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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of December 17, 2014

Title 32Subtitle AChapter VIISubchapter G → Part 865


Title 32: National Defense


PART 865—PERSONNEL REVIEW BOARDS


Contents

Subpart A—Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records

§865.0   Purpose.
§865.1   Setup of the Board.
§865.2   Board responsibilities.
§865.3   Application procedures.
§865.4   Board actions.
§865.5   Decision of the Secretary of the Air Force.
§865.6   Reconsideration of applications.
§856.7   Action after final decision.
§865.8   Miscellaneous provisions.

Subpart B—Air Force Discharge Review Board

§865.100   Purpose.
§865.101   References.
§865.102   Statutory authority.
§865.103   Definition of terms.
§865.104   Secretarial responsibilities.
§865.105   Jurisdiction and authority.
§865.106   Application for review.
§865.107   DRB composition and meeting location.
§865.108   Availability of records and documents.
§865.109   Procedures for hearings.
§865.110   Decision process.
§865.111   Response to items submitted as issues by the applicant.
§865.112   Decisional issues.
§865.113   Recommendations by the Director of the Personnel Council and Secretarial Review Authority.
§865.114   Decisional document.
§865.115   Issuance of decisions following discharge review.
§865.116   Records of DRB proceeding.
§865.117   Final disposition of the record of proceedings.
§865.118   Availability of Discharge Review Board documents for public inspection and copying.
§865.119   Privacy Act information.
§865.120   Discharge review standards.
§865.121   Complaints concerning decisional documents and index entries.
§865.122   Summary of statistics for Discharge Review Board.
§865.123   Approval of exceptions to directive.
§865.124   Procedures for regional hearings.
§865.125   Report requirement.
§865.126   Sample report format.

Subpart A—Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records

Source: 75 FR 596132, Sept. 28, 2010, unless otherwise noted.

§865.0   Purpose.

This subpart sets up procedures for correction of military records to remedy error or injustice. It tells how to apply for correction of military records and how the Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records (AFBCMR, or the Board) considers applications. It defines the Board's authority to act on applications. It directs collecting and maintaining information subject to the Privacy Act of 1974 authorized by 10 U.S.C. 1034 and 1552. System of Records notice F035 SAFCB A, Military Records Processed by the Air Force Correction Board, applies.

§865.1   Setup of the Board.

The AFBCMR operates within the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force according to 10 U.S.C. 1552. The Board consists of civilians in the executive part of the Department of the Air Force who are appointed and serve at the pleasure of the Secretary of the Air Force. Three members constitute a quorum of the Board.

§865.2   Board responsibilities.

(a) Considering applications. The Board considers all individual applications properly brought before it. In appropriate cases, it directs correction of military records to remove an error or injustice, or recommends such correction.

(b) Recommending action. When an applicant alleges reprisal under the Military Whistleblowers Protection Act, 10 U.S.C. 1034, the Board may recommend to the Secretary of the Air Force that disciplinary or administrative action be taken against those responsible for the reprisal.

(c) Deciding cases. The Board normally decides cases on the evidence of the record. It is not an investigative body. However, the Board may, in its discretion, hold a hearing or call for additional evidence or opinions in any case.

§865.3   Application procedures.

(a) Who may apply:

(1) In most cases, the applicant is a member or former member of the Air Force, since the request is personal to the applicant and relates to his or her military records.

(2) An applicant with a proper interest may request correction of another person's military records when that person is incapable of acting on his or her own behalf, is missing, or is deceased. Depending on the circumstances, a child, spouse, civilian employee or former civilian employee, former spouse, parent or other close relative, an heir, or a legal representative (such as a guardian or executor) of the member or former member may be able to show a proper interest. Applicants will send proof of proper interest with the application when requesting correction of another person's military records. An application may be returned when proper interest has not been shown.

(3) A member, former member, employee or former employee, dependent, and current or former spouse may apply to correct a document or other record of any other military matter that affects them (This does not include records pertaining to civilian employment matters). Applicants will send proof of the effect of the document or record upon them with the application when requesting a correction under this provision.

(b) Getting forms. Applicants may get a DD Form 149, “Application for Correction of Military Record Under the Provisions of Title 10 U.S.C. 1552,” and Air Force Pamphlet 36-2607, “Applicants' Guide to the Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records (AFBCMR),” from:

(1) Any Air Force Military Personnel Flight (MPF) or publications distribution office.

(2) Most veterans' service organizations.

(3) The Air Force Review Boards Office, SAF/MRBR, 550 C Street West, Suite 40, Randolph AFB TX 78150-4742.

(4) The AFBCMR, 1535 Command Drive, EE Wing 3rd Floor, Andrews AFB MD 20762-7002.

(5) Thru the Internet at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/infomgt/forms/eforms/dd0149.pdf (DD Form 149) and http://www.e-publishing.af.mil/shared/media/epubs/AFPAM36-2607.pdf (Air Force Pamphlet 36-2607).

(c) Preparation. Before applying, applicants should:

(1) Review Air Force Pamphlet 36-2607.

(2) Discuss their concerns with MPF, finance office, or other appropriate officials. Errors can often be corrected administratively without resort to the Board.

(3) Exhaust other available administrative remedies (otherwise the Board may return the request without considering it).

(d) Submitting the application. Applicants should complete all applicable sections of the DD Form 149, including at least:

(1) The name under which the member served.

(2) The member's social security number or Air Force service number.

(3) The applicant's current mailing address.

(4) The specific records correction being requested.

(5) Proof of proper interest if requesting correction of another person's records.

(6) The applicant's original signature.

(e) Applicants should mail the original signed DD Form 149 and any supporting documents to the Air Force address on the back of the form.

(f) Meeting time limits. Ordinarily, applicants must file an application within 3 years after the error or injustice was discovered, or, with due diligence, should have been discovered. In accordance with federal law, time on active duty is not included in the 3 year period. An application filed later is untimely and may be denied by the Board on that basis.

(1) The Board may excuse untimely filing in the interest of justice.

(2) If the application is filed late, applicants should explain why it would be in the interest of justice for the Board to waive the time limits.

(g) Stay of other proceedings. Applying to the AFBCMR does not stay other proceedings.

(h) Counsel representation. Applicants may be represented by counsel, at their own expense.

(1) The term “counsel” includes members in good standing of the bar of any state, accredited representatives of veterans' organizations recognized under by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs pursuant to 38 U.S.C. 5902(a)(1), and other persons determined by the Executive Director of the Board to be competent to represent the interests of the applicant.

(2) See DoDD 7050.06, Military Whistleblower Protection1 and AFI 90-301, Inspector General Complaints Resolution, for special provisions for counsel in cases processed under 10 U.S.C. 1034.

1Available via the Internet at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/705006p.pdf.

(i) Page limitations on briefs. Briefs in support of applications:

(1) May not exceed 25 double-spaced typewritten pages.

(2) Must be typed on one side of a page only with not more than 12 characters per inch.

(3) Must be assembled in a manner that permits easy reproduction.

(4) Responses to advisory opinions must not exceed 10 double-spaced typewritten pages and meet the other requirements for briefs.

(5) These limitations do not apply to supporting documentary evidence.

(6) In complex cases and upon request, the Executive Director of the Board may waive these limitations.

(j) Withdrawing applications. Applicants may withdraw an application at any time before the Board's decision. Withdrawal does not stay the 3-year time limit.

(k) Authority to reject applications. The Executive Director may return an application without action, if, after consultation with legal counsel, he or she determines that the application is clearly frivolous, or the remedy that is requested is beyond the authority of the Board. This authority may not be delegated.

§865.4   Board actions.

(a) Board information sources. The applicant has the burden of providing sufficient evidence of material error or injustice. However, the Board:

(1) May get additional information and advisory opinions on an application from any Air Force organization or official.

(2) May ask the applicant to furnish additional information regarding matters before the Board.

(b) Applicants will be given an opportunity to review and comment on advisory opinions and additional information obtained by the Board. They will also be provided with a copy of correspondence to or from the Air Force Review Boards Agency with an entity outside the Air Force Review Boards Agency in accordance with the provisions of 10 U.S.C. 1556.

(c) Consideration by the Board. A panel consisting of at least three board members considers each application. One panel member serves as its chair. The panel's actions and decisions constitute the actions and decisions of the Board.

(d) The panel may decide the case in executive session or authorize a hearing. When a hearing is authorized, the procedures in §865.4(f), of this part, apply.

(e) Board deliberations. Normally only members of the Board and Board staff will be present during deliberations. The panel chair may permit observers for training purposes or otherwise in furtherance of the functions of the Board.

(f) Board hearings. The Board in its sole discretion determines whether to grant a hearing. Applicants do not have a right to a hearing before the Board.

(1) The Executive Director will notify the applicant or counsel, if any, of the time and place of the hearing. Written notice will be mailed 30 days in advance of the hearing unless the notice period is waived by the applicant. The applicant will respond not later than 15 days before the hearing date, accepting or declining the offer of a hearing and, if accepting, provide information pertaining to counsel and witnesses. The Board will decide the case in executive session if the applicant declines the hearing or fails to appear.

(2) When granted a hearing, the applicant may appear before the Board with or without counsel and may present witnesses. It is the applicant's responsibility to notify witnesses, arrange for their attendance at the hearing, and pay any associated costs.

(3) The panel chair conducts the hearing, maintains order, and ensures the applicant receives a full and fair opportunity to be heard. Formal rules of evidence do not apply, but the panel observes reasonable bounds of competency, relevancy, and materiality. Witnesses other than the applicant will not be present except when testifying. Witnesses will testify under oath or affirmation. A recorder will record the proceedings verbatim. The chair will normally limit hearings to 2 hours but may allow more time if necessary to ensure a full and fair hearing.

(4) Additional provisions apply to cases processed under 10 U.S.C. 1034. See DoDD 7050.06, Military Whistleblower Protection2, and AFI 90-301, Inspector General Complaints Resolution.

2Copies may be obtained via the Internet at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/705006p.pdf.

(g) The Board will not deny or recommend denial of an application on the sole ground that the issue already has been decided by the Secretary of the Air Force or the President of the United States in another proceeding.

