Monday, March 20, 2017

DoD Announces New Outreach Efforts to Veterans Regarding Discharges and Military Records

IMMEDIATE RELEASE from www.defense.gov

DoD Announces New Outreach Efforts to Veterans Regarding Discharges and Military Records

Press Operations
Release No: NR-459-16
Dec. 30, 2016


The Department of Defense today announced a renewed effort to ensure veterans are aware of the opportunity to have their discharges and military records reviewed. Through enhanced public outreach, engagement with Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs), Military Service Organizations (MSOs), and other outside groups, as well as direct outreach to individual veterans, the department encourages all veterans who believe they have experienced an error or injustice to request relief from their service’s Board for Correction of Military/Naval Records (BCM/NR) or Discharge Review Board (DRB).

Additionally, all veterans, VSOs, MSOs, and other interested organizations are invited to offer feedback on their experiences with the BCM/NR or DRB processes, including how the policies and processes can be improved.

In the past few years, the department has issued guidance for consideration of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as the repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and its predecessor policies.  Additionally, supplemental guidance for separations involving victims of sexual assault is currently being considered.

The department is reviewing and consolidating all of the related policies to reinforce the department’s commitment to ensuring fair and equitable review of separations for all veterans.  Whether the discharge or other correction is the result of PTSD, sexual orientation, sexual assault, or some other consideration, the department is committed to rectifying errors or injustices and treating all veterans with dignity and respect.

With today's announcement, the department is reaffirming its intention to review and potentially upgrade the discharge status of all individuals that are eligible and that apply.

To request an upgrade or correction:

Veterans who desire a correction to their service record or who believe their discharge was unjust, erroneous, or warrants an upgrade, are encouraged to apply for review.
For discharge upgrades, if the discharge was less than 15 years ago, the veteran should complete DD Form 293 (http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/forms/eforms/dd0293.pdf) and send it to their service’s DRB (the address is on the form).  For discharges over 15 years ago, the veteran should complete the DD Form 149 (http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/forms/eforms/dd0149.pdf) and send it to their service’s BCM/NR (the address is on the form).  

For corrections of records other than discharges, veterans should complete the DD Form 149 and submit their request to their service’s BCM/NR (the address is on the form).   

Key information to include in requests:

There are three keys to successful applications for upgrade or correction.  First, it is very important to explain why the veteran’s discharge or other record was unjust or erroneous—for example, how it is connected to, or resulted from unjust policies, a physical or mental health condition related to military service, or some other explainable or justifiable circumstance.  Second, it is important to provide support, where applicable, for key facts.  If a veteran has a relevant medical diagnosis, for example, it would be very helpful to include medical records that reflect that diagnosis.  Third, it is helpful, but not always required, to submit copies of the veteran’s applicable service records.  The more information provided, the better the boards can understand the circumstances of the discharge.  

BCM/NRs are also authorized to grant relief on the basis of clemency.  Veterans who believe their post-service conduct and contributions to society support an upgrade or correction should describe their post-service activity and provide any appropriate letters or other documentation of support. 

Personnel records for veterans who served after 1997 should be accessible online and are usually retrievable within hours of a request through the Defense Personnel Records Information Retrieval System (DPRIS).  To obtain one’s personnel records from DPRIS, go to https://www.dpris.dod.mil/, then select “Individual Veteran Access” on the left side of the website and follow the instructions.  Veterans will need to register for a logon and verify their current mailing address before requesting records.  The whole process usually takes less than 10 minutes.  Those who served prior to 1997 or for whom electronic records are not available from DPRIS, can request their records from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) using the eVetRecs website at: http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/.  

