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Military upgrade need information

Oak Hills, CA |

I enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1996 and discharged in 1999 with an OTH discharge for testing positive for marijuana use one time. My contract was cut short 8 months of 4 years. During my discharge process I stood before the discharge board (after I was court martialed and sentenced to the brig). The discharge board was mad up of a Colonel, a captain, and a staff sargeant. The staff sargeant was the only hispanic on the board. Since I am also Hispanic, dont I have the right of having a board made up of more hispanic members. Can I use this to requests and upgrade of my discharge to an Honorable. I served among my fellow marines for over a year as a private with no rank before they finally discharged me. Why didnt they discharge me sooner?. What are my chances of upgrading my discharge?.

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Attorney answers 3


The chances of getting a discharge upgrade are based upon many factors as to the totality of your service in the Marine Corps. A more reasonable request based upon the court-martial and the discharge recommendation by the board would be to request a General discharge. The make-up of the board seems to be in compliance with regulations. Although the race of board members is a factor, there is no requirement that a board consisting of three members has to be made up of a majority of a respondent's race. There are many qualified attorneys on AVVO that can discuss your discharge upgrade, contact a few of them for a consultation.


The Navy Discharge Review Board looks at many factors in deciding whether to upgrade a discharge. I can tell you that the makeup of the Board appears to comply with legal requirements. But other issues may lead to you getting an upgrade. Feel free to e-mail me so I can assist in evaluating your case.

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


The standard USMC rule is at least one. So that in itself is unlikely to be a reason for upgrade.
The Navy DRB is the toughest of the Boards to win at.
It's "drugs." However, we have seen some with marijuana get upgraded to a General.
You should make the effort regardless of a change of success.
Keep in mind you only have 15 years from the date of discharge to apply.
You should ask for a personal appearance hearing for a greater chance of success.
They will take a hard look at your life since discharge. Often your post-service conduct and actions is the key to getting an upgrade. I would encourage you to focus on that.;; 703-298-9562, 800-401-1583. Answering your question does not create an attorney-client relationship.