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Can I Use My GI Bill If I Get Upgraded to a General Under Honorable Conditions?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Good Afternoon Sir, I am about to be other than honorably discharged from the military. I intend to challenge it after six months and hopefully have it changed to general under honorable conditions. If I am able to do that is there any way i would be able to regain my GI Bill? Thank you for your time.

A: No, getting your characterization of service changed to a general under honorable condition will not allow you to use your GI Bill. It has to be fully honorable.

I don’t know why you are waiting six months before you try an upgrade though. Do it right away.

The process starts by you submitting DD 293 to your military branch Discharge Review Board. If can take up to a year to get a decision and there are no guarantees they would change it to honorable, but it is the avenue of appeal. If the Discharge Review Board does not upgrade your discharge or you have been out more than 15 years, then you would use DD 149 and submit it to the Board of Corrections to Military Records. This board is also the end of the line as far as appeals. There isn’t anything higher.

In both boards, the outcome of your appeal will largely be determined by how well you can support your request. You can either request a paperwork review or a personal appearance either by you or a lawyer you hire that has military discharge upgrade experience.  Cases where the individual or representation make a personal appearance have a higher outcome of getting upgraded verses going just the paperwork review route.

Comments  (2)

If you’ve done a full first enlistment and then later you get out…you get your GI bill UNLESS you got a dishonorable discharge.

I did some drugs and hit an NCO and I’m getting my MGIB and start school in about 2 weeks. I did 4 years and 2 years into my 2nd enlistment I did some pot. Then later on when the company put me on a bunch of extra duties an NCO got the nerve to harass me during the extra duty. I floored him.

posted by C Dresden
6:41 pm on August 15, 2012

What you said is not quite right C. If you’ve done a full first enlistment and then later you get out…you get your GI bill UNLESS you got anything less than a fully honorable not a dishonorable discharge. Generals under honorable conditions or Other Than Honorables don’t count as far as you being able to use your GI Bill benefits.

posted by Ron Kness
10:33 am on September 9, 2012
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