Boards serving on behalf of the military are not allowed in any way to revoke discharge of an individual who has earlier served in the services. Dismissals done via special Court-Martial get reviewed only if sufficient clemency reasons are presented. Under law, one requires ensuring to make discharge upgrade application within 15 years of service release. If having spent more than this period, it becomes necessary then applying for changes to be done on your record of service.

If you attained honorable release from service, you get to enjoy all the benefits awarded to other veterans. However, if below this, you will not be able to obtain other kinds of benefits. You still could apply for upgrading of your release certificate.

Under such circumstances, you then will need to get and fill out DD Form 294, which touches on Dismissal or Discharge from Service with the United States Armed Forces. After completing this step, mail it to the relevant board along with supporting documentation.

You may obtain it by downloading from the information center of your branch of service. If careful to get a personal hearing, do check the appropriate box as indicated on the form. Once you have done this, it lies squarely upon this board to notify you of the scheduled timing and venue of hearing.

In general, hearings are held within the national capital. At times however, the board may travel to regional centers for hearings. Do not expect to be reimbursed on expenses incurred during the duration of stay for the process.

If you suddenly become unable to attend a hearing, seek for postponement in formal manner to keep from inconveniencing other parties involved in the hearing. The board would otherwise continue to process your application even when you are absent. However, it implies not being provided another chance to state your case unless you can clearly show why you were unavailable.

The board generally is made up of 5 officers who are still on active duty. You need to present your situation before them and could testify under oath so as to offer support to the application. In case you have concerns of self-incrimination, take advantage of your right to remain silent while the hearing proceeds.

Once the board hears your application, it deliberates on it afterwards. You just need to wait for the decision it reaches which should take between 6 and 8 weeks. It may grant your request for grade adjustment in which case you will get it via mail together with the new release certificate showing this authority, DD Form 214 and the accompanying decisions document to this effect.

There are situations where an application is denied and the board will only mail a decision document regarding the undertaking. You should be advised further if any appeal is still possible to a higher level of authority. It may be prudent to delay your discharge upgrade application pending completion of gathering various supporting documents for the hearing. Have all your documents ready.

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