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How can I upgrade my military discharge?

South Houston, TX |

I received an Under Other Than Honorable Conditions discharge from the Marine Corp back in 2008. I would like to be a police officer but can't due to the discharge. I don't know if I can upgrade it in a civilian court due to it being a military situation or even if I can upgrade it at all. I have a clean record. I was even able to get my CHL and Commission Security Guard license.

Attorney Answers 6


  1. Best answer

    Thank you for your service, particularly during the GWOT. It is not uncommon for Servicemembers to get a worse discharge than they actually deserve. I don't know your specifics, but generally it is difficult to get a discharge upgraded; it's difficult, but not impossible. Step 1) You must be able to articulate WHY you earned a better discharge, and why yours was unfair; 2) You have to be able to prove that with some documents, paperwork, pictures, videos, statements from others; 3) Submit your documents to the appropriate discharge review board. This website will help, and you can Google search for more specifics. Good luck Marine and Semper Fi. http://www.military.com/benefits/records-and-forms/discharge-review.html
    *This general answer is not legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship.


  2. You cannot upgrade a discharge in a civilian court, as they do not have jurisdiction. You must petition the Discharge Review Board or Board of Corrections for the appropriate service.

    There are a number of factors that go in to eevaluating your chances of an upgrade. Ultimately it may come down to evaulation if any legal issues occurred in your discharge, as well as putting a package together highlighting your accomplishments since discharge.


  3. You have 15 years from the date of discharge to petition the Navy Discharge Review Board. Of all of the services they have the worst success rate in grants.
    They will look at the reasons for discharge and post-service character. I well prepared package may help, but you've only been out six years.

    Answering your question does not create an attorney-client relationship. Every case is different and a resolution depends on a thorough review of applicable facts and law. No attorney can guarantee a particular outcome or result.


  4. All discharge upgrades are very fact specific. Your current records are presumed to be administratively correct. As Mr. Cave points, the board will consider a lot of factors, including how recently you left the service, the nature of misconduct, etc.

    DISCLAIMER: This information is intended for public and educational use only, it does not form an attorney-client relationship and it is not intended as legal advice. Nothing replaces a confidential consultation with an attorney. This communication may be considered attorney advertising. Do not post any privileged information, instead contact an attorney directly.


  5. These cases are very fact specific, so you will need to have an attorney review your case and advise you as to the likelihood of success.

    This post is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney client relationship with Mr. Cassara.


  6. See an experienced, qualified military attorney to assist you in a petition to the Board for Correction of Naval Records. People like Mr. Cassara and Mr. Cave are skilled at this.

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