file4861269346161A military discharge means the end to a service member’s career. In certain situations, it can also mean the service member is not eligible for various VA benefits. Discover the reasons to get upgrades to military discharges and why they are important.


Some former military members are displeased with the nature of their discharges. They may feel the type of discharge puts a shadow on their reputation and is not indicative of the type of service they provided while serving in the military. Those who feel a discharge dishonors the service they gave to their country have a recourse. They can try to get an upgrade to military discharges.

VA Benefits

Depending on why the military member was discharged, they could be denied certain VA benefits. Often the former service members feel this is very unfair, especially if they spent years in the military. Fortunately, they can also seek to get the discharges upgraded. Some soldiers who were discharged could have been suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which would explain actions such as self-medicating with alcohol or drugs.

Formal Procedures

There are two authorities that issue upgrades to discharge papers, the Discharge Review Board (DRB) and the Board of Correction of Military Records (BCMR). They have different authority and it essential for a military member to know where to apply.  A hearing is typically conducted and the results are usually available within one to two months. If the decision is unsatisfactory to the military member, he or she can file an appeal.

A court-martial defense attorney can help military members file for upgrades to discharges and assist them through processes such as the hearing and possible appeal. Having legal representation helps to ensure the best possible outcome for the former military member.