Discharge Correction/Upgrade

Each branch of service allows separated service members to request an upgrade of the discharge character. They hold discharge review boards to determine if the circumstance of discharge warrants an upgrade based on evidence presented to the board. The board needs to see evidence that there were conditions beyond the control of the veteran that were not considered by the command when discharging the individual. Examples of reasons to consider a discharge upgrade include:

  • Mental health conditions, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Sexual assault or harassment during military service (at VA, we refer to this as military sexual trauma or MST)
  • Sexual orientation (including under the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy)

To request a discharge upgrade you will need to submit a DD Form 293 (PDF) to the branch of the military where you served. The links will assist with the completion of the form and provide information on submission.

If you need legal assistance with your upgrade request you may find a pro bono lawyer that will assist you in preparing and presenting your case to the Discharge Review Board.

From time to time the administrative person completing your separation document (DD Form 214) may make an administrative error while typing the document. To fix the error veterans should complete DD Form 149 (PDF) and send it to the branch that you separated under.