Gather the Components of Your Application
Below is a checklist of information to include in your application. Overall, you want to tell your story about why you deserve a discharge upgrade and support that story with evidence. These documents will help you do that.
To get your application in front of a Board
Note: Again, if you’re very close to the deadline for submitting an upgrade application, you may want to just file this form right away and collect the following documents afterward.
Narratives to support your case
- A written statement (see Step 5) explaining why you think the Board should upgrade your discharge.
- Your "Statement of Material Contentions." Think of this as an outline of your written statement. Use it to identify each topic you want the Board to address.
- Letters of support from colleagues and friends (see Step 6). These may include:
- Character references (supporting your story of good conduct in the military and/or in the civilian community since discharge—these could be letters from friends, employers, or other people who can speak at length about you)
- Job references
- Witness statements supporting your story behind your discharge
Evidence to support your case
- Your complete military record (which you can get by submitting Standard Form 180 (click here for info); see Step 2 for more information).
- Health records (medical, dental, mental health, etc.) (see Step 2).
- Evidence of good conduct in the military (for example, good performance reviews).
- Evidence of good conduct in the civilian community since your discharge (awards, achievements, participation in community and charity work, records showing employment, records showing education).
- Evidence of sobriety, if substance use has been a problem for you in the past.