Step 7: What Form Do I File to Start My Application?

Once you get your records and look them over, you should file the form that will start your upgrade application (either a DD Form 293 or a DD Form 149; see below for which one you should file).
The DRB or BCMR usually takes several months to review applications. You can submit any supporting documents (letters, etc.) after you file this first form, as long as the Board has not yet reviewed your application.
(Tip: Check back in Step 1 if you don't remember which board you're applying to.)
Applicants to the DRBs should submit DD Form 293. Download this form here.
  • The statement of issues (item 6) is especially important. Be sure to include every issue that you want the DRB to address (meaning every reason you think your discharge should be changed).
  • If you are close to the DRB’s 15-year time limit, to make sure you can make the deadline, you may want to submit this form before you obtain your records or before you fully prepare the rest of your application packet.
Applicants to the BCMRs should submit DD Form 149. Download this form here.
  • If you are close to the BCMR’s 3-year time limit and you have already gone through the DRB process, you should try to submit this form right away.

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