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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 38489
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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if someone is discharged as less than honorable from the US

Customer Question

if someone is discharged as less than honorable from the US Army because he tried to get dismissed when he found out his father was terminally ill and eventually went AWOL to be with his dying dad, is there any way to upgrade his status to general or something neutral?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 8 years ago.
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.

Yes, perhaps...though its not easy to do.

The process is straightforward. You can begin the process here

http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/correcting-records.html

There is also a very good overview of the process here

http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/generalinfo/a/dischargeupg.htm


To be successful, you will need to demonstrate, under the circumstances, that an upgrade to the charachterization is the appropriate result in your case. Typically this would be done by showing that the result at the time was wrong for some reason...for example if there was some error in the process that was not addressed at the time, that would be a basis for upgrade. This is important, since your AWOL was not legal....it was a violation of military law...to get an upgrade, you will need to show that based on all the circumstances at the time, the OTH was not fair.

The board will also consider your post service conduct, but this to a lesser degree than than your service conduct.


You should start with a request of your records. You can request them here

http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel/standard-form-180.html


Unlike the urban legend, there is no "automatic upgrade" for discharges...in fact only a small percentage of requests are granted.

To have the greatest chance for success you should consider working with an attorney that can help you assemble the package you will submit. A google search under "military lawyer upgrade discharge" will net you several prospects...I would talk to several to see if one can be of help...but understand this is a long shot...beware of promises.


The one thing the lawyer can help with is organizing the information you have to put it into a "package" that will make it easy for the board to see your points. This can be a very valuable service.

BotXXXXX XXXXXne: Its possible but difficult to do. Best of luck