(h) Board decisions. The panel's majority vote constitutes the action of the Board. The Board will make determinations on the following issues in writing:

(1) Whether the provisions of the Military Whistleblowers Protection Act apply to the application. This determination is needed only when the applicant invokes the protection of the Act, or when the question of its applicability is otherwise raised by the evidence.

(2) Whether the application was timely filed and, if not, whether the applicant has demonstrated that it would be in the interest of justice to excuse the untimely filing. When the Board determines that an application is not timely, and does not excuse its untimeliness, the application will be denied on that basis.

(3) Whether the applicant has exhausted all available and effective administrative remedies. If the applicant has not, the application will be denied on that basis.

(4) Whether the applicant has demonstrated the existence of a material error or injustice that can be remedied effectively through correction of the applicant's military record and, if so, what corrections are needed to provide full and effective relief.

(5) In Military Whistleblowers Protection Act cases only, whether to recommend to the Secretary of the Air Force that disciplinary or administrative action be taken against any Air Force official whom the Board finds to have committed an act of reprisal against the applicant. Any determination on this issue will not be made a part of the Board's record of proceedings and will not be given to the applicant, but will be provided directly to the Secretary of the Air Force under separate cover (Sec 865.2b, of this part).

(i) Record of proceedings. The Board staff will prepare a record of proceedings following deliberations which will include:

(1) The name and vote of each Board member.

(2) The application.

(3) Briefs and written arguments.

(4) Documentary evidence.

(5) A hearing transcript if a hearing was held.

(6) Advisory opinions and the applicant's related comments.

(7) The findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the Board.

(8) Minority reports, if any.

(9) Other information necessary to show a true and complete history of the proceedings.

(j) Minority reports. A dissenting panel member may prepare a minority report which may address any aspect of the case.

(k) Separate communications. The Board may send comments or recommendations to the Secretary of the Air Force as to administrative or disciplinary action against individuals found to have committed acts of reprisal prohibited by the Military Whistleblowers Protection Act and on other matters arising from an application not directly related to the requested correction of military records. Such comments and recommendations will be separately communicated and will not be included in the record of proceedings or given to the applicant or counsel.

(l) Final action by the Board. The Board acts for the Secretary of the Air Force and its decision is final when it:

(1) Denies any application (except under 10 U.S.C. 1034).

(2) Grants any application in whole or part when the relief was recommended by the official preparing the advisory opinion, was unanimously agreed to by the panel, and does not affect an appointment or promotion requiring confirmation by the Senate, and does not affect a matter for which the Secretary of the Air Force or his or her delegee has withheld decision authority or required notification before final decision.

(3) The Board sends the record of proceedings on all other applications to the Secretary of the Air Force or his or her designee for final decision.

(m) The Board may identify DoD or Air Force policies, instructions, guidance or practices that are leading to, or likely to lead to unsound business decisions, unfair results, waste of government funds or public criticism. The Board will forward such observations directly to the appropriate offices of the Secretariat and/or Air Staff for review and evaluation. Such observations will not be included in the record of proceedings.

§865.5   Decision of the Secretary of the Air Force.

(a) The Secretary may direct such action as he or she deems appropriate on each case, including returning the case to the Board for further consideration. Cases returned to the Board for further reconsideration will be accompanied by a brief statement of the reasons for such action. If the Secretary does not accept the Board's recommendation, the Secretary's decision will be in writing and will include a brief statement of the grounds for his/her final decision.

(b) Decisions in cases under the Military Whistleblowers Protection Act. The Secretary will issue decisions on such cases within 180 days after receipt of the case and will, unless the full relief requested is granted, inform applicants of their right to request review of the decision by the Secretary of Defense (SecDef). Applicants will also be informed:

(1) Of the name and address of the official to whom the request for review must be submitted.

(2) That the request for review must be submitted within 90 days after receipt of the decision by the Secretary of the Air Force.

(3) That the request for review must be in writing and include the applicant's name, address, and telephone number; a copy of the application to the AFBCMR and the final decision of the Secretary of the Air Force; and a statement of the specific reasons the applicant is not satisfied with the decision of the Secretary of the Air Force.

(4) That the request must be based on the Board record; requests for review based on factual allegations or evidence not previously presented to the Board will not be considered under this paragraph but may be the basis for reconsideration by the Board under §865.6.

(c) In cases under §865.5(b) of this part which involve additional issues not cognizable under that paragraph, the additional issues may be considered separately by the Board under §865.3 and §865.4 of this part. The special time limit in §865.5 (b) does not apply to the decision concerning these additional issues.

(d) Decisions in high profile or sensitive cases. Prior to taking final action on a BCMR application that has generated, or is likely to generate, significant public or Congressional interest, the Secretarial designee will provide the case record of proceedings through Secretarial channels to OSAF so that the Secretary can determine whether to decide the case personally or take other action the Secretary deems appropriate.

§865.6   Reconsideration of applications.

(a) The Board may reconsider an application if the applicant submits newly discovered relevant evidence that was not reasonably available when the application was previously considered. The Executive Director or Team Chiefs will screen each request for reconsideration to determine whether it contains new evidence. New arguments about, or analysis of, evidence already considered, and additional statements which are cumulative to those already in the record of proceedings will not be considered new evidence.

(b) If the request contains new evidence, the Executive Director or his/her designee will refer it to a panel of the Board for a decision. The Board will decide the relevance and weight of any new evidence, whether it was reasonably available to the applicant when the application was previously considered, and whether it was submitted in a timely manner. The Board may deny reconsideration if the request does not meet the criteria for reconsideration. Otherwise the Board will reconsider the application and decide the case either on timeliness or merit as appropriate.

(c) If the request does not contain new evidence, the Executive Director or his/her designee will return it to the applicant without referral to the Board.

§856.7   Action after final decision.

(a) Action by the Executive Director. The Executive Director or his/her designee will inform the applicant or counsel, if any, of the final decision on the application. If any requested relief was denied, the Executive Director will advise the applicant of reconsideration procedures and, for cases processed under the Military Whistleblowers Protection Act, review by the SecDef. The Executive Director will send decisions requiring corrective action to the Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force, for necessary action.

(b) Settlement of claims. The Air Force is authorized, under 10 U.S.C. 1552, to pay claims for amounts due to applicants as a result of correction of military records.

(1) The Executive Director will furnish the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) with AFBCMR decisions potentially affecting monetary entitlement or benefits. DFAS will treat such decisions as claims for payment by or on behalf of the applicant.

(2) DFAS settles claims on the basis of the corrected military record. Computation of the amount due, if any, is a function of DFAS. Applicants may be required to furnish additional information to DFAS to establish their status as proper parties to the claim and to aid in deciding amounts due.

(3) Earnings received from civilian employment during any period for which active duty pay and allowances are payable will be deducted from the settlement. Amounts found due will be offset by the amount of any existing indebtedness to the government in compliance with the Debt Collection Act of 1982 or successor statutes.

(c) Public access to decisions. After deletion of personal information, AFBCMR decisions will be made available for review and copying at an electronic public reading room.

§865.8   Miscellaneous provisions.

(a) At the request of the Board, all Air Force activities and officials will furnish the Board with:

(1) All available military records pertinent to an application.

(2) An advisory opinion concerning an application. The advisory opinion will include an analysis of the facts of the case and of the applicant's contentions, a statement of whether or not the requested relief can be done administratively, and a recommendation on the timeliness and merit of the request. Regardless of the recommendation, the advisory opinion will include instructions on specific corrective action to be taken if the Board grants the application.

(b) Access to records. Applicants will have access to all records considered by the Board, except those classified or privileged. To the extent practicable, applicants will be provided unclassified or nonprivileged summaries or extracts of such records considered by the Board.

(c) Payment of expenses. The Air Force has no authority to pay expenses of any kind incurred by or on behalf of an applicant in connection with a correction of military records under 10 U.S.C. 1034 or 1552.

(d) Form adopted: DD Form 149.

Subpart B—Air Force Discharge Review Board

Authority: Sec. 8012, 70A Stat. 488; sec. 1553, 72 Stat. 1267, 10 U.S.C. 8012, 1553.

Source: 48 FR 37384, Aug. 18, 1983, unless otherwise noted.

§865.100   Purpose.

This subpart establishes policies for the review of discharges and dismissals under 32 CFR part 70, “Discharge Review Boards Procedures and Standards,” 47 FR 37770, August 26, 1982. 1982, and explains the jurisdiction, authority, and actions of the Air Force Discharge Review Board. It applies to all Air Force activities. This subpart is affected by the Privacy Act of 1974. The system of records cited in this subpart is authorized by 10 U.S.C. 1553 and 8012. Each data gathering form or format which is required by this subpart contains a Privacy Act Statement, either incorporated in the body of the document or in a separate statement accompanying each such document.

§865.101   References.

(a) Title 10 U.S.C., section 1553.

(b) Title 38 U.S.C., sections 101 and 3103, as amended by Pub. L. 95-126, October 8, 1977.

(c) DOD Directive 5000.19, “Policies for the Management and Control of Information Requirements,” March 12, 1976.

(d) DOD Directive 5000.11, “Data Elements and Data Codes Standardization Program,” December 7, 1964.

(e) DOD Directive 5000.12-M “DOD Manual for Standard Data Elements,” December 1981.

(f) DOD Directive 1332.14, “Enlisted Administrative Separations,” January 28, 1982.

(g) DOD Directive 5400.7, “DOD Freedom of Information Act Program,” March 24, 1980; title 5 U.S.C., section 552.

(h) DOD Directive 5400.11, “Department of Defense Privacy Program,” June 9, 1982; title 5 U.S.C., section 552a.

(i) Title 10 U.S.C., chapter 47, Uniform Code of Military Justice.

(j) Wood v. Secretary of Defense, Civ. No. 77-0684 (D.D.C.) (Order, December 3, 1981).

(k) Urban Law Institute of Antioch College, Inc. v. Secretary of Defense, Civ. No. 76-0530, (D.D.C.) (Stipulation of Dismissal, January 31, 1977) (Order and Settlement Agreement, July 30, 1982).