To submit feedback on policies or processes:

Send an e-mail to osd.pentagon.ousd-p-r.mbx.legal-policy@mail.mil, or mail your feedback to Office of Legal Policy at:

Office of Legal Policy
Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel & Readiness)
4000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-4000

For other information or assistance:

Air Force BCMR
Website: http://www.afpc.af.mil/board-for-correction-of-military-records
Phone: 240-612-5379 
E-mail: usaf.pentagon.saf-mr.mbx.saf-mrbc@mail.mil

Air Force DRB: 
Website: http://www.afpc.af.mil/board-for-correction-of-military-records
Phone: 240-612-0995 
E-mail: usaf.pentagon.saf-mr.mbx.saf-mrb@mail.mil

Army BCMR: 
Website: http://arba.army.pentagon.mil/ 
E-mail: army.arbainquiry@mail.mil

Army DRB:  
Website: http://arba.army.pentagon.mil
E-mail: army.arbainquiry@mail.mil

Navy BCNR:  
Website: http://www.secnav.navy.mil/mra/bcnr/Pages/home.aspx 
Phone: 703-607-6111
E-mail: BCNR_Application@navy.mil

Navy DRB: 
Website: http://www.secnav.navy.mil/mra/CORB/Pages/NDRB/default.aspx 
Phone: 202-685-6600
E-mail: NDRB@navy.mil

Thursday, March 16, 2017

#Veteran Events & Announcements 3/16 to 4/2

Listed below are the events I have for the next 30 days here in the Metro Detroit area, of which there are 3 new items. You can also go to the Legion 328 website to download any flyer for these future events at  http://www.legionpost328.org/events.html 

If your group has an event benefiting veterans, or you hear of an event, please share with me so I can share with the veteran community.  I would rather get an event 3 times than not at all!  Please make sure any flyer lists address of event and a contact person!

You can also find many other veteran events & information for Veterans on the State of MI Veterans website, Detroit Public Televisions' Veterans website, and a few others:
http://www.michiganveterans.com/home/Calendar.aspx
http://www.veterans.dptv.org/all-events

http://www.hostmtb.org/RADs_and_Other_Retiree-Veterans_Events.html#MI
https://sites.google.com/site/miveteranevents/home/military

ANNOUNCEMENTS!

"Low Cost Piston Tickets" The IAVA is offering to vets discount tickets to a number of Piston games at the Palace. Cost is $20 each to the following games. Click on the game you would like to attend to order.

"Camp Liberty" This spring the camp a cleanup/fixup/repair of their facility, one used by many many veterans all summer long. They seek volunteers for this wqrk. Please see flyer for dates and other info.

EVENTS!

"Friday's in March, 2017" Berkley Legion Post 374 is hosting a Fish Fry every Friday starting on the 3rd, from 5 till 8PM. Post located at 2079 W 12 Mile, Berkley. For more info & pricing see flyer.

"Saturday, March 11, 2017" Vets Returning Home is hosting its 3rd annual dinner Fundraiser at the Royalty House, 8201 E 13 Mile, Warren, starting at 6PM. Tickets are $50 each. For tickets/tables call 586-216-8510. For more info see flyer.

"Saturday, March 11, 2017" Troy-Birmingham Legion Post 14, 1340 W Maple, Troy, is hosting a spaghetti dinner & fundraiser to help Todd Mitchell who has Primary Lateral Sclerosis. Cost is $10 per person which also includes salad, rolls, snack. For more info call 248-918-3901 or see flyer.

"Tuesday, March 14, 2017" DAV Chapter 14 is hosting an all you can eat dinner buffet to support their vet programs. Buffet will be held at Senate Coney Island, 39430 Dun Rovin Rd, Northville, from 4 till 8 PM. Dinner is $18 per person, $7 for children. For more info see flyer.

"Wednesday, March 15, 2017" The Macomb Community College Veterinary Program will be providing a long list of free services to veterans' dogs & cats, from 11AM till 3PM. For a complete list of free services see flyer. This is by reservation only at 586-286-2096 or email to francisL@macomb.edu.

"Thursday, March 16, 2017" Soldier Angels is again hosting a Mobile Food Distribution at the American Legion, 19486 Sherwood, Detroit, from 12 till 2PM. You must register in advance at 210-629-0020. See flyer for more info.

"Friday, March 17, 2017" Dearborn Legion Post 364, 3001 S Telegraph, Dearborn, is hosting a Corn Beef & Cabbage dinner for St. Patrick's Day, Noon till sold out! Dinner is $10 per person. For more info see flyer.

