The Naval Discharge Review Board
The purpose of the Naval Discharge Review Board (NDRB) is to review and determine whether a service member's discharge was granted in a proper manner and was fair and equitable considering the regulations in effect at the time of the discharge.
1. Within 15 years of discharge a former service member (Applicant) may request a change in the Character of Service (Block 24 on DD Form 214) or the Narrative Reason for Separation (Block 28 on DD Form 214) (or both) using DD Form 293 (Application for the Review of Discharge from the Armed Forces of the United States).
2. The NDRB does not have the authority to:
a. Change the Narrative Reason for Separation from or to a Physical Disability or Medical Discharge
b. Change a Re-entry code (Block 27 on DD Form 214)
c. Upgrade a discharge to become eligible for VA benefits (i.e., GI Bill, home loans, medical treatment, or disability payments)
d. Upgrade a discharge to improve civilian or government employment opportunities
e. Automatically upgrade a discharge based solely on the passage of time or good conduct subsequent to leaving Naval Service
f. Reinstate an Applicant into the Navy or Marine Corps
g. Recall a former member to active duty
h. Cancel or void enlistment contracts
i. Review a discharge or dismissal resulting from a General Court-Martial
j. Alter the judgment of a court-martial; however, the NDRB can upgrade the discharge or dismissal if clemency is warranted
k. Revoke any discharge or dismissal.
3. The NDRB reviews dischargers on the bases of propriety and equity. The Standards used by the NDRB are set forth in Secretary of the Navy Instruction 5420.174D. The Applicant should review those standards before submitting any issue upon which the Applicant believes a change in discharge should be based.
4. There are two types of reviews: Documentary Record Review and Personal Appearance Hearing. Each Applicant is entitled to one (1) Documentary Record Review and one (1) Personal Appearance Hearing. It is recommended that an Applicant apply for a Documentary Record Review first, followed by a personal Appearance Hearing if full relief is not granted. However, should the Applicant apply for and receive a Personal Appearance Hearing first, the Applicant is no longer eligible for a Documentary Record Review.
5. The NDRB conducts all Documentary Record Reviews and Personal Appearance Hearings at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, DC. An Applicant is not present for the Documentary Review but must appear for the Personal Appearance Hearing. The NDRB does not have a traveling panel.
6. The completed DD Form 293 (including signature and date) and DD Form 214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) (Member's Copy 4) should be mailed to:
Secretary of the Navy Council of Review Boards
Attn: Naval Discharge Review Board
720 Kennon Street, Suite 309
Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5023
7. If a former service member's discharge date was more than 15 years ago, or for any changes other than Character of Service or Narrative Reason for Separation, requests can be made to the Board for Correction of Naval records (http://www.donhq.navy.mil/bcnr/bcnr.htm) using DD Form 149 (Application for Correction of Military Record).