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With a General Discharge, What Are My Education Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I was discharged with a General/Honorable discharge. What education benefits am I entitled too?

A: None. For all the GI Bills (currently in existence), a fully Honorable discharge is required to use the educational benefits. You may have a couple options though.

If you think your General discharge was unfair and you can prove it, you could appeal to the Discharge Review Board (DRB) and request (with justification) a discharge upgrade, provided it has been 15 years or less from your date of discharge. If it has been more than 15 years, then you would have to go through the Board of Corrections of Military Records (BCMR).

To start the DRB process, fill out DD Form 293. For the BCMR, use DD Form 149. With either board, it can take 6 months to a year for a decision and there are no guarantees, but at least it is an avenue of appeal to make right a wrong, if you were indeed treated unfairly. Just a word of warning – the Board goes in under the assumption your discharge is correct and it is up to you to prove them wrong.

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