Military Discharge Upgrade

A military discharge upgrade may be appropriate for anyone who previously served in any branch of the Armed Forces and separated without an honorable characterization of service. We strive to restore honor to veterans. Contact us to speak with our helpful military discharge upgrade attorneys or call 760-385-3889.

How to Apply for a Military Discharge Upgrade?

Veterans who left the service with a discharge which was less than honorable can seek a military discharge upgrade. To do that, a veteran or their legal representative must file DD Form 293. If you can show your discharge related to any of the following, you may have a strong case.

  • 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)
crop unrecognizable military member celebrating successful discharge upgrade showing american flag

What Evidence is Needed for a Discharge Upgrade?

When filing DD Form 293, veterans will need to submit documents such as their separation package, medical documents (diagnosis, counseling records, VA rating), and post service documents (diplomas, professional certifications, character letters, etc.).

Where Do You Send DD Form 293 for a Military Discharge Upgrade?

Veterans seeking a military discharge upgrade should send their completed applications to the following locations based on their branch of service.

Navy and Marine Corps

Secretary of the Navy
Council of Review Boards
ATTN: Naval Discharge Review Board
720 Kennon Ave. S.E., Suite 309
Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5023


Army Discharge Review Board
251 18th Street South, Suite 385
Arlington, VA 22202-3531

Or at the Army’s Online Application.

Air Force

Air Force Discharge Review Board
3351 Cellars Lane
Joint Base Andrews, MD 20762-6435

Coast Guard

Commandant (CG-133)
ATTN: Office of Military Personnel
US Coast Guard Stop 7907
2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. S.E.
Washington, DC 20593

Frequently Asked Questions for a Military Discharge Upgrade

Who is eligible to request a military discharge upgrade?

Anyone who served in the Armed Forces (active and reserves) and separated from the service with less than honorable service. However, the separation must not have been part of a General Court-Martial sentence.

How long is the military discharge upgrade process?

Each military discharge review board will have its own timeline depending on the number of cases it received in the preceding year. However, veterans should expect to the process to take more than one year and up to 18 months. While this is a long time, the wait will hopefully be worth the investment with additional VA benefits and your honor restored.

Should I work with a discharge upgrade attorney?

Veterans looking to upgrade their military discharge should work with an attorney. While anyone may file a petition to upgrade their characterization of service, an experienced attorney will know what strategy to take to give you the best chance of success. Every case is different. As the process can be as long as 18 months, you likely do not have time to get it wrong on the first try. You give yourself the best chance of a successful petition by working with a discharge upgrade attorney.

What are the risks of applying for a discharge upgrade?

The military discharge review boards can not make your discharge worse. So, there is very little risk other than spending your time and effort.

How do I upgrade an other than honorable discharge?

You must submit DD Form 293 and support your application with persuasive evidence. It is a challenge to upgrade from an OTH. But working with a veterans attorney will you a stronger chance at a successful upgrade.

Additional Discharge Upgrade FAQs

Is it hard to get a discharge upgraded?

Yes. It is hard to get a discharge upgraded. Every case is unique and successful applications include detailed analysis supported by evidence. Working with an attorney who understands the process will give you a fighting chance. Your honor is worth the investment.

Can I get the GI Bill with an upgraded discharge?

Yes, in most cases. After a successful discharge upgrade, you will have ten years to use the GI Bill.

What is the most common military discharge?


I already applied for a discharge upgrade and it was denied. Can I apply again?

You can apply again, but you may have to follow a different process.

Speak with a Military Discharge Upgrade Attorney

Veterans who served honorably deserve the opportunity to upgrade their discharge, especially when they have the evidence to support their application. But when so many VA benefits and personal pride is on the line, it is best to work with an experienced discharge upgrade lawyer. Contact us today.

*We do not file VA Claims or Appeals.