(l) Air Force Regulation 35-41, Vol III, Separation Procedures for USAFR Members, dated October 30, 1975.

(m) Air Force Regulation 36-2, Officer Personnel, Administrative Discharge Procedures, August 2, 1976.

(n) Air Force Regulation 36-3, Officer Personnel, Administrative Discharge Procedures, August 2, 1976.

(o) Air Force Regulation 36-12, Officer Personnel, Administrative Separation of Commissioned Officers and Warrant Officers, July 15, 1977.

(p) Air Force Regulation 39-10, Separation Upon Expiration of Term of Service, for Convenience of Government, Minority, Dependency and Hardship, January 3, 1977.

(q) Air Force Manual 39-12, Separation for Unsuitability, Misconduct, Resignation, or Request for Discharge for the Good of the Service and Procedures for the Rehabilitation Program, September 1, 1966.

(r) Air National Guard Regulation 39-10, Enlisted Personnel-Separation, December 30, 1971.

§865.102   Statutory authority.

The Air Force Discharge Review Board (DRB) was established within the Department of the Air Force under section 301 of the Serviceman's Readjustment Act of 1944, as amended (now 10 U.S.C. 1553) and further amended by Pub. L. 95-126 dated October 8, 1977.

§865.103   Definition of terms.

(a) Applicant. A former member of the Armed Forces who has been dismissed or discharged administratively in accordance with Military Department regulations or by sentence of a court-martial (other than a general court-martial) and under statutory regulatory provisions whose application is accepted by the DRB concerned or whose case is heard on the DRB's own motion. If the former member is deceased or incompetent, the term “applicant” includes the surviving spouse, next-of-kin, or legal representative who is acting on behalf of the former member. When the term “applicant” is used in this subpart, it includes the applicant's counsel or representative, except that the counsel or representative may not submit an application for review, waive the applicant's right to be present at a hearing, or terminate a review without providing the DRB an appropriate power of attorney or other written consent of the former member.

(b) Complainant. A former member of the Armed Forces (or the former member's counsel) who submits a complaint in accordance with §865.121 of this subpart with respect to the decisional document issued in the former member's own case; or a former member of the Armed Forces (or the former member's counsel) who submits a complaint stating that correction of the decisional document will assist the former member in preparing for an administrative or judicial proceeding in which the former member's own discharge will be at issue.

(c) Counsel or representative. An individual or agency designated by the applicant who agrees to represent the applicant in a case before the DRB. It includes, but is not limited to: a lawyer who is a member of the bar of a federal court or of the highest court of a state; an accredited representative designated by an organization recognized by the Administrator of Veterans Affairs; a representative from a state agency concerned with veterans affairs; and representatives from private organizations or local government agencies.

(d) Discharge. A general term used in this subpart that includes dismissal and separation or release from active or inactive military status, and actions that accomplish a complete severance of all military status. This term also includes the assignment of a reason for such discharge and characterization of service.

(e) Discharge review. The process by which the reason for separation, the procedures followed in accomplishing separation, and characterization of service are evaluated. This includes determinations made under the provisions of title 38 U.S.C. 3103(e)(2).

(f) Discharge Review Board (DRB). An administrative board constituted by the Secretary of the Air Force and vested with discretionary authority to review discharges and dismissals under the provisions of title 10 U.S.C. 1553.

(g) Regional Discharge Review Board. A DRB that conducts discharge reviews in a location outside the National Capital Region (NCR).

(h) DRB President. The senior line officer of any DRB convened for the purpose of conducting discharge reviews.

(i) Hearing. A review involving an appearance before the DRB by the applicant or on the applicant's behalf by a counsel or representative.

(j) Record review. A review of the application, available service records, and additional documents (if any) submitted by the applicant.

(k) National Capital Region (NCR). The District of Columbia; Prince Georges and Montgomery Counties in Maryland; Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William Counties in Virginia; and all cities and towns included within the outer boundaries of the foregoing counties.

(l) Director, Air Force Personnel Council. The person designated by the Secretary of the Air Force who is responsible for the supervision of the Discharge Review function.

§865.104   Secretarial responsibilities.

The Secretary of the Air Force is responsible for the overall operation of the Discharge Review program within the Department of the Air Force. The following delegation of authority have been made:

(a) To the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Manpower, Reserve Affairs and Installations) to act for the Secretary of the Air Force in all discharge review actions subject to review by the Secretary as specified in §865.113 of this subpart.

(b) To the Director, Air Force Personnel Council, for operation of all phases of the discharge review function and authority to take action in the name of the Secretary of the Air Force in all discharge review actions except those specified in §865.113 of this subpart.

§865.105   Jurisdiction and authority.

The DRB has jurisdiction and authority in cases of former military personnel who, at the time of their separation from the Service, were members of the US Army Aviation components (Aviation Section, Signal Corps; Air Service; Air Corps; or Air Forces) prior to September 17, 1947, or the US Air Force. The DRB does not have jurisdiction and authority concerning personnel of other armed services who at the time of their separation, were assigned to duty with the Army Air Forces or the US Air Force.

(a) The DRB's review is based on the former member's available military records, issues submitted by the former member, or his counsel and on any other evidence that is presented to the DRB. The DRB determines whether the type of discharge or dismissal the former member received is equitable and proper; if not, the DRB instructs the USAF Manpower and Personnel Center (AFMPC) to change the discharge reason or to issue a new character of discharge according to the DRB's findings.

(b) The DRB is not authorized to revoke any discharge, to reinstate any person who has been separated from the military service, or to recall any person to active duty.

(c) The DRB, on its own motion, may review a case that appears likely to result in a decision favorable to the former military member, without the member's knowledge or presence. In this case, if the decision is:

(1) Favorable, the DRB directs AFMPC to notify the former member accordingly at the member's last known address.

(2) Unfavorable, the DRB returns the case to the files without any record of formal action; the DRB then reconsiders the case without prejudice in accordance with normal procedures.

§865.106   Application for review.

(a) General. Applications shall be submitted to the Air Force DRB on DD Form 293, Application for Review of Discharge or Dismissal from the Armed Forces of the United States (OMB Approval No. 0704-0004) with such other statements, affidavits, or documentation as desired. It is to the applicant's advantage to submit such documents with the application or within 60 days thereafter in order to permit a thorough screening of the case. The DD Form 293 is available at most DOD installations and regional offices of the Veterans Administration, or by writing to: DA Military Review Boards Agency, Attention: SFBA (Reading Room), Room 1E520, The Pentagon, Washington, DC 20310.

(b) Timing. A motion or request for review must be made within 15 years after the date of discharge or dismissal.

(c) Applicant's responsibilities. An applicant may request a change in the character of or reason for discharge (or both).

(1) Character of discharge. DD Form 293 provides an applicant an opportunity to request a specific change in character of discharge (for example, General Discharge to Honorable Discharge; Under Other Than Honorable Conditions Discharge to General or Honorable Discharge). Only a person separated on or after 1 October 1982 while in an entry level status may request a change from other than an honorable discharge to Entry Level Separation. A request for review from an applicant who does not have an Honorable Discharge will be treated as a request for a change to an Honorable Discharge unless the applicant requests a specific change to another character of discharge.

(2) Reason for discharge. DD Form 293 provides an applicant an opportunity to request a specific change in the reason for discharge. If an applicant does not request a specific change in the reason for discharge, the DRB will presume that the request for review does not involve a request for change in the reason for discharge. Under its responsibility to examine the propriety and equity of an applicant's discharge, the DRB will change the reason for discharge if such a change is warranted.

(3) The applicant must ensure that issues submitted to the DRB are consistent with the request for change in discharge set forth in “Board Action Requested” of the DD Form 293. If an ambiguity is created by a difference between an applicant's issue and the requested action, the DRB will respond to the issue in the context of the action requested in “Board Action Requested.” In the case of a Personal Appearance hearing, the DRB will attempt to resolve the ambiguity.

(d) If the member is deceased or mentally incompetent, the spouse, next-of-kin, or legal representative may, as agent for the member, submit the application for the review along with proof of the member's death or mental incompetency.

(e) Applicants forward their requests for review to the USAF Manpower and Personnel Center-mailing address: AFMPC/MPCDOA1, Randolph AFB TX 78150. AFMPC will obtain all available military records of the former members from the National Personnel Records Center.

(f) Withdrawal of application. An applicant shall be permitted to withdraw an application without prejudice at any time before the scheduled review.

(g) Submission of issues on DD Form 293. Issues must be provided to the DRB on DD Form 293 before the DRB closes the review process for deliberation and should be submitted in accordance with the guidelines of this subpart for submission of issues.

(1) Issues must be clear and specific. An issue must be stated clearly and specifically in order to enable the DRB to understand the nature of the issue and its relationship to the applicant's discharge.

(2) Separate listing of issues. Each issue submitted by an applicant should be listed separately. Submission of a separate statement for each issue provides the best means of ensuring that the full import of the issue is conveyed to the DRB.

(3) Use of DD Form 293. DD Form 293 provides applicants with a standard format for submitting issues to the DRB, and its use:

(i) Provides a means for an applicant to set forth clearly and specifically those matters that, in the opinion of the applicant, provide a basis for changing the discharge;

(ii) Assists the DRB in focusing on those matters considered to be important by an applicant;

(iii) Assists the DRB in distinguishing between a matter submitted by an applicant in the expectation that it will be treated as a decisional issue under §865.112, and those matters submitted simply as background or supporting materials;

(iv) Provides the applicant with greater rights in the event that the applicant later submits a complaint under §865.121 of this subpart concerning the decisional document.

(v) Reduces the potential for disagreement as to the content of an applicant's issue.

(4) Incorporation by reference. If the applicant makes an additional written submission, such as a brief, in support of the application, the applicant may incorporate by reference specific issues set forth in the written submission in accordance with the guidance on DD Form 293. The reference shall be specific enough for the DRB to identify clearly the matter being submitted as an issue. At a minimum, it shall identify the page, paragraph, and sentence incorporated. Because it is to the applicant's benefit to bring such issues to the DRB's attention as early as possible in the review, applicants who submit a brief are strongly urged to set forth all issues as a separate item at the beginning of the brief. If it reasonably appears that the applicant inadvertently has failed expressly to incorporate an issue which the applicant clearly identifies as an issue to be addressed by the DRB, the DRB shall respond to such an issue in accordance with §§865.111 and 865.112 of this subpart.

