Correcting Military Records
When prospective clients call me about filing an appeal with the Board of Corrections for Naval Records- known as the BCNR or the Army, Air Force or Coast Guard Board of Corrections for Military Records- also called the BCMR, it is plain that many of them have no idea of the complexity of this arena of administrative law.
When I file a petition for relief with any of these Boards, this document is a well-crafted brief that ties together all of the available evidence to overcome the presumption that the adverse decision which you are appealing was correct. This includes transcribing any audio recordings of PEB cases, show cause boards, boards of inquiry or administrative discharge boards.
I always specifically request that we receive copies of all advisory opinions provided by the agency to the BCMR or BCNR. This is the agency’s response to your petition. It is usually necessary to submit a detailed written response along with evidence refuting any errors made in the advisory opinion. If you do not ask for it, it may not be provided as a matter of course.
In PEB cases, it is also necessary to specifically request that the BCMR or BCNR receives an independent medical review and opinion regarding the merits of our case. This is not automatically done, even though appeals from PEB cases often involve complex medical issues. If you are my client, you can count on us making this request.
Never assume that you will be granted a live hearing, as such hearings are rarely held. Therefore, we must develop the best possible case on paper. And we will.
Now, anyone can say that they are good at handling BCMR and BCNR cases, but I think that it is better to let my clients speak for me:
“When Jack Gately won me a permanent disability rating from the Air Force, we had no idea that my condition would rapidly decline over the years that followed. Jack persuaded the Air Force BCMR to reopen my case and double my previous disability rating. Many lawyers would have charged me a fortune or demanded a large contingent fee to take on such a case, but Jack never charged me a single dime. He said that it would not be right to take advantage of someone like that. That is why my wife and I consider meeting Jack to have been such a blessing!” CAPT Jared Faison, USAF (ret.), email@example.com
“When our son developed a life-threatening disease during basic training, he was treated briefly and then separated with an entry-level discharge. We soon found ourselves awash with tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills and no hope. The VA told us that he had not been in the service long enough to qualify for benefits. Jack Gately won our son the disability that he deserved, helped us to recoup a small fortune in medical costs from Tricare and even helped my son develop his VA voc rehab plan. He is now a respiratory therapist and has a great future, thanks to Jack.” Karen Pickett, firstname.lastname@example.org