"Saturday, March 18, 2017" Michigan Women Veterans Empowerment is hosting "Healing through the Arts" art therapy workshop with master art therapist Roslyn Onickel, from Noon till 4PM, at Peace Center Art Gallery, 33 E Adams, Detroit. All vets are welcome. For more info see flyer.

"Saturday, March 18, 2017" The Lawrence Tech University Student Veterans are hosting their annual scholarship event, this year Oktoberfest. This will take place at Farinas Banquet Center, 2485 Coolidge Hwy, Berkley, from 6 till 10PM. Cost is $40 per person/$70 per couple. Joint them for a German Dinner & Festivities. For more info call Tom at 248-805-6844. For tickets go to website. For more info see flyer.

"Saturday, March 18, 2017" The Detroit VA Hospital, 4646 John R, Detroit, along with Hiring Our Heroes, is hosting a military hiring fair & career event from 12 till 3PM at the hospital. To preregister goto hiringourheroes.org. For more info on this event see flyer.

"Thursday, March 23, 2017" Vaughn Respite is hosting a Veteran's Stand Down at Bert's Warehouse, 2739 Russell, Detroit, from 10AM till 3PM. A number of support services will be available along with lunch, grooming needs, etc. For more info see flyer.

"Thursday, March 23, 2017" Part of Patriot Week will be the 4th annual Patrick Henry awards, this year's honorees include Mark Hackel, Penske Corporation, & General Michael McDaniel. Dinner from 6 till 9PM at the San Marino Club, 1685 E Big Beaver, Troy. Tickets are $55. For more info see flyer.

"Saturday, March 25, 2017 (NEW)" It's time for the annual Chili Cookoff between the VFW, DAV, & American Legion. Will be held at the DAV Hall, 47326 Dequindre Rd, Shelby Twp, from 11AM till 3PM. Come out, try some chili, help pick a winner. See flyer for details.

"Saturday & Sunday, March 25 & 26, 2017" The Motor City Hot Rod & Racing Show will take place at the Suburban Showcase Collection, Grand River, Novi, from 10AM till 6PM Saturday, 10AM till 3PM Sunday. Proceeds benefiting the Fallen & Wounded Soldier Fund. There are numerous events for the car nut and special shows. For more info see flyer. There are numerous prizes that can be won early by placing a bid or donating to the fund. See FWSF PayPal sheet for details.

"Wednesday, March 29, 2017" Please join the American Indian Veterans or Michigan for their annual Welcome Home Vietnam Vet Day at their center, 26641 Lawrence, Centerline, starting at 2PM and running till 7. For more info call Chris at 248-210-6153 or see flyer.

"Wednesday, March 29, 2017 (NEW)" The Southfield Public Library is hosting its 10th annual Spell Bowl, an opportunity to have fun, misspell words, and help raise money for the Vet Commission, of which I am a member. At the Library, 26300 Evergreen, Southfield, from 7 till 9PM. See flyer for more details and application to enter your team.

"Saturday, April 1, 2017" In honor of Marine veteran Clay Hunt, an original member of Team Rubicon who took his own life after battling PTS and depression, Team Rubicon, Team Red White and Blue, and The Mission Continues will partner to participate in the 5th annual Run as One on April 16th. The event will as serve a celebration of a networks required to empower, unite and enrich the lives of Veterans. It will also be a symbol of leadership, action, and collaboration across the veterans support landscape within our local communities. RUN AS ONE Event Partners: Team Red, White and Blue | Team Rubicon | The Mission Continues | Ann Arbor VA | IAVA | U of M - Student Veterans of America. Event Location: Ann Arbor VA, 2215 Fuller Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48105 Event Time: 10 AM-2 PM. To register for the run go here!

"Sunday, April 2, 2017" The Michigan Military Technical & Historical Society (www.mimths.org) is hosting another in their lecture series and book review, "A Victim No More," A story of struggle, healing, and restoration by Sgt Stephanie J. Shannon - Best Selling Author of Battling the Storm Within and Founder and CEO of Michigan Women Veterans Empowerment. Takes place at the museum, Stevens Dr, Eastpointe, starting at 2PM. Admission by donation. See flyer for more info.


