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With an Other Than Honorable Discharge, What Will Happen to My GI Bill Benefits?

Q: There is a possibility I may receive an other than honorable discharge from the Marine Corps. I have served 4 years on a 5-year contract and have been on a combat deployment. I have been thrown around with rumors about what could happen to my GI Bill and I am looking for a real answer. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

A: The real answer is that you would have your GI Bill – you just won’t be able to use your 36 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill educational benefits at the 100% tier with a discharge of anything less than fully Honorable.

However, if you feel your OTH discharge is not right, and you can prove your case, you can submit to the Marine Corps Board of Military Corrections and request that your discharge be upgraded to Honorable. It can take up to a year to hear back with a decision and there is no guarantee they will upgrade it, but it is worth a try if you feel you have truly been wronged. Fill out DD Form 293, attach your supporting documentation and then wait.

You can also choose to make a personal appearance to support your case or hire a lawyer to represent you if you wish (at your own expense). And if you hear a rumor that discharges are automatically upgraded after six months, don’t believe it because it is entirely false. The only chance of it being upgraded is if you apply to the Board.

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