant misconduct that previously did not warrant an upgrade or other relief.

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