(5) Effective date of the new DD Form 293. With respect to applications received before November 27, 1982, the DRB shall consider issues clearly and specifically stated in accordance with the rules in effect at the time of submission. With respect to applications received on or after November 27, 1982, if the applicant submits an obsolete DD Form 293, the application will be returned with a copy of the revised DD Form 293 for reaccomplishment. The DRB will only respond to the issues submitted on the new form in accordance with 32 CFR part 70, 47 FR 37770, August 26, 1982 and this subpart.

(h) Relationship of issues to character of or reason for discharge. If the application applies to both character of and reason for discharge, the applicant is encouraged, but not required, to identify the issue as applying to the character of or reason for discharge (or both). Unless the issue is directed at the reason for discharge expressly or by necessary implication, the DRB will presume that it applies solely to the character of discharge.

(i) Relationship of issues to the standards for discharge review. The DRB reviews discharges on the basis of issues of propriety and equity. The standards used by the DRB are set forth in §865.120 of this subpart. The applicant is encouraged to review those standards before submitting any issue upon which the applicant believes a change in discharge should be based. The applicant is also encouraged, but not required, to identify an issue as pertaining to the propriety or the equity of the discharge. This will assist the DRB in assessing the relationship of the issue to propriety or equity under §865.112(d) of this subpart.

(j) Citation of matter from decisions. The primary function of the DRB involves the exercise of discretion on a case-by-case basis. Applicants are not required to cite prior decisions as the basis for a change in discharge. If the applicant wishes to bring the DRB's attention to a prior decision as background or illustrative material, the citation should be placed in a brief or other supporting documents. If, however, it is the applicant's intention to submit an issue that sets forth specific principles and facts from a specific cited decision, the following requirements apply with respect to applications received on or after November 27, 1982.

(1) The issue must be set forth or expressly incorporated in the “Applicant's Issue” portion of DD Form 293.

(2) If an applicant's issue cites a prior decision (of the DRB, another Board, an agency, or a court), the applicant shall describe the specific principles and facts that are contained in the prior decision and explain the relevance of cited matter to the applicant's case.

(3) To insure timely consideration of principles cited from unpublished opinions (including decisions maintained by the Armed Forces Discharge Review Board/Correction Board Reading Room), the applicant must provide the DRB with copies of such decisions or of the relevant portion of treatise, manual, or similar source in which the principles were discussed. At the applicant's request, such materials will be returned.

(4) If the applicant fails to comply with the requirements above, the decisional document shall note the defect, and shall respond to the issue without regard to the citation.

(k) Identification by the DRB of issues submitted by an applicant. The applicant's issues shall be identified in accordance with this section after a review of all materials and information is made.

(1) Issues on DD Form 293. The DRB shall consider all items submitted as issues by an applicant on DD Form 293 (or incorporated therein) in accordance with this part. With respect to applications submitted before November 27, 1982, the DRB shall consider all issues clearly and specifically stated in accordance with the rules in effect at the time of the submission.

(2) Amendment of issues. The DRB shall not request or instruct an applicant to amend or withdraw any matter submitted by the applicant. Any amendment or withdrawal of an issue by an applicant shall be confirmed in writing by the applicant. This provision does not:

(i) Limit by DRB's authority to question an applicant as to the meaning of such matter;

(ii) Preclude the DRB from developing decisional issues based upon such questions:

(iii) Prevent the applicant from amending or withdrawing such matter any time before the DRB closes the review process for deliberation; or

(iv) Prevent the DRB from presenting an applicant with a list of proposed decisional issues and written information concerning the right of the applicant to add to, amend, or withdraw the applicant's submission. The written information will state that the applicant's decision to take such action (or decline to do so) will not be used against the applicant in the consideration of the case.

(3) Additional Issues Identified During a Hearing. The following additional procedure shall be used during a hearing in order to promote the DRB's understanding of an applicant's presentation. If before closing the hearing for deliberation, the DRB believes that an applicant has presented an issue not listed on DD Form 293, the FRB may so inform the applicant, and the applicant may submit the issue in writing or add additional written issues at that time. This does not preclude the DRB from developing its own decisional issues.

(l) Notification of possible bar to benefits. Written notification shall be made to each applicant whose record indicates a reason for discharge that bars receipt of benefits under 38 U.S.C. 3103(a). This notification will advise the applicant that separate action by the Board for Correction of Military Records or the Veterans Administration may confer eligibility for VA benefits. Regarding the bar to benefits based upon the 180 days consecutive unauthorized absence, the following applies:

(1) Such absence must have been included as part of the basis for the applicant's discharge under other than honorable conditions.

(2) Such absence is computed without regard to the applicant's normal or adjusted expiration of term of service.

§865.107   DRB composition and meeting location.

(a) The DRB consists of five members, with the senior line officer acting as the presiding officer. The presiding officer convenes, recesses and adjourns the Board.

(b) In addition to holding hearings in Washington, DC, the DRB, as a convenience to applicants, periodically conducts hearings at selected locations throughout the Continental United States. Reviews are conducted at locations central to those areas with the greatest number of applicants. A continuing review and appraisal is conducted to ensure the selected hearing locations are responsive to a majority of applicants. Administrative details and responsibilities for Regional Boards are outlined in §865.124.

§865.108   Availability of records and documents.

(a) Before applying for discharge review, potential applicants or their designated resentatives may, and are encouraged to obtain copies of their military personnel records by submitting a General Services Administration Standard Form 180, Request Pertaining to Military Records, to the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) 9700 Page Boulevard, St. Louis, Mo 63132; thus avoiding any lengthy delays in the processing of the application (DD Form 293) and the scheduling of reviews.

(1) Once the application for discharge review (DD Form 293) is submitted, an applicant's military records are forwarded to the DRB where they cannot be reproduced. Submission of a request for an applicant's military records, including a request under the Freedom of Information Act or Privacy Act after the DD Form 293 has been submitted, shall result automatically in the termporary suspension of processing of the application for discharge review until the requested records are sent to an appropriate location for copying, are copied, and returned to the headquarters of the DRB. Processing of the application shall then be resumed at whatever stage of the discharge review process is practicable.

(2) Applicants and their designated representatives also may examine their military personnel records at the site of their scheduled review before the hearing. The DRB shall notify applicants and their designated representatives of the dates the records are available for examination in their standard scheduling information.

(b) The DRB is not authorized to provide copies of documents that are under the cognizance of another government department, office, or activity. Applications for such information must be made by the applicant to the cognizant authority. The DRB shall advise the applicant of the mailing address of the government department, office, or activity to which the request should be submitted.

(c) If the official records relevant to the discharge review are not available at the agency having custody of the records, the applicant shall be so notified and requested to provide such information and documents as may be desired in support of the request for discharge review. A period of not less than 30 days shall be allowed for such documents to be submitted. At the expiration of this period, the review may be conducted with information available to the DRB.

(d) The DRB may take steps to obtain additional evidence that is relevant to the discharge under consideration beyond that found in the official military records or submitted by the applicant, if a review of available evidence suggests that it would be incomplete without the additional information, or when the applicant presents testimony or documents that require additional information to evaluate properly. Such information shall be made available to the applicant, upon request, with appropriate modifications regarding classified material.

(1) In any case heard on the request of an applicant, the DRB shall provide the applicant and counsel or representative, if any, at a reasonable time before initiating the decision process, a notice of the availability of all regulations and documents to be considered in the discharge review, except for documents in the official personnel or medical records and any documents submitted by the applicant. The DRB shall also notify the applicant or counsel or representative (i) of the right to examine such documents or to be provided with copies of documents upon request; (ii) of the date by which such request must be received; and (iii) of the opportunity to respond within a reasonable period of time to be set be the DRB.

(2) When necessary to acquaint the applicant with the substance of a classified document, the classifying authority, on the request of the DRB, shall prepare a summary of or an extract from the document, deleting all reference to source of information and other matters, the disclosure of which, in the opinion of the classifying authority, would be detrimental to the national security interest of the United States. Should preparation of such summary be deemed impracticable by the classifying authority, information from the classified source shall not be considered by the DRB in its review of the case.

(e) Current Air Force numbered publications may be obtained from the Chief, Central Base Administration at any major Air Force installation or by writing:

HQ USAF/DASJL, Washington, DC 20330

         or

DA Military Review Boards Agency, Attention: SPBA (Reading Room), Room 1E520, Washington, DC 20310

§865.109   Procedures for hearings.

(a) The applicant is entitled, by law, to appear in person at his or her request before the DRB in open session and to be represented by counsel of his or her own selection. The applicant also may present such witnesses as he or she may desire.

(b) There are two types of reviews. They are:

(1) Record Review. A review of the application, available service records, and additional documents (if any) submitted by the applicant.

(2) Hearing. A personal appearance before the DRB by the applicant with or without counsel, or by the counsel only.

(c) The Government does not compensate or pay the expenses of the applicant, applicant's witnesses, or counsel.

(d) A summary of the available military records of the applicant is prepared for use by the DRB in the review process. A copy of the summary is available to the applicant and/or his or her counsel, upon request.

(e) When an applicant has requested a personal appearance and/or representation by counsel on the DD Form 293, the DRB sends written notice of the hearing time and place to the applicant and designated counsel. Evidence of such notification will be placed in the applicant's record.

(f) Personal appearance hearings shall be conducted with recognition of the rights of the individual to privacy. Accordingly, presence at hearings of individuals other than those whose presence is required will be limited to persons authorized by the presiding officer and/or expressly requested by the applicant, subject to reasonable limitations based upon available space.

(g) Formal rules of evidence shall not be applied in DRB proceedings. The presiding officer shall rule on matters of procedure and shall ensure that reasonable bounds of relevancy and materiality are maintained in the taking of evidence and presentation of witnesses. Applicants and witnesses may present evidence to the DRB panel either in person or by affidavit or through counsel. If an applicant or witness testifies under oath or affirmation, he or she is subject to questioning by Board members.

