HomeHomemyPersSeparationDischarge Review Board

Objective

The objective of the Air Force Discharge Review Board, or AFDRB, is to examine an Airman’s administrative discharge and to consider changing the characterization of service and/or the reason for discharge, based on standards of propriety or equity. Discharges are deemed proper and equitable unless the Airman provides compelling evidence to prove that was not the case.

The board may grant or deny, in whole or in part, the requested relief. The AFDRB may not overturn a discharge or issue a less favorable discharge than what the Airman received at the time of separation. Each case is considered on its own merit, and there are no "automatic upgrades."

ELIGIBILITY

The AFDRB provides former Airmen the opportunity to request a review of their discharge (except for a discharge or dismissal by general courts-martial) within 15 years of the date of separation. An Airman is eligible to apply if they meet the following criteria:

  • Is a former Airman whose discharge is less than/within 15 years ago AND
  • Has never had a case with the AFDRB (or is reapplying for a Personal Appearance) AND
  • Is requesting for an upgrade of service characterization (Block 24 on DD 214) AND/OR
  • Is requesting a change in the narrative reason for discharge (Block 28 on DD 214) AND/OR
  • Is requesting a change to the reenlistment eligibility code

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

To request to have your discharge reviewed, complete, sign and submit a completed DD Form 293, Application for the Review of Discharge from the Armed Forces of the United States. Airmen should ensure they make a copy of their application packages as the AFDRB will not return them.

Applicants are required to sign and date the DD 293 before submission. A legal representative may not sign the DD 293 for applicant UNLESS the applicant is deceased or incompetent, in which case, a legal proof of death or incompetency must be included with the application package.

No provisions exist to automatically upgrade a discharge. Airmen must state the specific reason(s) they feel their discharge was improper or inequitable. The board will evaluate the case based on documentation in the military record and any additional evidence provided by the Airman. The AFDRV has access to, and will review, medical records, to include post-service VA medical records. It is the Airman’s/legal representative’s responsibility to submit supporting documents/additional attachments as evidence to support the reason(s) for their request. 

Include a copy of any DD Form 214s, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, or AF Form 100, Request and Authorization for Separation, and final discharge documents in the application package.

Applications may be submitted by mail or email:

By mail (*Use the mailing address below and not the one on the form):
Air Force Review Board
ATTN: AF Discharge Review Board
3351 Celmers Lane
Joint Base Andrews, MD 20762-6435

By email:  usaf.pentagon.saf-mr.mbx.drb-workflow@mail.mil

Once the application has been received and reviewed for viability for the AFDRB, applicants will receive an email (or mail, if an email is not provided) regarding the application package with a docket number. If the application is not accepted for viability, an email (or mail) will be sent explaining the issue. Multiple applications will not be accepted.

For more information from the Department of Veterans Affairs ab out how to apply for a discharge upgrade, please visit https://www.va.gov/discharge-upgrade-instructions.

ELECTRONIC APPLICATION GUIDELINES

Digital File Resolution:  Please ensure documents are scanned at a high enough resolution to accommodate text recognition. Any pictures or images should be scanned at the highest resolution possible. Submitting unreadable information could delay your case due to the need to request legible paper copies.

Digital File Size:  It may be necessary for applicants to send multiple emails containing separate documents as the ability to accept email is limited to one gigabyte of data per email.

Note:  A scanned or facsimile copy of the application form is considered a legitimate application.

INELIGIBILITY

The AFDRB does NOT have the authority in regards to the matters listed below:

  • Change the Narrative Reason for Separation from or to a Physical Disability, Retirement or Medical Discharge (to name a few)
  • Upgrade a discharge to become eligible for benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (i.e., GI Bill, home loans, medical treatment or disability payments)
  • Upgrade a discharge to improve civilian or government employment opportunities
  • Automatically upgrade a discharge based solely on the passage of time or good conduct subsequent to leaving the Air Force
  • Reinstate or recall an Airman back to duty
  • Request for back or separation pay
  • Cancel or void enlistment contracts
  • Review a discharge or dismissal resulting from a general court-martial
    • Former Airmen who received a dismissal or bad conduct discharge through a special court-martial may apply to the AFDRB for clemency. If there is good cause, the board can substitute an administrative discharge for a dismissal or punitive discharge. The decision to grant clemency would largely be based on the Airman’s post-service conduct and accomplishments.
  • Alter the judgment of a court-martial; however, the AFDRB can upgrade the discharge or dismissal if clemency is warranted
  • Revoke any discharge or dismissal
  • Cases more than 15 years from the date of separation

CASE/REVIEW TYPES

Each Airman is entitled one Records Review and one Personal Appearance. A records review must be done prior to a Personal Appearance. Once an Airman has received a Personal Appearance, they will no longer be eligible for a record review.