Yes. An attorney gives you an advantage in gaining your military discharge upgrade.
Having an attorney knowledgeable in the standards and formalities of the various review board agencies as well as having knowledge of military law can give you an advantage over those applicants attempting to go it alone.
Military separations happen for all sorts of reasons.
It could be anything from a medical condition to an article 15 or other form of nonjudicial punishment to even a court martial. Ultimately, separations prior to one’s end of enlistment are common place and effect large numbers of servicemen and women yearly.
Congress Offers Legal Way to Upgrade a Discharge
Congress, sensitive to the need for review of these decisions, has enacted legislation that provides a legal way for service branch secretaries or their designees to review and change information associated with a member’s discharge.
This means that if you are an Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard veteran and you were either active duty, reserve, or part of a National Guard component you may be able to change or correct information on your DD214/NGB22.
Most often these requests focus on specific information including the characterization of service (e.g. honorable to medical, general under honorable conditions to honorable, other than honorable to honorable), the narrative reason for separation (the reason the military says you were discharged) and the reenlistment code, and offer some protection to those who have been unfairly or improperly discharged. Thus, whether or not your separation was based upon misconduct, PTSD, TBI, or some other reason, you have the opportunity to seek review and apply for correction or upgrade under the federal law.
Legal Representation for Applicants
Applicants also have the right to seek legal representation in an attempt to maximize their chances of obtaining a favorable outcome. Although not required to seek relief, an attorney skilled in the areas of military administrative law can be a valuable asset in navigating the confusing litany of regulations and legal standards associated with changing a discharge. Having a skilled attorney obtain your complete military record and conduct a legal review will assist in identifying relevant factual, procedural, or discretionary errors requiring correction. Most importantly, your lawyer will be able to craft the arguments in an effective but succinct manner for the Discharge Review Board members consideration.
Get it Right the First Time
You have a limited number of opportunities to upgrade a discharge. Emphasis should be placed on getting it right the first time. Once these administrative opportunities are exhausted, it is a much more difficult task to seek relief in the federal courts.
Complete the Contact Us form on this page to request a review of your military discharge.