On September 3, 2014 DoD Secretary Hagel issued a memorandum to the Board of Correction of Military Records regarding discharge upgrade requests when there is an underlying issue of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We previously blogged about this supplemental guidance at http://blog.finkrosnerershow-levenberg.com/va-benefits-news/sec-hagels-guidance-bcmnr-ptsd/.
On November 3, 2014, the Department of Army began formal implementation of Secretary Hagel’s memorandum with the issuance of Army Directive (AD) 2014-28 (Army Secretary John M. McHugh, dated November 3, 2014). Although AD 2014-28 does not give much insight into possible regulatory changes, it does clarify a few issues: (1) Secretary Hagel’s guidance applies to the Army Board of Corrections of Military Records and the Army Discharge Review Board; (2) Vietnam veterans will receive prioritized review [since more that 15 years has passed] before the ABCMR; (3) the Office of the Surgeon General will provide assistance in the clinical assessment of PTSD; and (4) implementing instructions will follow. A copy of AD 2014-28 can be found at AD 2014-28.
I suspect that changes to the operative service regulations will be forthcoming; however, as interim guidance from the various branches become available, I’ll try to provide timely updates.
If you have questions concerning your characterization of discharge or are seeking representation for BCMR/DRB review, please don’t hesitate to contact me at (732) 382-6070 or via email at sdirector@FRE-L.com.