How To Upgrade a Military Discharge

We all make mistakes. Veterans who leave the armed forces without an Honorable Discharge face reduced job prospects, do not receive educational benefits, and sometimes cannot access any benefits at all. 

Many veterans are frustrated that, despite going on to lead successful lives since their discharge, they are treated unfairly based on a single incident—often one that happened at a young age. There is, however, hope for these veterans.

Whether you need to correct a mistake in your military record or upgrade your discharge, our military lawyers at Kanthaka Group can help.

Benefits of Upgrading a Military Discharge

Upgrades to discharges may be sought after for many reasons, including:

  • Rebuilding your reputation
  • Increased educational opportunities
  • Improved career prospects
  • Eligibility for security clearance
  • Payment for service-related injuries and illnesses
  • Access to Veterans Affairs benefits

Having an unfavorable discharge ranking can negatively affect every one of these factors. To ensure that you have the best chance of future success in terms of your career and ability to obtain benefits, our military lawyers at Kanthaka Group will help you obtain the best discharge possible.

Process of Upgrading a Military Discharge

The process to upgrade a military discharge requires several documents from your time in the military. These include but are not limited to; military records, awards, counselings, evaluations, discharge paperwork, and most important—character references. These documents will provide a better overall view of your entire military service.

The entire process may take several months or even years for the review board to review and make a determination. If the upgrade is denied, you have the option to appeal the decision and request an in-person board.

Types of Military Discharges

In the military, there are different types of discharges, all of which have a different impact on benefits, education, and employment prospects. These include:

Honorable Discharge

The highest level of discharge a service member can receive is an Honorable Discharge. These discharges reflect outstanding service. Members who receive an honorable discharge will be entitled to all the rights and benefits that veterans are entitled to.

General—Under Honorable Conditions

When discharged with General and Under Honorable Conditions, a person is likely to be seen by employers as having potential discipline and behavior problems. A person with a General discharge is likely to be viewed less favorably by most employers. Furthermore, if you have been discharged by general discharge, you will lose some benefits, such as the GI Bill. 

Other Than Honorable

Potential employers will view someone who has been assigned an Other Than Honorable (OTH) discharge as a person with substantial problems with discipline and behavior. As a result, many employers will avoid hiring these individuals, making it difficult for them to find fulfilling employment. Members discharged with an OTH will also lose out on numerous benefits. 


Discharges of this nature are considered punitive and employers will view these individuals the most negatively. You will need to apply to the Board for Correction of Military Records if you received these types of discharges by special court-martial or general court-martial.

Uncharacterized/Entry-Level Separation

Service members receive this type of discharge if they serve less than six months. Discharges like these are not necessarily negative, but the service member may be seen as someone who lacked the drive to complete basic training. Upgrading these discharges isn’t easy, but it is still possible.

Contact the Military Lawyers at Kanthaka Group to Upgrade Your Discharge 

The process of updating a veteran’s military records is complex. It is critical to follow specific guidelines and meet all deadlines. At Kanthaka Group, our military lawyers will guide you through the record correction process from start to finish. We will help you fight for the discharge that you deserve.