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Department of Defense

DIRECTIVE

NUMBER 1332.41

March 8, 2004




USD(P&R)

SUBJECT:  Boards for Correction of Military Records (BCMRs) and Discharge Review Boards (DRBs)

References: (a)  DoD Directive 1332.28, "Discharge Review Board (DRB) Procedures and Standards," August 11, 1982 (hereby canceled)

(b)  DoD Instruction 1336.6, "Correction of Military Records," December 28, 1994 (hereby canceled)

(c)  Sections 1413(a), 1552, 1553, 1556, and 1557 of title 10, United States Code

1.  PURPOSE

This Directive:

1.1.  Cancels reference (a) and replaces reference (b).

1.2.  Assigns responsibilities for administering discharge review boards (DRBs) and for correcting any military record of the Military Department when the Secretary concerned deems necessary in accordance with reference (c).

1.3.  Establishes uniform policies for the review of discharges or dismissals under reference (c).

2.  APPLICABILITY

The provisions of this Directive apply to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), the Military Departments, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Combatant Commands, the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Defense, the Defense Agencies, the DoD Field Activities, and all other organizational entities in the Department of Defense (hereafter referred to as "the DoD Components").  The term, "Military Services," as used herein, refers to the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the Marine Corps.

3.  POLICY

It is DoD policy that:

3.1.  Procedures established by the Secretaries of the Military Departments for the correction of military records and for the review of discharges and dismissals must conform to the requirements of reference (c) and this Directive.

3.2.  Military Department policy governing the operation and conduct of boards for the correction of military records and boards for review of discharges or dismissals shall state the scope of each board's authority and, at a minimum, require that:

3.2.1.  The boards consider applications individually and fashion relief appropriate to the facts and circumstances of each case.

3.2.2.  Applications be submitted by the individual seeking relief or by an appropriate representative as defined in reference (c), as applicable.

3.2.3.  Before granting relief, sufficient evidence justifying the relief must be on the record or provided by the applicant.  Relief shall be denied if there is insufficient material evidence in the record or provided by the applicant to warrant relief.

3.3.  Combat-Related Special Compensation.

3.3.1.  In considering an application for combat-related special compensation under reference (c), the Boards for Correction of Military Records (BCMR) shall seek an advisory opinion from the Director of Compensation, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Military Personnel Policy) (ODUSD/MPP).

3.3.2.  The BCMRs shall provide the ODUSD/MPP a copy of any final decision concerning an application for combat-related special compensation.

4.  RESPONSIBILITIES

4.1.  The Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) (USD(P&R)) shall:

4.1.1.  Resolve all issues concerning DRBs that are not resolved by the Military Departments.

4.1.2.  Ensure uniformity among the Military Departments in the rights afforded applicants in discharge reviews.

4.1.3.  Review and approve procedures prescribed by the Secretaries of the Military Departments for correction of military records under the authority of reference (c).

4.2.  The Secretaries of the Military Departments have the authority for final decision and the responsibility for the operation of their respective BCMRs and DRBs under reference (c).

4.2.1.  The Secretary concerned shall prescribe procedures for the correction of military records and obtain approval of such procedures in accordance with this Directive.  Additionally, the Secretary concerned shall maintain a permanent record of each procedure approval.

4.2.2.  The Secretary of each Military Department shall ensure that an applicant seeking corrective action by the Department's BCMR or DRB is provided a copy of all correspondence to or from the agency or board with an entity or person outside the agency or board in accordance with reference (c).  Any administrative correspondence or military record that is or may be provided to the applicant by the Military Department or other source need not be provided to the applicant.

4.2.3.  The Secretary of each Military Department shall ensure that the time standards for disposition of applications before the BCMRs are met, in accordance with reference (c).

4.3.  The Secretary of the Army shall:

4.3.1.  Serve as the designated DoD Lead and DoD-wide focal point for administrative matters regarding DRBs.

4.3.2.  Review suggested modifications to this Directive, including implementing documents; monitor the implementing documents of the other Military Departments; resolve differences, when practicable; recommend specific changes; provide supporting rationale to the USD(P&R) for decision; and submit appropriate documentation through the USD(P&R) and the OSD Federal Register liaison officer to effect publication in the Federal Register.

4.3.3.  Maintain the DD Form 293, "Application for the Review of Discharge or Dismissal from the Armed Forces of the United States," and DD Form 149, "Application for Correction of Military Records Under the Provisions of Title 10, U.S. Code, Section 1552," and republish them as necessary after appropriate coordination with the other Military Departments, the USD(P&R), and the Office of Management and Budget.

4.3.4.  Respond to all inquiries from private individuals, organizations, or public officials with regard to DRB matters.  When a specific Military Service can be identified, refer such correspondence to the appropriate DRB for response or designate an appropriate activity to perform this task.

4.3.5.  Provide overall guidance and supervision to the DoD Boards' Electronic Reading Room and the Reading Room Library.  The DoD Electronic Reading Room's website is located at <http://boards.af.mil> and shall contain all the decisional documents since 1996 for each Department's boards and application forms for complainants to download electronically.  The DoD Reading Room Library shall consist of microfiche records of the decisional documents for each Department's boards from 1976 through 1996 and be maintained by the Office of the Secretary of the Army.  Notice of the location, hours of operation, and similar types of information regarding the Reading Room Library shall be published in the Federal Register.

5.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This Directive is effective immediately.

Signed by:  Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense