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Assistance with Applications to Boards for Correction of Military Records (BCMRs) for Veterans Who Were Wrongfully Discharged for a Personality Disorder or Adjustment Disorder

National Veterans Legal Services Program has started a new program to provide free legal representation to veterans who were wrongfully discharged for a personality disorder or adjustment disorder, regardless of whether the discharge was recent or many years ago.

1. What is the nature of this problem?

From 2001 to 2010, the military service branches discharged more than 31,000 service members due to alleged diagnoses of personality disorder.   It is well known by veterans’ advocates that many of these discharges were improper.  In fact, a Government Accounting Office report from 2008 concluded that “DOD does not have reasonable assurance that its key personality disorder separation requirements have been followed.”  Many service members wrongfully diagnosed with a personality disorder or an adjustment disorder may be suffering from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

2. What is a Board for Correction of Military Records (BCMR)?

Each military service branch has a BCMR that serves as the highest level of administrative review within the branch to correct errors or remove injustices from military records.  The Navy’s board is called the Board for Correction of Naval Records (BCNR) and processes applications from both current and former Sailors and Marines. 

3. How can a BCMR decision assist me?

A BCMR’s authority to correct military records includes the ability to accomplish the following:

• A BCMR can correct the reason for discharge that is listed on a veteran’s discharge certificate (DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) by removing the words “personality disorder” or “adjustment disorder” and replacing them with a more innocuous reason such as “Secretarial Authority.” 

• A BCMR can medically retire a veteran who was wrongfully administratively separated for a personality disorder or an adjustment disorder if it can be demonstrated that the veteran was actually suffering from a compensable mental disorder such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or anxiety disorder that made the veteran unfit to perform his/her military duties. 

4. Who is eligible for assistance with a BCMR application through NVLSP’s Lawyers Serving Warriors® program?

All veterans who were administratively separated by a military service branch due to a personality disorder or an adjustment disorder, as long as the veteran believes the diagnosis by the military service branch was incorrect.

5. How do I request legal assistance from NVLSP's Lawyers Serving Warriors® program?

Click here to provide us with your contact information so we can screen your case for eligibility

If you qualify, we will provide you an application form to complete and return to us along with a copy of your discharge certificate (DD Form 214), if you have a copy available.

If you don't recall what your DD Form 214 looks like, you can see a redacted DD Form 214 here.

6. How do I obtain a copy of my DD Form 214?

If you do not have a copy of your DD Form 214, follow the instructions to request a copy from the National Archives.

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