What Can I Do to Upgrade My Discharge So I Can Use My GI Bill Benefits?

Q: I was discharge from the Army which a bad conduct from coming back late from R&R; I was late 4 days. But my question is I paid for my GI Bill for a whole year, served overseas for a year, and was in the Army for 1y 4m. I got a General Under Honorable Conditions and my Reenlisting Code (RE) is 3. I have 3 questions:

- can I go back to active army?

- do I qualify for the GI Bill since I paid for it?

- how do I go about getting a upgrade to a honorable discharge?

Thank you.

A: With an RE3 code, you can get back into the Army, however, you would first have to get a waiver. Any Army Recruiter could help you with that process.

As far as your second question, no, as of now you would not qualify for the GI Bill. While you did pay for the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB), you did not meet the minimum time in service requirement of three years.

 You can apply using DD Form 293 to the Army Discharge Review Board if you would like to file an upgrade appeal. While there are no guarantees and it can take 6 months to a year for a decision, it is an avenue you could pursue. Your responsibility in this action is to convince the Board why your discharge should be upgraded to Honorable.

As a final note, if you served for at least 90-days after September 10, 2001 on active duty (not counting training days such as IADT), you may could qualify for the 36 months of minimum education benefits under the Post 9/11 GI Bill. While this GI Bill requires no monetary contribution, it also does require an Honorable discharge. So while you can’t use your MGIB, you may be able to get some benefits out of the Post 9/11 GI Bill provided you can either get your current discharge upgraded to honorable or get back in the Army and serve a term honorably.

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