This website is not affiliated with the U.S. government or military.

What Can I Do If I’m Getting a General Discharge with 3 1/2 Years in of a 4-Year Contract?

Q: Hi, I’m Andrew. I did 3 years and 6 months on a 4-year contract. Some things happened and I’m getting a General discharge. What can I do?

A: Well Andrew, it is not so much of what you can do as what you would not be able to do and that is use your GI Bill benefits. In order to do so, you have to have a fully Honorable discharge.

So about the only option you have is to request a discharge upgrade to Honorable. It is not a complicated process, but it can be a long one – up to one year before you hear back with a decision and there isn’t a guarantee you will be successful at getting an upgrade; only about 41% get an upgrade.

To start the process, fill out and submit DD Form 293 to your military branch Discharge Review Board. They view every discharge as being correct, so it is your job to prove why yours is not correct and convince them to change it.

There are a couple of ways you can plead your case. One is to fill out the form and send it in allowing your documentation to stand on its own. The second way involves personal representation at the board along with your DD Form 293. Your personal representation can be either yourself or you can hire a civilian lawyer with discharge upgrade experience to represent you. If you go the lawyer route, you have to pay for his/her services even if you win.

While there are not guarantees you would get an upgrade, it is the only chance you have of ever being able to use your GI Bill benefits, so it is worth the time (and possibly the cost) to try.

Privacy Policy | About Us | FAQ | Terms of Service | Disclaimers | Do Not Sell My Personal Information (CA and NV residents)

Copyright © 2023 EducationDynamics. All Rights Reserved.

This is a private website that is not affiliated with the U.S. government, U.S. Armed Forces or Department of Veteran Affairs. U.S. government agencies have not reviewed this information. This site is not connected with any government agency. If you would like to find more information about benefits offered by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, please visit the official U.S. government web site for veterans’ benefits at

The sponsored schools featured on this site do not include all schools that accept GI Bill® funding or VA Benefits. To contact ArmyStudyGuide, email us.

Disclosure: EducationDynamics receives compensation for the featured schools on our websites (see “Sponsored Schools” or “Sponsored Listings” or “Sponsored Results”). So what does this mean for you? Compensation may impact where the Sponsored Schools appear on our websites, including whether they appear as a match through our education matching services tool, the order in which they appear in a listing, and/or their ranking. Our websites do not provide, nor are they intended to provide, a comprehensive list of all schools (a) in the United States (b) located in a specific geographic area or (c) that offer a particular program of study. By providing information or agreeing to be contacted by a Sponsored School, you are in no way obligated to apply to or enroll with the school.

This is an offer for educational opportunities that may lead to employment and not an offer for nor a guarantee of employment. Students should consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific program curriculum. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. The financial aid information on this site is for informational and research purposes only and is not an assurance of financial aid.

VFW $30,000 Scholarship!
Write an essay on the annual patriotic theme. This year’s theme is, “Why Is The Veteran Important?”