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Military Separation Boards

Military separation boards are administrative proceedings that handle discharges from service, grade and career determinations, and other criminal or non-criminal matters. A command may refer minor charges against a commissioned officer to a military board in lieu of court-martial. Other boards consider prospective cases of discharge from military service and evaluate past discharge decisions. Regardless of the specific body involved, a military law expert can offer indispensable counsel to servicemembers appealing to, or undergoing review by, a military board. Contact our military lawyers now to learn more.

Administrative Discharge Boards

When a command recommends that a servicemember be involuntarily discharged based on performance, misconduct, or mental or physical ability, the matter is evaluated by an administrative discharge board. An administrative separation hearing offers the servicemember the opportunity to fight for retention in the military prior to a discharge being issued.

Boards of Inquiry

A Board of Inquiry constitutes an administrative alternative to court-martial, wherein an officer’s misconduct and service record are evaluated and career determinations made. This board is vested with certain powers at their collective discretion, depending on whether or not the subject officer is retirement eligible. Because of their long-term influence on retirement benefits and pay, boards of inquiry are extremely important.

Discharge Review Boards

Not all discharge decisions are inherently final. Pursuant to Federal statute, each military branch maintains a Board for the Correction of Service Records, composed of civilians and members of the military, which meets regularly to review submissions and hear oral arguments in favor of applicants. These boards are authorized to reconsider discharges not ordered by sentence of a general court-martial and non-medical in nature; upgrade characterization of service; issue re-enlistment codes; and restore rank as a matter of propriety and/or equity and fairness.

Veterans and their families or legal representatives may petition the relevant military department for a review of discharge. We recommend seeking professional advice from Military Justice Attorneys before submitting this request.

Physical Evaluation Boards

Due to the rigorous nature of military life, servicemembers frequently sustain injuries or develop physical conditions that may compromise their ability to serve in the military. A Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) assesses the extent to which a servicemember’s condition might result in physical limitations and issues medical discharges from service.

All servicemembers have the absolute right to appeal or challenge a medical discharge determination before a Physical Evaluation Board (PEB), retaining either an active-duty judge advocate or a civilian military attorney for representation. The MEB/PEB process is highly complicated and has wide-ranging implications for the servicemember’s retention in the military and medical or disability benefits.