Your military record will follow you for the rest of your life. The rest of your military career and even your civilian career if you want to work in the private sector will both suffer if you have negative reports on your military record.
A tarnished military record is particularly problematic if the negative report on your record is inaccurate. While you ultimately have the option of taking your case to the highest level – the Discharge Review Board – there are numerous steps you should take before exercising this option. In fact, your case will be sent back to you if you haven’t taken the other necessary step.
Where to start
If you believe there are errors on your personal record, these are the first few steps you should take:
- Contact a lawyer: Talking with an attorney experienced in military record protection can be a tremendous asset. He or she can walk you through each step to help assure successful resolution to the problem.
- Explore alternative options: It might be that your error is not as significant as you initially think. Further, a simple conversation with your superior might be able to clear things up before you have to invest significant time into the official administrative process.
- File Form DD-149: If official action is the appropriate approach, you will need to file this form first. It is the application for correction of your military record, which will include all the necessary information to get your claim started.
A trusted legal advisor can help you determine whether the DD-149 Form is the right course of action. And, if so, he or she can help you fill out the form to maximize your chances of correcting your record as efficiently as possible.
It is important to maintain a clean record, free from any false information that could hinder your career and your future.