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Upgrading Your Military Discharge

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The hearing normally takes less than an hour but the Board will take whatever time is necessary to hear your case, there is no time limit. If you have counsel your counsel will likely make an opening statement on your behalf then ask you questions, and then in that way draw out your testimony.

If you are giving sworn testimony, the Board members will ask you questions, your counsel will then make a closing statement on your behalf and then you will have a final opportunity to address the Board. After you are excused you may leave immediately. The Board will then go into deliberations and reach its decision.

It will take about six to eight weeks for you to receive the Board's decision. If your discharge is changed you will receive a new discharge certificate, a new DD form 214, and the decisional document of this Board. If your discharge is not changed you will receive the decisional document of this Board which will include the specific reasons your discharge was not changed and will also include any further appeal process, which is applicable to you. In either case, plan on six to eight weeks to get the results.

Changing Reenlistment Eligibility (RE) Codes

The Armed Forces use Reenlistment Eligibility (RE) codes to categorize individuals for enlistment or reenlistment in the Armed Forces. RE codes in the '1' series indicate a person is eligible for immediate reenlistment or prior service enlistment, provided otherwise eligible. RE codes in the '2', '3' and '4' series restrict the individual from immediate reenlistment or prior service enlistment. You must receive a review and/or waiver of these RE codes before you are eligible to enlist again.

There are many qualified prior service applicants who possess a '1' series RE code who will not be able to reenter the military due to specific needs of the service. (See article on Prior Service Enlistments).

In most cases, a person with a "2" RE or "4" RE code is not allowed to enlist. Those with an RE Code of "3" may be allowed to enlist, with a waiver, if they can show that the reason for discharge no longer applies. Such waivers are granted through the individual services through military recruiters, not the DRB process.

The Discharge Boards will not directly consider a request to change the RE code in the DRB process. There is one exception: If the DRB upgrades an applicant's discharge, the Board will also consider whether the RE code should be changed. If the applicant is considered a good candidate to return to the military, the RE code will be changed to "3A"--a waiverable code.

Any request to directly consider a change to RE code not involving change to the characterization of service and/or narrative reason for separation must be made through the appropriate Board of Correction for Military Records.

If you are seeking a waiver or change of the RE code for the purpose of entering another branch of service, you will need to contact the appropriate service recruiter. The prerogative to waive the individual's RE ineligibility based on post service performance and conduct rests with the Secretaries of the Army, Navy and Air Force. Each Secretary may allow an individual to enlist in the service under his/her jurisdiction. The Secretary of one branch of the Armed Forces has no authority to waive reenlistment/enlistment ineligibility for another service. For example, if a former Army member wishes to enlist in the Air Force, he/she must process through Air Force channels for prior service enlistment. If the RE code renders the veteran ineligible, he/she must process any review or change action through Army channels.

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