Boards For Correction Of Military Records (BCMR)
Sometimes mistakes are made in documenting your military record. Sometimes there are injustices in your military record. Both can prevent you from receiving the benefits you deserve.
Your service’s BCMR has the ability to correct these mistakes and injustices.
A BCMR can review and upgrade discharges, including punitive discharges from a general court-martial, change the reason for discharge, reinstate service members to active duty, change reenlistment codes, remove erroneous or unjust performance evaluations, remove disciplinary actions from your record, or overturn a service agency’s adverse decision against you, such as a military law enforcement agency’s decision to “title” you, or an Inspector General’s decision to substantiate an allegation of misconduct against you.
BCMRs have a strict time limit of 3 years from the date the error or injustice occurred, or the date you discovered the error or injustice, though occasionally a BCMR will waive the time limit for “good cause.”
You must also show you exhausted all available administrative remedies before applying to the BCMR for relief.
As with DRBs, veterans can apply to BCMRs on their own. But it is better for veterans to seek help with a BCMR application from an experienced attorney like those in the Law Offices of David P. Sheldon, PLLC.
Let our experienced attorneys help guide you through the process.
Learn More About the BCMR
Your efforts to seek relief may not end with a decision from the Board for Correction of Military Records (BCMR) or the Discharge Review Board (DRB) and may require appealing the case in a federal court of law.
Federal courts serve as important safeguards for servicemembers and are empowered to review and set aside unlawful BCMR and DRB decisions. Federal court litigation of military and military-related decisions requires researching and drafting highly technical legal documents on nuanced issues that are in a constant state of evolution.
Therefore, it is important that you retain an attorney with more than just a passing familiarity with such federal court cases.
Mr. Sheldon has more than 20 years of military law experience and has litigated several cases before numerous federal courts, including the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, various federal district courts, U.S. courts of appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. He has the experience to get the most out of your appeal.
Success In Federal Court
Success in federal court begins at the administrative phase with your application to the BCMR, DRB, or other similar board. In most cases, an applicant is required to apply to the BCMR or DRB before filing in federal court. The record created at the administrative level will be what a federal judge relies upon to make a ruling.
It is important that your application be written to maximize your chances of success in federal court-even your case might never require judicial review.
You need a lawyer with the experience and foresight to evaluate your case early in the process and anticipate the issues that may arise in federal court. If you have suffered an error of injustice, Mr. Sheldon and his team can take your case before the BCMR or DRB and, if necessary, to federal court.
If you have already received an adverse decision from the BCMR or DRB, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Normally, you must file in federal court within six years from the date of an adverse agency decision, but you may actually have less time depending on which court has jurisdiction over your case.
Mr. Sheldon and his team will:
- Carefully review the board’s decision and identify appealable errors or other infirmities in the BCMR or DRB’s decision;
- Assess your chances of launching a successful appeal;
- Research and draft your federal court complaint and legal documents required for the court’s adjudication; and
- When appropriate, pursue other judicially-assisted avenues of relief such as remanding the case back to the BCMR or DRB when the board has failed in their mandate to consider evidence or arguments; and lastly,
- Appear at all hearings on your behalf.
- PO1 L.R.