--   Tim Wirkus  USAF 66-70  VFW 2645  Life Member  VVA 154 Life Member  DAV 19 Life Member  AM Legion 328 Member  Sfd Vet Commission Member

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Action Alert: Contact your representative today


Three veterans bills up for House vote this week

Contact your representative today

 

On March 8, the House Veterans Affairs Committee sent three bills to the full House which The American Legion supports. They will be voted on later this week. Please take a moment to send the prepared e-mail to your legislators to seek their support for these bills.

H.R. 1181, the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act, introduced by Chairman Phil Roe, M.D., would prohibit the Department of Veterans Affairs from considering any beneficiary who is assisted by a fiduciary as "mentally defective" without a magistrate or judicial authority ruling that the beneficiary is a danger to themselves or others.

The American Legion has always been a stalwart defender of 2nd Amendment rights and believes it is wrong for veterans and beneficiaries who need help managing their financial affairs to lose their 2nd rights without due process. Veterans deserve the best mental healthcare available, but the threat of losing their 2nd Amendment rights is a disincentive to those who would benefit from treatment.

H.R. 1259, the VA Accountability First Act of 2017, introduced by Chairman Roe, would provide the VA Secretary increased flexibility to remove, demote, or suspend any VA employee, including Senior Executive Service employees, for performance or misconduct.

H.R. 1367, introduced by Rep. Wenstrup, would improve the authority of the VA Secretary "to hire and retain physicians and other employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes." It would establish a recruiting database to make high-quality potential employees aware of positions at VA and create opportunities for career training and advancement for current VA employees through fellowship positions and a promotional track for technical experts.

The American Legion also supports efforts to provide the VA secretary the authority to better manage all employees, and hold them accountable when they fail to perform their duties in a manner befitting of a federal servant. Just as essential are continued efforts to address the recruitment and retention challenges at VA. We're pleased to see both of these bills move together because VA can't fire its way to excellence, but must also be given the tools to hire and retain a workforce worthy of this nation's veterans.

All Legionnaires, concerned citizens, veterans and their families are asked to contact their representatives and urge them to support this legislation.

(If received by email, scroll up and click the Take Action link, otherwise see below and send a prepared message to your representative.) 

 




Thursday, March 2, 2017

#Veteran Events & Announcements 3/1 to 3/18

Listed below are the events I have for the next 30 days here in the Metro Detroit area, of which there are 8 new items. You can also go to the Legion 328 website to download any flyer for these future events at  http://www.legionpost328.org/events.html 

If your group has an event benefiting veterans, or you hear of an event, please share with me so I can share with the veteran community.  I would rather get an event 3 times than not at all!  Please make sure any flyer lists address of event and a contact person!

You can also find many other veteran events & information for Veterans on the State of MI Veterans website, Detroit Public Televisions' Veterans website, and a few others:
http://www.michiganveterans.com/home/Calendar.aspx
http://www.veterans.dptv.org/all-events

http://www.hostmtb.org/RADs_and_Other_Retiree-Veterans_Events.html#MI
https://sites.google.com/site/miveteranevents/home/military

ANNOUNCEMENTS!

"Low Cost Piston Tickets" The IAVA is offering to vets discount tickets to a number of Piston games at the Palace. Cost is $20 each to the following games. Click on the game you would like to attend to order.

"Veterans & Social Security" This info might help some vets get an increase in your monthly SSA check. This only applies to veterans that served between 1957 & 1968 and who retired before 2002. Since the SSA uses the last 35 years of employment to determine how much your benefit will be, the vets in the mentioned group can have about $12,000 added to their income summary for their years in the service. That could make a difference in how much your benefit check will be. For complete info see the SSA webpage dedicated to this issue.

EVENTS!

"Friday's in March, 2017" Berkley Legion Post 374 is hosting a Fish Fry every Friday starting on the 3rd, from 5 till 8PM. Post located at 2079 W 12 Mile, Berkley. For more info & pricing see flyer.