(h) There is a presumption of regularity in the conduct of governmental affairs. This presumption can be applied in any review unless there is substantial credible evidence to rebut the presumption.

(i) Failure to appear at a hearing or respond to scheduling notice. (1) Except as otherwise authorized by the Secretary of the Air Force, further opportunity for a personal appearance hearing shall not be made available in the following circumstances to an applicant who has requested a hearing.

(i) When the applicant and/or a designated counsel or representative has been sent a letter containing the date and location of a proposed hearing and fails to make a timely response; or

(ii) When the applicant and/or a designated representative, after being notified by letter of the time and place of the hearing, fails to appear at the appointed time, either in person or by representative, without having made a prior, timely request for a postponement or withdrawal.

(2) In such cases, the applicant shall be deemed to have waived his/her right to a hearing, and the DRB shall complete its review of the discharge. Further request for a hearing shall not be granted unless the applicant can demonstrate that the failure to appear or respond was due to circumstances beyond the applicant's control.

(j) Continuance and postponements. (1) A continuance of a discharge review hearing may be authorized by the presiding officer of the Board concerned, provided that such continuance is of a reasonable duration and is essential to achieving a full and fair hearing. Where a proposal for continuance is indefinite, the pending application shall be returned to the applicant with the option to resubmit when the case is fully ready for review.

(2) Postponements of scheduled reviews normally shall not be permitted other than for demonstrated good and sufficient reason set forth by the applicant in a timely manner, or for the convenience of the government.

(k) Reconsideration. A discharge review shall not be subject to reconsideration except:

(1) Where the only previous consideration of the case was on the motion of the DRB;

(2) When the original discharge review did not involve a personal appearance hearing and a personal appearance is now desired, and the provisions of §865.109(j) do not apply;

(3) Where changes in discharge policy are announced subsequent to an earlier review of an applicant's discharge, and the new policy is made expressly retroactive;

(4) Where the DRB determines that policies and procedures under which the applicant was discharged differ in material respects from policies and procedures currently applicable on a service-wide basis to discharges of the type under consideration, provided that such changes in policies or procedures represent a substantial enhancement of the rights afforded an applicant in such proceeding;

(5) Where an individual is to be represented by a counsel/representative, and was not so represented in any previous consideration of the case.

(6) Where the case was not previously considered under the uniform standards published pursuant to Pub. L. 95-126 and application is made for such consideration within 15 years after the date of discharge; or

(7) On the basis of presentation of new, substantial, relevant evidence not available to the applicant at the time of the original review. The decision as to whether evidence offered by an applicant in support of a request for reconsideration is in fact new, substantial, relevant, and was not available to the applicant at the time of the original review will be based on a comparison of such evidence with the evidence considered in the previous discharge review. If this comparison shows that the evidence submitted would have had a probable effect on matters concerning the propriety or equity of the discharge, the request for reconsideration shall be granted.

§865.110   Decision process.

(a) The DRB shall meet in plenary session to review discharges and exercise its discretion on a case-by-case basis in applying the standards set forth in this regulation.

(b) The presiding officer is responsible for the conduct of the discharge review. The presiding officer shall convene, recess, and adjourn the DRB as appropriate, and shall maintain an atmosphere of dignity and decorum at all times.

(c) Each board member shall act under oath or affirmation requiring careful, objective consideration of the application. They shall consider all relevant material and competent information presented to them by the applicant. In addition, they shall consider all available military records, together with such other records as may be in the files and relevant to the issues before the DRB.

(d) The DRB shall identify and address issues after a review of the following material obtained and presented in accordance with this subpart and 32 CFR part 70: available official military records, documentary evidence submitted by or on behalf of the applicant, presentation of testimony by or on behalf of the applicant, oral or written arguments presented by or on behalf of the applicant, and any other relevant evidence.

(e) Application of Standards:

(1) When the DRB determines that an applicant's discharge was improper, the DRB will determine which reason for discharge should have been assigned based upon the facts and circumstances properly before the discharge authority in view of the regulations governing reasons for discharge at the time the applicant was discharged.

(2) When the board determines that an applicant's discharge was inequitable, any change will be based on the evaluation of the applicant's overall record of service and relevant regulations.

(f) Voting shall be conducted in closed session, a majority of the five members' votes constituting the DRB's decision.

(g) Details of closed session deliberations of a DRB are privileged information and shall not be divulged.

(h) A formal minority opinion may be submitted in instances of disagreement between members of a board. The opinion must cite findings, conclusions and reasons which are the basis for the opinion. The complete case with the majority and minority recommendations will be submitted to the Director, Air Force Personnel Council.

(i) The DRB may request advisory opinions from staff offices of the Air Force. These opinions are advisory in nature and are not binding on the DRB in its decision making process.

§865.111   Response to items submitted as issues by the applicant.

(a) If an issue submitted by an applicant contains two or more clearly separate issues, the DRB should respond to each issue under the guidance of this section as if it had been set forth separately by the applicant.

(b) If an applicant uses a “building block” approach (that is, setting forth a series of conclusions on issues that lead to a single conclusion purportedly warranting a change in the applicant's discharge), normally there should be a separate response to each issue.

(c) This section does not preclude the DRB from making a single response to multiple issues when such action would enhance the clarity of the decisional document, but such response must reflect an adequate response to each separate issue.

(d) An item submitted as an issue by an applicant in accordance with this regulation shall be addressed as a decisional issue under §865.112 of this subpart in the following circumstances:

(1) When the DRB decides that a change in discharge should be granted, and the DRB bases its decision in whole or in part on the applicant's issue; or

(2) When the DRB does not provide the applicant with the full change in discharge requested, and the decision is based in whole or in part on the DRB's disagreement with the merits of an issue submitted by the applicant.

(e) If the applicant receives the full change in discharge requested (or a more favorable change), that fact shall be noted and the basis shall be addressed as a decisional issue even if that basis is not addressed as an issue by the applicant. No further response is required to other issues submitted by the applicant.

(f) If the applicant does not receive the full change in discharge requested with respect to either the character of or reason for discharge (or both), the DRB shall address the items submitted by the applicant unless one of the following responses is applicable:

(1) Duplicate issues. The DRB may state that there is a full response to the issue submitted by the applicant under a specified decisional issue. This respose may be used only when one issue clearly duplicates another or the issue clearly requires discussion in conjunction with another issue.

(2) Citations without principles and facts. The DRB may state that any issue, which consists of a citation of a previous decision without setting forth any principles and facts from the decision that the applicant states are relevant to the applicant's case, does not comply with the requirements of §865.106(g)(1) of this part.

(3) Unclear issues. The DRB may state that it cannot respond to an item submitted by the applicant as an issue because the meaning of the item is unclear. An issue is unclear if it cannot be understood by a reasonable person familiar with the discharge review process after a review of the materials considered under §865.110(d) of this subpart.

(4) Nonspecific issues. The DRB may state that it cannot respond to an item submitted by the applicant as an issue because it is not specific. A submission is considered not specific if a reasonable person familiar with the discharge review process after a review of the materials considered under §865.110(d), cannot determine the relationship between the applicant's submission and the particular circumstances of the case. This response may be used only if the submission is expressed in such general terms that no other response is applicable. For example, if the DRB disagrees with the applicant as to the relevance of matters set forth in the submission, the DRB normally will set forth the nature of the disagreement under the guidance in §865.112 of this subpart with respect to decisional issues, or it will reject the applicant's position on the basis of §865.111(f)(1) or §865.111(f)(2). If the applicant's submission is so general that none of those provisions is applicable, then the DRB may state that it cannot respond because the item is not specific.

§865.112   Decisional issues.

(a) The decisional document shall discuss the issues that provide a basis for the decision whether there should be a change in the character of or reason for discharge. In order to enhance clarity, the DRB should not address matters other than issues relied upon in the decision or raised by the applicant.

(b) Partial Change. When the decision changes a discharge but does not provide the applicant with the full change in discharge requested, the decisional document shall address both the issues upon which change is granted and the issues upon which the DRB denies the full change requested.

(c) Relationship of Issue to Character of or Reason for Discharge. Generally, the decisional document should specify whether a decisional issue applies to the character of or reason for discharge (or both), but it is not required to do so.

(d) Relationship of an Issue to Propriety or Equity. (1) If an applicant identifies an issue as pertaining to both propriety and equity, the DRB will consider it under both standards.

(2) If an applicant identifies an issue as pertaining to the propriety of the discharge (for example, by citing a propriety standard or otherwise claiming that a change in discharge is required as a matter of law), the DRB shall consider the issue solely as a matter of propriety. Except as provided in §865.112(d)(4), the DRB is not required to consider such an issue under the equity standards.

(3) If the applicant's issue contends that the DRB is required as a matter of law to follow a prior decision by setting forth an issue of propriety from the prior decision and decribing its relationship to the applicant's case, the issue shall be considered under the propriety standards and addressed under §865.112(e) or §865.112(f).

(4) If the applicant's issue sets forth principles of equity contained in a prior DRB decision, describes the relationship to the applicant's case, and contends that the DRB is required as a matter of law to follow the prior case, the decisional document shall note that the DRB is not bound by its discretionary decisions in prior cases under the standards in §865.120 of this subpart. However, the principles cited by the applicant, and the description of the relationship of the principles to the applicant's case, shall be considered under the equity standards and addressed under §865.112(h) or §865.112(i).

(5) If the applicant's issue cannot be identified as a matter of propriety or equity, the DRB shall address it as an issue of equity.

(e) Change of discharge: Issues of propriety. If a change in the discharge is warranted under the propriety standards the decisional document shall state that conclusion and list the errors or expressly retroactive changes in policy that provide a basis for the conclusion. The decisional document shall cite the facts in the record that demonstrate the relevance of the error or change in policy to the applicant's case. If the change in discharge does not constitute the full change requested by the applicant, the reasons for not granting the full change shall be addressed.

