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Is It True My Uncharacterized Discharge Will Convert to Honorable After Six Months?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hello, I was recently discharged from the Air Force for patella femoral pain syndrome and it is an uncharacterized discharge. I was told that after 6 months this would be honorable. Would you guys give me the correct information I’m looking for or point in my in the right direction? I really appreciate it as I’m trying to get funding for school now, thank you so much.

A: The correct information is that you were given erroneous information intentionally or otherwise to get you out of their hair and out of the Air Force. Discharges that are not fully Honorable do not automatically roll over to honorable after 6 months. That is a myth that refuses to die.

Because your discharge was uncharacterized, it tells me that you were most likely in less than a year. They probably determined that either you had it when you came in and should not have been enlisted in the first place. The only way to get your discharge changed is to plead your case before the Air Force Discharge Review Board.

There isn’t a special format to request an upgrade. Just submit your information in letter format to the Board. Your job is to convince them why your current discharge is not accurate. Be sure to include all medically-related information such as doctor’s reports, labs results, etc.

However if the med board found your syndrome service-connected, your current discharge is preventing you from using your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. Under serviced-connected conditions full Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits are awarded, but you have to have an Honorable discharge to use those benefits.

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