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However, you can get someone to represent you if your request is complex. You may request a personal appearance before the board by checking the appropriate box on DD Form , item 4. If you request a hearing, the board will notify you as to time, date, and place usually Washington, D.

Expenses are your responsibility. If you fail to appear at the appointed time, either in person or by representative, you will be deemed to have waived the right to a hearing, and the DRB shall complete its review of the discharge. The board will not grant another hearing unless you can demonstrate that the failure to appear or respond was due to circumstances beyond your control. Your hearing before the board is an administrative hearing, not an adversarial proceeding or a trial.

The purpose is to determine whether your period of service was properly characterized. Only two things can happen: 1 your request can be granted or 2 your discharge can remain the same.

Military Records and Identification | USAGov

This brief is a summary of the available military records in your case. It contains the essential facts in your case and is put into a format that is easily read by the board members. One board member is designated as the action officer for your case. The board is usually composed of five active-duty officers and senior enlisted personnel. They each cast one vote and the majority rules.


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The questioning process has a way of drawing out the truth. If you decide to give sworn testimony and are asked a question you don't wish to answer, you don't have to answer it. The decision as to which form of testimony you give, if any, is entirely yours. The hearing will be recorded. No one has access to the recording except you and the board members. You can get a copy by simply asking for it; no one else can get a copy without your written permission. It will take about six to eight weeks for you to receive the board's decision.

If your discharge is changed you will receive a new discharge certificate, a new DD form , and the decisional document of this board. If your discharge is not changed, you will receive the decisional document of this board, which will include the specific reasons your discharge was not changed and will also include any further appeal process, which is applicable to you.

RE codes in the "1" series indicate a person is eligible for immediate reenlistment or prior service enlistment, provided otherwise eligible.


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RE codes in the "2", "3", and "4" series restrict the individual from immediate reenlistment or prior service enlistment. There are many qualified prior service applicants who possess a "1" series RE code who will not be able to reenter the military due to specific needs of the service. In most cases, a person with a "2" RE or "4" RE code is not allowed to enlist. Those with an RE Code of "3" may be allowed to enlist, with a waiver, if they can show that the reason for discharge no longer applies. Such waivers are granted through the individual services through military recruiters, not the DRB process.

There is one exception: if the DRB upgrades an applicant's discharge, the board will also consider whether the RE code should be changed. If the applicant is considered a good candidate to return to the military, the RE code will be changed to "3A"—a waiverable code. If you are seeking a waiver or change of the RE code for the purpose of entering another branch of service, you will need to contact the appropriate service recruiter.

What Can a Discharge Review Board do?

I received an other-than-honorable discharge after a urinalysis came back hot. What can I do to convince a review board to upgrade my discharge?


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  6. Getting a discharge upgrade — even under those circumstances — isn't easy, but it's possible. One big challenge is differentiating your petition from the hundreds of others that came before, asking for similar relief. This is where having a military law attorney on your side can be pivotal. The adverse consequences of an OTH can be severe.

    They include the loss of veterans and education benefits, the loss of veterans preference rights in federal hiring, and the loss of civilian employment protections against military-based discrimination and other violations of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.

    Correcting Your Military Discharge

    Packaging can make the difference between success and failure before a review board. It's important to include documentation highlighting such things as the veteran's meritorious service, high marks on evaluations and civic involvement.

    Military Discharge Upgrades

    A personal statement and character letters — when they address the proper issues — also can carry great weight. One mistake veterans often make is failing to take responsibility for their actions that led to the discharge. Another important component is the legal memorandum drafted by the veteran's attorney that pulls these items together. An experienced military law attorney knows the arguments that will resonate. This memorandum can help differentiate the veteran's application from the pack.