(f) Denial of the full change requested: Issues of propriety. If the decision rejects the applicant's position on an issue of propriety, or if it is otherwise decided on the basis of an issue of propriety that the full change in discharge requested by the applicant is not warranted, the decisional document shall note that conclusion. The decisional document shall list reasons for its conclusion on each issue of propriety under the following guidance:

(1) If a reason is based in whole or in part upon a part, statute, constitutional provision, judicial determination, or other source of law, the DRB shall cite the pertinent source of law and the facts in the record that demonstrate the relevance of the source of law to the particular circumstances in the case.

(2) If a reason is based in whole or in part on a determination as to the occurrence or nonoccurrence of an event or circumstance, including a factor required by applicable Air Force regulations to be considered for determination of the character of and reason for the applicant's discharge, the DRB shall make a finding of fact for each such event or circumstance.

(i) For each such finding, the decisional document shall list the specific source of the information relied upon. This may include the presumption of regularity in appropriate cases. If the information is listed in the service record section of the decisional document, a citation is not required.

(ii) If a finding of fact is made after consideration of contradictory evidence in the record (including information cited by the applicant or otherwise identified by members of the DRB), the decisional document shall set forth the conflicting evidence, and explain why the information relied upon was more persuasive than the information that was rejected. If the presumption of regularity is cited as the basis for rejecting such information, the decisional document shall explain why the contradictory evidence was insufficient to overcome the presumption. In an appropriate case, the explanation as to why the contradictory evidence was insufficient to overcome the presumption of regularity may consist of a statement that the applicant failed to provide sufficient corroborating evidence, or that the DRB did not find the applicant's testimony to be sufficiently credible to overcome the presumption.

(3) If the DRB disagrees with the position of the applicant on an issue of propriety, the following guidance applies in addition to the guidance in §842.112(f) (1) and (2).

(i) The DRB may reject the applicant's position by explaining why it disagrees with the principles set forth in the applicant's issue (including principles derived from cases cited by the applicant).

(ii) The DRB may reject the applicant's position by explaining why the principles set forth in the applicant's issue (including principles derived from cases cited by the applicant) are not relevant to the applicant's case.

(iii) The DRB may reject an applicant's position by stating that the applicant's issue of propriety is not a matter upon which the DRB grants a change in discharge, and by providing an explanation for this position. When the applicant indicates that the issue is to be considered in conjunction with one or more other specified issues, the explanation will address all such specified issues.

(iv) The DRB may reject the applicant's position on the grounds that other specified factors in the case preclude granting relief, regardless of whether the DRB agreed with the applicant's position.

(v) If the applicant takes the position that the discharge must be changed because of an alleged error in a record associated with the discharge, and the record has not been corrected by the organization with primary responsibility for corrective action, respond that it will presume the validity of the record in the absence of such corrective action. If the organization empowered to correct the record is within the Department of the Air Force, the DRB should provide the applicant with a brief description of the procedures for requesting correction of the record. If the DRB on its own motion cites this issue as a decisional issue on the basis of equity, it shall address the issue as such.

(vi) When an applicant's issue contains a general allegation that a certain course of action violated his or her constitutional rights, respond in appropriate cases by noting that the action was consistent with statutory or regulatory authority, and by citing the presumption of constitutionality that attaches to statutes and regulations. If, on the other hand, the applicant makes a specific challenge to the constitutionality of the action by challenging the application of a statute or regulation is a particular set of circumstances, it is not sufficient to respond solely by citing the presumption of constitutionality of the statute or regulation when the applicant is not challenging the constitutionality of the statute or regulation. Instead, the response must address the specific circumstances of the case.

(g) Denial of the full change in discharge requested when propriety is not at issue. If the applicant has not submitted an issue of propriety and the DRB has not otherwise relied upon an issue of propriety to change the discharge, the decisional document shall contain a statement to that effect. The DRB is not required to provide any further discussion as to the propriety of the discharge.

(h) Change of discharge: Issues of equity. If the DRB concludes that a change in the discharge is warranted under equity standards the decisional document shall list each issue of equity upon which this conclusion is based. The DRB shall cite the facts in the record that demonstrate the relevance of the issue to the applicant's case. If the change in discharge does not constitute the full change requested by the applicant, the reasons for not giving the full change requested shall be discussed.

(i) Denial of the full change requested: Issues of equity. If the DRB rejects the applicant's position on an issue of equity, or if the decision otherwise provides less than the full change in discharge requested by the applicant, the decisional document shall note that conclusion. The DRB shall list reasons for its conclusions on each issue of equity in accordance with the following:

(1) If a reason is based in whole or in part upon a part, statute, constitutional provision, judicial determination, or other source of law, the DRB shall cite the pertinent source of law and the facts in the record that demonstrate the relevance of the source of law to the exercise of discretion on the issue of equity in the applicant's case.

(2) If a reason is based in whole or in part on a determination as to the occurrence or nonoccurrence of an event or circumstance, including a factor required by applicable Air Force regulations to be considered for determination of the character of and reason for the applicant's discharge, the DRB shall make a finding of fact for each such event or circumstance.

(i) For each such finding, the decisional document shall list the specific source of the information relied upon. This may include the presumption of regularity in appropriate cases. If the information is listed in the service record section of the decisional document, a citation is not required.

(ii) If a finding of fact is made after consideration of contradictory evidence in the record (including information cited by the applicant or otherwise identified by members of the DRB), the decisional document shall set forth the conflicting evidence, and explain why the information relied upon was more persuasive than the information that was rejected. If the presumption of regularity is cited as the basis for rejecting such information, the decisional document shall explain why the contradictory evidence was insufficient to overcome the presumption. In an appropriate case, the explanation as to why the contradictory evidence was insufficient to overcome the presumption of regularity may consist of a statement that the applicant failed to provide sufficient corroborating evidence, or that the DRB did not find the applicant's testimony to be sufficiently credible to overcome the presumption.

(3) If the DRB disagrees with the position of the applicant on an issue of equity, the following guidance applies in addition to the guidance in §865.112(i) (1) and (2):

(i) The DRB may reject the applicant's position by explaining why it disagrees with the principles set forth in the applicant's issue (including principles derived from cases cited by the applicant).

(ii) The DRB may reject the applicant's position by explaining why the principles set forth in the applicant's issue (including principles derived from cases cited by the applicant) are not relevant to the applicant's case.

(iii) The DRB may reject an applicant's position by explaining why the applicant's issue is not a matter upon which the DRB grants a change in discharge as a matter of equity. When the applicant indicates that the issue is to be considered in conjunction with other specified issues, the explanation will address all such issues.

(iv) The DRB may reject the applicant's position on the grounds that other specified factors in the case preclude granting relief, regardless of whether the DRB agreed with the applicant's position.

(v) If the applicant takes the position that the discharge should be changed as a matter of equity because of an alleged error in a record associated with the discharge, and the record has not been corrected by the organization with primary responsibility for corrective action, the DRB may respond that it will presume the validity of the record in the absence of such corrective action. However, the DRB will consider whether it should exercise its equitable powers to change the discharge on the basis of the alleged error. If it declines to do so, the DRB shall explain why the applicant's position did not provide a sufficient basis for the change in the discharge requested by the applicant.

(4) When the DRB concludes that aggravating factors outweigh mitigating factors, the DRB must set forth reasons such as the seriousness of the offense, specific circumstances surrounding the offense, number of offenses, lack of mitigating circumstances, or similar factors. The DRB is not required, however, to explain why it relied on any such factors unless the applicability or weight of such factors are expressly raised as an issue by the applicant.

(5) If the applicant has not submitted any issues and the DRB has not otherwise relied upon an issue of equity for a change in discharge, the decisional document shall contain a statement to that effect, and shall note that the major factors upon which the discharge was based are set forth in the service record portion of the decisional document.

§865.113   Recommendations by the Director of the Personnel Council and Secretarial Review Authority.

(a) The Director of the Personnel Council may forward cases for consideration by the Secretarial Reviewing Authority (SRA) under rules established by the Secretary of the Air Force.

(b) The following categories of dicharge review requests are subject to the review of the Secretary of the Air Force or the Secretary's designee.

(1) Cases in which a minority of the DRB panel requests their submitted opinions be forwarded for consideration (refer to §865.110(h)).

(2) Cases when required in order to provide information to the Secretary on specific aspects of the discharge review function which are of interest to the Secretary.

(3) Any case which the Director, Air Force Personnel Council believes is of significant interest to the Secretary.

(c) The Secretarial Reviewing Authority is the Secretary of the Air Force or the official to whom he has delegated this authority. The SRA may review the types of cases described above before issuance of the final notification of a decision. Those cases forwarded for review by the SRA shall be considered under the standards set forth in §865.121 and DOD Directive 1332.28.

(d) There is no requirement that the Director of the Personnel Council submit a recommendation when a case is forwarded to the SRA. If a recommendation is submitted, however, it should be in accordance with the guidelines described below.

(e) Format for Recommendation. If a recommendation is provided, it shall contain the Director's views whether there should be a change in the character of or reason for discharge (or both). If the Director recommends such a change, the particular change to be made shall be specified. The recommendation shall set forth the Director's position on decisional issues submitted by the applicant in accordance with the following:

(1) Adoption of the DRB's Decisional document. The recommendation may state that the Director has adopted the decisional document prepared by the majority. The Director shall ensure that the decisional document meets the requirements of this regulation.

(2) Adoption of the Specific Statements From the Majority. If the Director adopts the views of the majority only in part, the recommendation shall cite the specific matter adopted from the majority. If the Director modifies a statement submitted by the majority, the recommendation shall set forth the modification.

(3) Response to Issues Not Included in Matter Adopted From the Majority. The recommendation shall set forth the following if not adopted in whole or in part from the majority:

(i) The issues on which the Director's recommendation is based. Each such decisional issue shall be addressed by the Director in accordance with §865.112 of this subpart.

(ii) The Director's response to items submitted as issues by the applicant under §865.111 of this subpart.

(iii) Reasons for rejecting the conclusions of the majority with respect to decisional issues which, if resolved in the applicant's favor, would have resulted in greater relief for the applicant than that afforded by the Director's recommendation. Each issue shall be addressed in accordance with §865.112 of this subpart.

