The discharge you receive from the military upon separation is more than a characterization of your service. It can be the ticket to or hindrance that keeps you from enjoying the benefits that veterans receive for their service. Your eligibility for VA compensation, pension, education, and home loan benefits are tied to the character of your discharge. A discharge other than honorable or under honorable conditions can disqualify you from receiving these benefits for each of these programs.

Ensuring your DD-214 reflects favorable information regarding your service and conditions of separation can significantly impact your future. You can apply for a discharge upgrade, and Veterans Law Attorneys can help you. There are, however, some essential facts about the process to keep in mind.

veteran discharge upgrade

A Discharge Upgrade is Difficult to Obtain and Requires Evidence

The first thing you should know about obtaining a discharge upgrade is that it takes work. You will need to submit evidence and documentation showing that the discharge review board for your branch of service should grant your request. Examples of evidence you may need to compile and submit include a personal statement, supporting statements from others, and records from your military service.

There is a Time Limit to Apply for a Discharge Upgrade

You generally have 15 years from your discharge date to ask for a discharge upgrade. If a discharge review board denies your request, you have three years from the denial to ask the Boards for Correction of Military Records or the Board for Correction of Naval Records to look at and change the records about your discharge.

There are exceptions to these deadlines, however. Even if you think you have waited too long, you should still talk to a veterans law attorney.

You Can Not Only Upgrade Your Discharge But Amend the Narrative Reason for Discharge

The character of your discharge refers to whether your discharge is honorable, general under honorable conditions, or otherwise. The narrative reason describes the specific conditions or reasons for your discharge’s characterization. Both are subject to amendment if your evidence shows the reviewing board that either is unfair, incorrect, or otherwise improper.

You Must Request a Discharge Upgrade


There is no automatic right to have your discharge characterization or narrative reason reviewed, regardless of why you separated from the service. You must affirmatively request that the appropriate discharge review board review and upgrade your records.

Not only this, but each branch of service has its own discharge review board, which employs its own procedures and follows its own procedures. You must ensure your request complies with the appropriate rules and regulations and is sent to the correct review board.

How Veterans Law Attorneys Helps Veterans Seeking a Discharge Upgrade

The discharge upgrade process can be intimidating and confusing. Employing the services of a discharge upgrade attorney from Veterans Law Attorneys can help you navigate the process and increase your chances of receiving the upgrade you seek. 

Call (866) 894-9773, or contact Veterans Law Attorneys online, and get professional and experienced help from an Ohio veterans law attorney today.