APPEALS TO BOARDS

APPEALS TO BOARDS FOR CORRECTION OF MILITARY RECORDS

All branches of the military have Correction Boards which, under federal law, have the statutory authority to correct any adverse or incorrect information in a service member’s Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) upon a showing that such information is the result of an ”error or injustice” and the appeal is filed within three years from when the adverse information is placed in the OMPF. Exceptions to the three year statute of limitations may be granted upon a showing of exceptional circumstances. Examples of such adverse information include lost promotions, adverse performance reports, letters of reprimand, loss of awards and decorations, and lost back pay and allowances resulting from such adverse information.

APPEALS TO MILITARY DISCHARGE REVIEW BOARDS

All branches of the military service, according to federal law, have military boards which have the authority to upgrade an adverse characterization of military service (e.g., Other than Honorable) to a more favorable characterization of service such as “Honorable” or “By Secretarial Authority.” These boards also have the authority to change a stigmatizing adverse “Narrative Reason for Separation” which appears on the Discharge Certificate (DD Form 214). Appeals to these Boards must be properly supported, properly filed and made within fifteen years from the service member’s date of discharge. Appeals to these boards may be on the written appeal itself or a hearing may be requested by the service member.

APPEALS TO MILITARY GRADE DETERMINATION BOARDS

These boards have the jurisdiction to determine what military pay grade an officer “satisfactorily served” in. A “satisfactory” determination of service has pay implications for officer advancement on the military retired list, retiring officers above the grade of warrant who have been the subject of adverse information since their last promotion, or who have received disability separations or retirements.

When an officer retires, his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) is reviewed to determine if there has been any adverse information in that file since the officer’s last promotion. Even if there is no adverse information in the officer’s OMPF, the officer’s command may refer the office to a grade determination board if there is recent adverse information in the officer’s OMPF (e.g. adverse officer performance reports, relief from command, letters of reprimand.)

The service’s Grade Determination Board is required to notify the office what specific adverse information the board is considering which may cause reduction in military grade and give the officer the opportunity to rebut the adverse information in writing. The officer has no right to personally appear before such board but does have the right to the assistance of an attorney. In the event of an adverse decision, an appeal may be taken to the service Board for Correction of Military Records.