On August 25, 2017, the Department of Defense issued clarifying guidance to Military Discharge Review Boards and Boards for Correction of Military/Naval Records regarding requests by veterans for a discharge upgrade due to mental health conditions (including PTSD and TBI), sexual assault, or sexual harassment.
Requests for discharge relief typically involve four questions:
The new guidance explained that “liberal consideration” would be given to veterans petitioning for discharge relief when the application for relief was based in whole or in part on matters relating to mental health conditions, including PTSD; TBI; sexual assault; or sexual harassment.
Evidence supporting these events or diagnoses could come from the veteran’s service record or from outside sources like law enforcement agencies, medical treatment facilities, or even from family, friends, and other acquaintances. Circumstantial evidence, like deterioration in work performance, substance abuse, or depression, can also be admitted in support of the petition. The veteran’s testimony alone can establish the existence of a condition or experience which excuses or mitigates the discharge.
Under the new guidance, conditions or experiences that may reasonably have existed at the time of discharge will be liberally considered by the Discharge Review Board as excusing or mitigating the unfavorable discharge.
Our Military Justice Attorneys are experienced in representing active duty servicemembers and veterans before Discharge Review Boards and understand how to gather and persuasively present the best evidence for your case. Call us today for your free consultation.