When requesting a discharge upgrade, should I ask the Discharge Review Board to conduct a “records review” or a “personal appearance?”
Depending on your circumstances, the answer is probably “both.” If you start by asking for a records review, you then get a second chance to request a personal appearance. In most cases, I advise that you request a records review first, so that you can then request a personal appearance if you do not get the results that you want. If you request a personal appearance first, then you will not have another chance to be heard by the Discharge Review Board (DRB). So, what is the difference? 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. You can make a request for either a records review or a personal appearance by simply filling out a DD 293 and mailing it to the appropriate service DRB. However, if you hire me to assist you with your request, I will attach a formal brief for the board to read, along with the appropriate enclosures. My goal in completing this brief is to allow the board to truly get to know who you are, the circumstances behind your discharge, what you have done since your discharge and why you deserve an upgrade in your discharge. 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. I have gotten great results for my clients from the DRBs. 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. 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. To speak to an experienced court-martial and military defense attorney, call Bill Cassara at 706-860-5769 for a free consultation.