(f) Copies of the proposed decisional document on cases that have been forwarded to the SRA (except for cases reviewed on the DRB's own motion without the participation of the applicant or the applicant's counsel) shall be provided to the applicant and counsel or representative, if any. The document will include the Director's recommendation to the SRA, if any. Classified information shall be summarized.

(g) The applicant shall be provided with a reasonable period of time, but not less than 25 days, to submit a rebuttal to the SRA. An issue in rebuttal consists of a clear and specific statement by the applicant in support of or in opposition to the statements of the DRB or Director on decisional issues and other clear and specific issues that were submitted by the applicant. The rebuttal shall be based solely on matters in the record when the DRB closed the case for deliberation or in the Director's recommendation.

(h) Review of the Decisional document. If corrections in the decisional document are required, the decisional document shall be returned to the DRB for corrective action. The corrected decisional document shall be sent to the applicant and counsel or representative, if any, but a further opportunity for rebuttal is not required unless the correction produces a different result or includes a substantial change in the discussion by the DRB or Director of the issues raised by the majority or the applicant.

(i) The Addendum of the SRA. The decision of the SRA shall be in writing and shall be appended as an addendum to the decisional document.

(1) The SRA's Decision. The addendum shall set forth the SRA's decision whether there will be a change in the character of or reason for discharge (or both); if the SRA concludes that a change is warranted, the particular change to be made shall be specified. If the SRA adopts the decision recommended by the DRB or the Director, the decisional document shall contain a reference to the matter adopted.

(2) Discussion of Issues. In support of the SRA's decision, the addendum shall set forth the SRA's position on decisional issues, items submitted by an applicant and issues raised by the DRB and the Director. The addendum will state that:

(i) The SRA has adopted the Director's recommendation.

(ii) The SRA has adopted the proposed decisional document prepared by the DRB.

(iii) If the SRA adopts the views of the DRB or the Director only in part, the addendum shall cite the specific statements adopted. If the SRA modifies a statement submitted by the DRB or the Director, the addendum shall set forth the modification.

(3) Response to Issues Not Included in Master Adopted From the DRB or the Director. The addendum shall set forth the following if not adopted in whole or in part from the DRB or the Director:

(i) A list of the issues on which the SRA's decision is based. Each such decisional issue shall be addressed by the SRA. This includes reasons for rejecting the conclusion of the DRB or the Director with respect to decisional issues which, if resolved in the applicant's favor, would have resulted in change to the discharge more favorable to the applicant than that afforded by the SRA's decision.

(ii) The SRA's response to items submitted as issues by the applicant will be in accordance with §865.111 of this subpart.

(4) Response to Rebuttal. (i) If the SRA grants the full change in discharge requested by the applicant (or a more favorable change), that fact shall be noted, the decisional document shall be addressed accordingly, and no further response to the rebuttal is required.

(ii) If the SRA does not grant the full change in discharge requested by the applicant (or a more favorable change), the addendum shall list each issue in rebuttal submitted by an applicant and shall set forth the response of the SRA under the following:

(A) If the SRA rejects an issue in rebuttal, the SRA may respond in accordance with the principles in §865.112 of this subpart.

(B) If the matter adopted by the SRA provides a basis for the SRA's rejection of the rebuttal material, the SRA may note that fact and cite the specific matter adopted that responds to the issue in rebuttal.

(C) If the matter submitted by the applicant does not meet the requirements for rebuttal material in paragraph (g) of this section, that fact shall be noted.

(j) Index Entries. Appropriate index entries shall be prepared for the SRA's actions for matters that are not adopted from the DRB's proposed decisional document.

§865.114   Decisional document.

(a) A decisional document shall be prepared for each review conducted by the DRB.

(b) At a minimum, the decisional decument shall contain:

(1) The date, character of, and reason for discharge or dismissal certificate issued to the applicant upon separation from the military service, including the specific regulatory authority under which the discharge or dismissal certificate was issued.

(2) The circumstances and character of the applicant's service as extracted from military records and information provided by other government authority or the applicant, such as, but not limited to:

(i) Date of enlistment (YYMMDD).

(ii) Period of enlistment.

(iii) Age at enlistment.

(iv) Length of service.

(v) Periods of unauthorized absence.

(vi) Conduct and efficiency ratings (numerical or narrative).

(vii) Highest rank achieved.

(viii) Awards and decorations.

(ix) Educational level.

(x) Aptitude test scores.

(xi) Incidents of punishment pursuant to Article 15, Uniform Code of Military Justice (including nature and date of offense or punishment).

(xii) Conviction by court-martial.

(xiii) Prior military service and type of discharge received.

(3) A list of the type of documents submitted by or on behalf of the applicant (including a written brief, letters of recommendation, affidavits concerning the circumstances of the discharge, or other documentary evidence), if any.

(4) A statement whether the applicant testified, and a list of the type of witnesses, if any, who testified on behalf of the applicant.

(5) A notation whether the application pertained to the character of discharge, the reason for discharge, or both.

(6) The DRB's conclusions on the following:

(i) Whether the character of or the reason for discharge should be changed.

(ii) The specific changes to be made, if any.

(7) A list of the items submitted as issues on DD Form 293 or expressly incorporated therein and such other items submitted as issues by the applicant that are identified as inadvertently omitted under §865.106(g)(4). If the issues are listed verbatim on DD Form 293, a copy of the relevant portion of the form may be attached. Issues that have been withdrawn or modified with the consent of the applicant need not be listed.

(8) The response to items submitted as issues by the applicant under the guidance in §865.111.

(9) A list of decisional issues and a discussion of such issues under the guidance of §865.112.

(10) Minority views, if any, when authorized under the rules of the Secretary of the Air Force.

(11) The recommendation of the Director when required by §865.113.

(12) Any addendum of the SRA when required by §865.113.

(13) Advisory opinions, including those containing factual information, when such opinions have been relied upon for final decision or have been accepted as a basis for rejecting any of the applicant's issues. Such advisory opinions or relevant portions thereof that are not fully set forth in the discussion of decisional issues or otherwise in response to items submitted as issues by the application shall be incorporated by reference. A copy of the opinions incorporated by reference shall be appended to the decision and included in the record of proceedings.

(14) A record of the DRB member's names and votes.

(15) Index entries for each decisional issue under appropriate categories listed in the Subject/Category listing.

(16) An authentication of the document by an appropriate official.

§865.115   Issuance of decisions following discharge review.

(a) The applicant and counsel or representative, if any, shall be provided with a copy of the decisional document and of any further action in review. The applicant (and counsel, if any) shall be notified of the availability of the complaint process in accordance with §865.121 of this subpart and of the right to appeal to the Board for the Correction of Military Records. Final notification of decisions shall be issued to the applicant with a copy to the counsel or representative, if any.

(b) Notification to applicants with copies to counsel or representatives, shall normally be made through the U.S. Postal Service. Such notification shall consist of a notification of the decision, together with a copy of the decisional document.

(c) Notification of HQ AFMPC/MPCDOAl shall be for the purpose of appropriate action and inclusion of review matter in the military records. Such notification shall bear appropriate certification of completeness and accuracy.

(d) Actions on review by Secretarial Reviewing Authority, when occurring, shall be provided to the applicant and counsel or representative in the same manner as the notification of the review decision.

§865.116   Records of DRB proceeding.

(a) When the proceedings in any review have been concluded, a record thereof will be prepared. Records may include written records, electromagnetic records, or a combination thereof.

(b) At a minimum, the record will include the following:

(1) The application for review (DD Form 293).

(2) A record of the testimony in verbatim, summarized, or recorded form at the option of the DRB.

(3) Documentary evidence or copies thereof considered by the DRB other than the military record.

(4) Brief/arguments submitted by or on behalf of the applicant.

(5) Advisory opinions considered by the DRB, if any.

(6) The findings, conclusions, and reasons developed by the DRB.

(7) Notification of the DRB's decision to the cognizant custodian of the applicant's records, or reference to the notification document.

(8) Minority reports, if any.

(9) A copy of the decisional document.

§865.117   Final disposition of the record of proceedings.

The original record of proceedings and all appendices thereto shall in all cases be incorporated in the military record of the applicant and returned to the custody of the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), St. Louis, Missouri. If a portion of the original record cannot be stored with the service record, the service record shall contain a notation as to the place where the record is stored.

§865.118   Availability of Discharge Review Board documents for public inspection and copying.

(a) A copy of the decisional document prepared in accordance with §865.114 of this subpart, shall be made available for public inspection and copying promptly after a notice of final decision is sent to the applicant.

(b) To the extent required to prevent a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, identifying details of the applicant and other persons will be deleted from documents made available for public inspection and copying. Names, addresses, social security numbers, and military service numbers must be deleted. Written justification shall be made for all other deletions and shall be available for public inspection.

(c) The DRB shall ensure that there is a means for relating a decisional document number to the name of the applicant to permit retrieval of the applicant's records when required in processing a complaint in accordance with §865.121 of this subpart.

(d) Any other privileged or classified material contained in or appended to any documents required to be furnished the applicant and counsel/representative or made available for public inspection and copying may be deleted therefrom only if a written statement of the basis for the deletions is provided the applicant and counsel/representative and made available for public inspection. It is not intended that the statement be so detailed as to reveal the nature of the withheld material.

(e) DRB documents made available for public inspection and copying shall be located in the Armed Forces Discharge Review/Correction Boards Reading Room. The documents shall be indexed in usable and concise form so as to enable the public and those who represent applicants before the DRB to isolate from all these decisions that are indexed those cases that may be similar to an applicant's case and that indicate the circumstances under and/or reasons for which the DRB or the Secretary of the Air Force granted or denied relief.

(1) The reading file index shall include, in addition to any other items determined by the DRB, the case number, the date, character of, reason for, and authority for the discharge. It shall further include the decisions of the DRB and reviewing authority, if any, and the issues addressed in the statement of findings, conclusions and reasons.

(2) The index shall be maintained at selected permanent locations throughout the United States. This ensures reasonable availability to applicants at least 30 days before a regional board review. The index shall also be made available at sites selected for regional Boards for such periods as the DRB is present and in operation. An applicant who has requested a regional board review shall be advised in the notice of scheduled hearings.