"Friday, March 3, 2017" The Ann Arbor VA Hospital is hosting its annual Military Appreciation Night with a reception starting at 5PM and then the a Hockey Game at the USA Hockey Arena, 14900 Beck Rd, Plymouth. Team USA will be playing the Waterloo Hockey Team starting at 7PM. Food, refreshments, etc. Free to all veterans and their families but you must RSVP to alwn.fyfe@va.gov or call 734-845-3429. See flyer for more info.

"Monday, March 6, 2017" Jewish Vocational Services is hosting an USA Jobs seminar at their location, 29699 Southfield Rd, Southfield, from 1 till 4PM. For more info see flyer.

"Tuesday, March 7, 2017" Southfield Human Services will be hosting the first Tuesday of each month Training & Treatment Innovations, Inc., to provide supportive services to veterans that are homeless or at the risk of becoming homeless. This take place at Southfield City Hall, 26000 Evergreen, Southfield, from 1 till 3PM. This is open to all vets in Oakland, Macomb, Jackson, Saginaw, Lapeer, & Genesee Counties. For more info call 248-796-4540 or see flyer.

"Saturday, March 11, 2017" Vets Returning Home is hosting its 3rd annual dinner Fundraiser at the Royalty House, 8201 E 13 Mile, Warren, starting at 6PM. Tickets are $50 each. For tickets/tables call 586-216-8510. For more info see flyer.

"Saturday, March 11, 2017" Troy-Birmingham Legion Post 14, 1340 W Maple, Troy, is hosting a spaghetti dinner & fundraiser to help Todd Mitchell who has Primary Lateral Sclerosis. Cost is $10 per person which also includes salad, rolls, snack. For more info call 248-918-3901 or see flyer.

"Tuesday, March 14, 2017" DAV Chapter 14 is hosting an all you can eat dinner buffet to support their vet programs. Buffet will be held at Senate Coney Island, 39430 Dun Rovin Rd, Northville, from 4 till 8 PM. Dinner is $18 per person, $7 for children. For more info see flyer.

"Wednesday, March 15, 2017" The Macomb Community College Veterinary Program will be providing a long list of free services to veterans' dogs & cats, from 11AM till 3PM. For a complete list of free services see flyer. This is by reservation only at 586-286-2096 or email to francisL@macomb.edu.

"Thursday, March 16, 2017 (NEW)" Soldier Angels is again hosting a Mobile Food Distribution at the American Legion, 19486 Sherwood, Detroit, from 12 till 2PM. You must register in advance at 210-629-0020. See flyer for more info.

"Friday, March 17, 2017" Dearborn Legion Post 364, 3001 S Telegraph, Dearborn, is hosting a Corn Beef & Cabbage dinner for St. Patrick's Day, Noon till sold out! Dinner is $10 per person. For more info see flyer.

"Saturday, March 18, 2017" Michigan Women Veterans Empowerment is hosting "Healing through the Arts" art therapy workshop with master art therapist Roslyn Onickel, from Noon till 4PM, at Peace Center Art Gallery, 33 E Adams, Detroit. All vets are welcome. For more info see flyer.

"Saturday, March 18, 2017 (NEW)" The Lawrence Tech University Student Veterans are hosting their annual scholarship event, this year Oktoberfest. This will take place at Farinas Banquet Center, 2485 Coolidge Hwy, Berkley, from 6 till 10PM. Cost is $40 per person/$70 per couple. Joint them for a German Dinner & Festivities. For more info call Tom at 248-805-6844. For tickets go to website. For more info see flyer.

"Saturday, March 18, 2017" The Detroit VA Hospital, 4646 John R, Detroit, along with Hiring Our Heroes, is hosting a military hiring fair & career event from 12 till 3PM at the hospital. To preregister goto hiringourheroes.org. For more info on this event see flyer.


--   Tim Wirkus  USAF 66-70  VFW 2645  Life Member  VVA 154 Life Member  DAV 19 Life Member  AM Legion 328 Member  Sfd Vet Commission Member