Fix Your Military Record with the Help of a Former Marine JAG
Service members and Veterans who need to fix their military record can petition their respective board of correction for military records (BCMRs) by filing DD Form 149.
Boards of corrections can fix military records when there is a documented error or injustice. With the help of an attorney or on their own, service members and veterans can file an application to fix their military record.
Each branch of the military offers administrative remedies to correct a service member’s military records. The solutions include fixing everything from administrative discharges and punitive discharges from a special or summary court-martial. They also include non-judicial punitive actions, reprimands, evaluation reports, and so forth.
Correcting a service member’s military record can become confusing due to various reasons. The administrative boards have different authorities and jurisdictions to correct specific information. These boards also have strict legal standards, statutes of limitation, and evidentiary restrictions that cause further confusion.
The Boards of Correction of Military Records (BCMR)
There are different BCMRs for each branch of service. The Air Force (AFBCMR), Army (ABCMR), and Coast Guard (CGBCMR) have their separate boards, but the Navy and Marine Corps have a joint Board known as the Board for Correction of Naval Records (BCNR). Service members and veterans will be required to apply to the appropriate board to fix their military record.
How to Fix a Military Record
The secretary of a military department, acting through a board for correction of military records, has authority to change any military record when necessary to correct an error or remove an injustice. A correction board may consider applications for correction of a military record, including a review of a discharge issued by courts martial.
The veteran, survivor or legal representative generally must file a request for correction within three years after discovery of an alleged error or injustice. The board may excuse failure to file within the prescribed time, however, if it finds it would be in the interest of justice to do so. It is an applicant’s responsibility to show why the filing of the application was delayed and why it would be in the interest of justice for the board to consider it despite the delay.
To justify any correction, it is necessary to show to the satisfaction of the board that the alleged entry or omission in the records was in error or unjust. Applications should include all available evidence, such as signed statements of witnesses or a brief of arguments supporting the requested correction. The service member or veteran must file a DD Form 149.
Mr. Courtney: I wanted to reach out to you, to let you know how thankful I am for you looking out for my son PFC J. I wanted you to know that he doing great and in a great place in all aspects of his life. I truly believe that you are one of those reasons why he is where he is today. Thank you for believing in him and advocating for not only him, but for Marines that would otherwise not have a chance at getting fair treatment. Thank you. Semper Fidelis. –– Father of PFC J., USMC