(3) The Armed Forces Discharge Review/Correction Board Reading Room shall publish indexes quarterly for the DRB. The DRB shall be responsible for timely submission to the Reading Room of individual case information required for update of indexes. These indexes shall be available for public inspection or purchase (or both) at the Reading Room. This information will be provided to applicants in the notice of acceptance of the application.

(4) Correspondence relating to matters under the cognizance of the Reading Room (including request for purchase of indexes) shall be addressed to:

DA Military Review Board Agency, Attention: SFBA (Reading Room), Room 1E520, The Pentagon, Washington DC 20310

§865.119   Privacy Act information.

Information protected under the Privacy Act is involved in discharge review functions. The provisions of 32 CFR part 286a will be observed throughout the processing of a request for review of discharge or dismissal.

§865.120   Discharge review standards.

(a) Objective of review. The objective of a discharge review is to examine the propriety and equity of the applicant's discharge and to effect changes, if necessary. The standards of review and the underlying factors which aid in determining whether the standards are met shall be historically consistent with criteria for determining honorable service. No factors shall be established which require automatic change or denial of a change in a discharge. Neither the DRB nor the Secretary of the Air Force shall be bound by any methodology of weighing of the factors in reaching a determination. In each case, the DRB or Secretary of the Air Force shall give full, fair, and impartial consideration to all applicable factors prior to reaching a decision. An applicant may not receive a less favorable discharge than that issued at the time of separation. This does not preclude correction of clerical errors.

(b) Propriety. A discharge shall be deemed to be proper unless in the course of discharge review, it is determined that:

(1) There exists an error of fact, law, procedures, or discretion associated with the discharge at the time of issuance; and that the rights of the applicant were prejudiced thereby (such error shall constitute prejudicial error, if there is substantial doubt that the discharge would have remained the same if the error had not been made); or

(2) A change in policy by the Air Force made expressly retroactive to the type of discharge under consideration, requires a change in the discharge.

(c) When a record associated with the discharge at the time of issuance involves a matter in which the primary responsibility for corrective action rests with another organization (for example, another Board, agency, or court), the DRB will recognize an error only to the extent that the error has been corrected by the organization with primary responsibility for correcting the record.

(d) The primary function of the DRB is to exercise its discretion on issues of equity by reviewing the individual merits of each application on a case-by-case basis. Prior decisions in which the DRB exercised its discretion to change a discharge based on issues of equity (including the factors cited in such decisions or the weight given to factors in such decisions) do not blind the DRB in its review of subsequent cases because no two cases present the same issues of equity.

(e) The following applies to applicants who received less than fully honorable administrative discharges because of their civilian misconduct while in an inactive reserve component and who were discharged or had their discharge reviewed on or after April 20, 1971: the DRB shall either recharacterize the discharge to honorable without any additional proceedings or additional proceedings shall be conducted in accordance with the Court's Order of December 3, 1981, in Wood v. Secretary of Defense to determine whether proper grounds exist for the issuance of a less than honorable discharge, taking into account that:

(1) An Under Other Than Honorable (formerly Undesirable) Discharge for an inactive reservist can only be based upon civilian misconduct found to have affected directly the performance of military duties;

(2) A General Discharge for an inactive reservist can only be based upon civilian misconduct found to have had an adverse impact on the overall effectiveness of the military, including military morale and efficiency.

(f) The following applies to applicants who received less than fully honorable administrative discharges (between June 21, 1971 and March 2, 1982) because evidence developed by or as a direct result of complusory urinalysis testing was introduced in the discharge proceedings. Applicants who believe they are members of the above category will so indicate this by writing “CATEGORY W” in block 7 of their DD Form 293. AFMPC/MPCDOA1 will expedite processing these applications to the designated “CATEGORY W” reviewer. For class members the designated reviewer shall either recharacterize the discharge to honorable without any additional proceedings or complete a review to determine whether proper ground exists for the issuance of a less than honorable discharge. If the applicant is determined not to be a class member, the application is returned to normal review procedure channels. If new administrative proceedings are initiated, the former service member must be notified of:

(1) The basis of separation other than drug abuse or use or possession of drugs based upon compelled urinalysis that was specified in the commander's report and upon which the Air Force now seeks to base a less than honorable discharge.

(2) The full complement of procedural protections that are required by current regulations.

(3) Name, address and telephone number of an Area Defense Counsel with whom the former service member has a right to consult, and

(4) The right to participate in the new proceedings to be conducted at the Air Force base nearest the former service member's current address, or to elect to maintain his or her present character of discharge.

(g) Equity. A discharge shall be deemed to be equitable unless:

(1) In the course of a discharge review, it is determined that the policies and procedures under which the applicant was discharged differ in material respects from policies and procedures currently applicable on a service-wide basis to discharges of the type under consideration provided that:

(i) Current policies or procedures represent a substantial enhancement of the rights afforded an applicant in such proceedings; and

(ii) There is substantial doubt that the applicant would have received the same discharge if relevant current policies and procedures had been available to the applicant at the time of the discharge proceedings under consideration.

(2) At the time of issuance, the discharge was inconsistent with standards of discipline in the Air Force; or

(3) In the course of a discharge review, it is determined that a change is warranted based upon consideration of the applicant's military record and other evidence presented to the DRB viewed in conjunction with the factors listed in this section and the regulations under which the applicant was discharged, even though the discharge was determined to have been otherwise equitable and proper at the time of issuance. Areas of consideration include, but are not limited to:

(i) Quality of Service, as evidenced by factors such as:

(A) Service History, including date of enlistment, period of enlistment, highest rank achieved, conduct or efficiency ratings (numerical or narrative).

(B) Awards and decorations.

(C) Letters of commendation or reprimand.

(D) Combat service.

(E) Wounds received in action.

(F) Record of promotions and demotions.

(G) Level of responsibility at which the applicant served.

(H) Other acts of merit that may not have resulted in a formal recognition through an award or commendation.

(I) Length of service during the period which is the subject of the discharge review.

(J) Prior military service and type of discharge received or outstanding post-service conduct to the extent that such matters provide a basis for a more thorough understanding of the performance of the applicant during the period of service which is the subject of the discharge review.

(K) Convictions by court-martial.

(L) Record of non-judicial punishment.

(M) Convictions by civil authorities while a member of the Air Force, reflected in the discharge proceedings or otherwise noted in military records.

(N) Record of periods of unauthorized absence.

(O) Records relating to a discharge in lieu of court-martial.

(ii) Capability to Serve, as evidenced by factors such as:

(A) Total Capabilities. This includes an evaluation of matters such as age, educational level, and aptitude scores. Consideration may also be given to whether the individual met normal military standards of acceptability for military service and similar indicators of an individual's ability to serve satisfactorily, as well as ability to adjust to the military service.

(B) Family/Personal Problems. This includes matters in extenuation or mitigation of the reason for discharge that may have affected the applicant's ability to serve satisfactorily.

(C) Arbitrary or Capricious Actions. This includes actions by individuals in authority which constitute a clear abuse of such authority and which, although not amounting to prejudicial error, may have contributed to the decision to discharge or to the characterization of service.

(D) Discrimination. This includes unauthorized acts as documented by records or other evidence.

§865.121   Complaints concerning decisional documents and index entries.

Former members of the Air Force or their counsel or representative may submit complaints with respect to the decisional document issued in the former member's case.

(a) All complaints should be processed in accordance with 32 CFR part 70 and should be forwarded to:

Assistant Secretary of Defense, Manpower, Reserve Affairs and Logistics, The Pentagon, Washington, DC 20331

(b) The Air Force Discharge Review Board will respond to all complaints in accordance with 32 CFR part 70.

§865.122   Summary of statistics for Discharge Review Board.

The Air Force Discharge Review Board shall prepare and provide to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Military Personnel and Force Management) DASD(MP&FM), Office of the ASD(MRA&L), a semiannual report of discharge review actions in accordance with §865.125.

§865.123   Approval of exceptions to directive.

Only the Secretary of the Air Force may authorize or approve a waiver of, or exception to, any part of this subpart.

§865.124   Procedures for regional hearings.

Composition of the board for these hearings consists of three members from Washington with augmentation by two members from nearby local Air Force resources. The nearest Air Force installation or Air Force Reserve Unit is tasked to provide two officers to serve as members of the DRB. Active duty members will serve on the board as an additional duty. Reserve members will be on a temporary tour of active duty (TTAD) for the duration of the hearings. Detailed information must be provided to the individuals selected to serve before each hearing date. The administrative staff in Washington processes all cases for regional hearings, establishes hearing dates, and returns the records to the Manpower and Personnel Center at Randolph AFB, Texas, when the case is finalized.

§865.125   Report requirement.

Semi-annual reports will be submitted by the 20th day of April and October for the preceding 6-month reporting period (1 October through 31 March and 1 April through 30 September). The reporting period will be inclusive from the first through the last days of each reporting period. The report will contain four parts:

(a) Part 1—Regular Cases are all those that are not included in part 2 below.

(b) Part 2—Other cases include the following:

(1) Reconsideration of President Ford's memorandum of 19 January 1977.

(2) Special Discharge Review Program cases.

(3) Statutes of Limitation Cases—those heard under Pub. L. 95-126 by waiver of 10 U.S.C. 1553.

(c) Part 3—Total—combine parts 1 and 2.

(d) Part 4—Cases outstanding include all those eligible cases in which a DD Form 293 has been received but has not been heard by the Discharge Review Board as the reporting date for this report. Reports will be prepared by the Air Force Discharge Review Board and submitted to the Army Discharge Review Board (executive agent for DRB matters).

§865.126   Sample report format.

Summary of Statistics for Air Force Discharge Review Board

RCS: DD-M(SA) 1489

  Record review Hearing Total
Applied Number approved Applied Number approved Applied Number approved

Part 1 Regular Cases.

Part 2 Other.

Part 3 Total.

Part 4 Cases Outstanding.

Note: Identify numbers separately for regional DRB hearings. Use of additional footnotes to clarify or amplify the statistic being reported is encouraged.



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