CORRECTION OF MILITARY RECORDS
Correction of Military Records
A Correction of Military Records can be loosely defined as any situation where a service member seeks to change an error to their military records. Those military records that are most sought after for applying changes, are discharge records, as certain kinds of discharges can leave service members without recourse for collecting a pension, re-enlisting, or other military related benefits and activities.
There are, however, specific criteria for requesting and being granted a Correction of Military Records.
Troy A. Smith has over 25 years of litigation experience representing service members in the areas of Military Law and Correction of Military Records. Mr. Smith has also represented hundreds of individuals pending criminal charges at courts-martial, military administrative proceedings including Administrative Separation and Discharge Review Boards, Boards for Correction of Military Records and Physical and Medical Evaluation Boards. Mr. Smith will provide you with an outstanding level of experience and knowledge in the pursuit of your correction of military records.
Contact Military Attorney Troy Smith now at (212) 537-4029, by email at Troy@JAG-Lawyer.com, or use the contact form HERE.
The standards for requesting and being granted a change to your military records:
You must be a service member, veteran, surviving spouse, next of kin, or legal representative, who has been previously denied relief through their respective service’s Discharge Review Board.
If you are seeking a military discharge upgrade, prior to to filing an application for consideration with your service’s Board for Correction of Military Records you must exhaust the process involving the Discharge Review Board. Under specific and specialized circumstances, a review through the DRB is not required prior to requesting a change of records.
You must be able to prove that you have been the victim of an error or injustice.
If you are a disabled veteran with disabilities either aggravated or incurred while in active service, regardless of the conditions of your separation, you may be eligible for medical benefits and related services. If you have received an administrative separation, under anything other than honorable conditions, you may also have your discharge reviewed within 15 years of your separation date.
You are not a service member who has been convicted under court-martial.
The Boards for the Correction of Military Records only has the authority to alter sentences received under court-martial on the basis of clemency. They have no other authority with regard to sentences imposed by court-martial.
REQUESTING A CORRECTION OF MILITARY RECORDS
A request for the correction of military records must be made within 3 years following the discovery of the error, and only after such time that every other remedy, namely a request to the Discharge Review Board and other administrative services, has been exhausted. The various branches of the military have their own locations for filing the applications, but basically within each district or area geographically, the Army, Air Force and Coast Guard maintain separate boards for their service members, while the Navy operates their own board as well as that for members of the US Marine Corps.
In order to properly apply for consideration of a change to your military records, you must provide enough proof to convince the board that the information is an error, or that you have been a victim of an injustice of some kind with regard to the information contained in your records. In either instance, you will need to provide documentation in order to prove your case.
Typically, the following list of documents can be used as a starting foundation for what you will need to submit. It is by no means, however, an exhaustive example of what you may be required to produce.
- Asigned and sworn statement of 25 pages or less
- Signed and sworn statements from witnesses
- Copies of any and all records that may support your case
- Character references
- Medical and Service records
- Education records
- Signed and sworn statements from individuals who have a direct involvement or first-hand knowledge of your situation
Although your military service records will likely be requested by the panel, it is highly advisable to supply as much of your own information as possible for two reasons: one, many records prior to 1973 were destroyed in a fire in the National Archives record center, and two, you will want to review your own records prior to having them submitted to the panel.
After completing the application process, your case will be reviewed by at least one office within your service; hospital, personnel, JAG, etc., and they will then prepare an advisory opinion based upon the merits of your case. This opinion is then forwarded to the Board with your file and any supporting documents.
In the event that a denial of your request is recommended, within 30 days the Board will contact you for further input and comment prior to making its final decision. If you need more time to respond, you may request another 30 days. You may also disregard the request for comment if you feel that you have nothing further to add to your case – this does not imply your agreement, or prevent your application being considered fully. The advisory recommendation is only that, and the Board may disregard it in favor of its own decision on your case.
The case is discussed in a private session by the board members, and voted on based upon the information and evidence in your case file. This makes the gathering and providing of pertinent information, documentation, and records, the most important aspect of supporting your case for consideration.
With over 18 years of litigation experience representing service members in the areas of Military Law and Correction of Military Records, Attorney Troy A. Smith will provide you with an outstanding level of experience and knowledge in the pursuit of your correction of military records. Mr. Smith has also represented hundreds of individuals pending criminal charges at courts-martial, military administrative proceedings including Administrative Separation and Discharge Review Boards, Boards for Correction of Military Records and Physical and Medical Evaluation Boards. More about Attorney Smith.
For more information about applying to the Board for Correction of Military Records, contact Military Attorney Troy A. Smith at (212) 537-4029, by email at Troy@JAG-Lawyer.com, or use the contact form HERE.