Your military record is important. A bad service record could separate you from your needed veteran’s benefits and impede your career. The good news is that you can get your records corrected.
Getting your military records corrected has traditionally been a complicated, administrative process. However, the Department of Defense recently issued a news report that encourages former service members to seek the correction of their records, and it laid out a few possible paths for this effort.
The news report discusses these possibilities for correcting your service record:
- Inaccuracy: This is the traditional, most common appeal for a military records correction. It is based on simple inaccuracy. The records show that you were given a less than honorable discharge, but the information is wrong.
- Mental health situations: This is a relatively newer option. As reported by the US Department of Defense news report, a May 26 memorandum from the Under Secretary of defense for personnel and readiness provides a new standard for determining these cases. When an applicant alleges a mental health condition, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sexual assault or sexual harassment while on duty, these cases will be given liberal consideration for the possibility of correcting errant military records.
- Gender identity: In February of this year, the Department of Defense directed the reinvestigation of all cases involving discharge due to gender identity policies. Since the new policies are more gender-identity inclusive, the new leadership is allowing those who have been discharged or involuntarily separated in the past to either re-join the military or correct their military records.
- Clemency: Clemency is an interesting option for records corrections, and it does not always succeed. Under the clemency option, even those who have been released on a less than honorable discharge could have their records updated. Showing evidence of good conduct, indication of genuine rehabilitation and absence of other misconduct are a few options that could result in reconsideration and correction of your military records.
The important thing to do, if you think you might be eligible to have your military records corrected, is talk with an experienced military lawyer who can help you make that determination and help you decide the best way to proceed. Once you have decided that this is the right path, it will also take some help from an attorney to make sure you handle all the legal procedures properly and protect your interests.