ARMY DISCHARGE REVIEW BOARD (ADRB)
Georgia Military Lawyer Scot Sikes
Former members of the Regular Army, the Army Reserve, and the Army National Guard may apply for an upgrade to their discharge (DD Form 293) to the Army Discharge Review Board (ADRB). If the former service member is deceased or incompetent, the surviving spouse, next of kin, or legal representative may also apply.
How do I apply?
First review your personnel records, submit a Standard Form 180 (Request Pertaining to Military Records) to:
National Personnel Records Center (NPRC)
9700 Page Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 62132-5200
After you have all your documents ready, submit an original, completed and signed Application for Review of Discharge or Dismissal (DD Form 293). Blank forms and instructions are available on the ADRB website.
Application forms can also be obtained by sending a request to:
Army Review Boards Agency (ARBA)
ATTN: Client Information and Quality Assurance
Arlington, VA 22202-4508
How long do I have to apply?
Requests for review must be made within 15 years of discharge/dismissal. It is suggested that you wait at least 6-24 months after discharge before applying to the ADRB in order to allow time to establish some references in the civilian community and to accumulate evidence that you are in fact being a productive member of society.
What characterization of discharge can I request?
You can apply to have your discharge considered for upgrading to an Honorable discharge the first time you apply, regardless of the characterization of discharge you were awarded. However, we suggest you be realistic in your request.
What reasons justify an upgrade of my discharge?
There are two grounds for upgrading a discharge:
- Propriety – requesting change in discharge due to an error in the application of a regulation, statute, Constitutional provision, or other source of law.
- Equity – requesting change in discharge due to: (1) the policies and procedures under which you were discharged differing in material aspects from those currently applicable on a service-wide basis, (2) the discharge being inconsistent with the standards of discipline in the military service of which you were a member at the time of issuance, (3) your exemplary service record and other evidence presented to the ADRB, or (4) your capability to serve (age, educational level and aptitude scores; family and personal problems; capricious actions; or discrimination).
Can I appear personally before the review board?
Yes. There are three types of reviews. The first two involve personal appearance.
- Resident panel hearing – a review involving an appearance before the ADRB in Arlington, VA by you and/or your counsel or representative. You must pay your own travel expenses and that of your counsel, if applicable.
- Traveling Panel Hearing – a review involving an appearance before the ADRB at the regional location you request. The traveling panel holds reviews at each regional location approximately one time each year. You must pay your own travel expenses and that of your counsel, if applicable.
- Record – a review of the application, available service record, and documents submitted by you or on your behalf by counsel. There is no personal appearance; the review is of your documentation only.
Can I submit a brief or supporting cases, regulations, previous decisions, etc. with my application?
Yes, however, when a brief is submitted, it is recommended that the specific issues discussed in the brief be identified on the DD Form 293 in the issues block. Also, copies of cited cases should be attached with your submission along with excerpts from regulations, if any.
What if I want to apply for a change in my “Reason for Discharge”?
You must specifically note this as a reason for your application in Block 3c of the application and provide documents to support your issue(s). If you fail to do this, the ADRB will assume you are only applying for an upgrade of the characterization of your discharge.
Can I apply to the ADRB for a change in my Reenlistment (RE) Code?
No, RE code changes should be directed to:
Alexandria, VA 22331
Can I apply to the ADRB for reconsideration of a discharge I received at a court-martial? Yes, the ADRB processes all applications for upgrade as long as they are filed within 15 years from the date of discharge. Applications for upgrade after 15 years from the date of discharge must be submitted to the Army Board for Correction of Military Records (DD Form 149).
If my discharge is upgraded, will I receive my GI Bill or get back the money I paid into it?
Not necessarily. The ADRB does not make decisions on policies or procedures related to the GI Bill. Only the Department of Veterans Affairs can assist with such matters.
Do I need to hire a lawyer to draft and handle my application?
As with other administrative law matters, the decision to hire counsel to assist you with your application is a personal one that will likely be dependent upon the gravity of your issues and the limitations of your financial resources. Finding an attorney experienced in pursuing ADRB applications may be the important first step to obtaining relief or landing a successful outcome for your matter.
Contact Columbus Military Law Lawyer Scot Sikes to discuss your discharge upgrade request.