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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 19067
Experience:  Lawyer and current JAG officer.
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Well yes, I was discharged from the Navy 1985 or so with a

Customer Question

Well yes, I was discharged from the Navy 1985 or so with a BCD with an Re4. Prior I had an Honorable discharge form the US. I filed an appeal with the military review board, but as of yet have not had an in person review. Since leaving service I have had a stellar career with outstanding accomplishments. I am being requested to apply for positions with federal entities that have noticed my skills. I wanted to see of there is a way to appeal or review my record for upgrade. Or, any possibility of having any opportunity to advance in the US given that on my record?
JA: Are you overseas or stateside?
Customer: I am in Houston Texas
JA: Have you talked to anyone in the chain of command about this?
Customer: no I am not in service
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I'm not sure what would be relevant
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and over 20 years of experience in the legal field. I’m happy to be of assistance.

Unfortunately, a discharge of this sort is intended to be permanent. The passage of time and your post service accomplishments, while certainly a credit to yourself, aren't legally relevant to the issue of a discharge upgrade. This is because the only considerations for the board that does upgrades are whether or not the discharge was incorrectly given or an injustice when it was given.

You can only appeal to the DD Form 149 military records corrections board at this point, and you can only do so if this discharge was granted by a Special Court martial. If you got the BCD from a General Court Martial, the DD Form 149 board can't even review it.

If it was a Special court, then you'd have to prove that the BCD was given in error (meaning it wasn't actually legally available for the offense) or that it was an injustice at the time you received it. The injustice argument is where most people apply, by showing that evidence wasn't considered or that there was an unfair bias applied to their case.

If it was a General discharge, you have no method now available to appeal the discharge or upgrade it. You could move for a pardon of the conviction from the President, through the Department of Justice, but that would only remove the federal conviction. The discharge status would still stand.

As for advancing, while there is no absolutely prohibition against hiring those with a court martial conviction, it's not practical to expect either to be hired or advanced in the government with a conviction.

If you have any further questions, please let me know. I invite follow up questions, so use REPLY for those. If you have no further questions then good luck going forward and please do not forget to rate my service with a top-three rating so that I receive credit for working with you today. Please rate me based on my service and not on your satisfaction with the law, which I am not in control of and I am just reporting to you. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter.

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Hello, I wanted to check in and make sure that there was not any additional information that you required after the response I previously provided to you. If you need further assistance, please use REPLY and ask me for any additional information you may need. If not, take care and have a great day.