After you read this fact sheet, please call the Hotline (877-447-4487) to talk over your options with a counselor.
- Am I eligible for the GI Bill for the 21st Century (post-9/11 GI Bill)? How about the Montgomery GI Bill (education) benefits?
- Based on the characterization of service for my discharge, Honorable, General, Other than Honorable, Bad Conduct, or Dishonorable, what benefits am I eligible for?
- How can I get a copy of my discharge papers (DD-214)?
- I've heard that discharges are automatically upgraded six months after you're discharged. Is that true?
- I've heard that if I go AWOL and wait 30 days, then I can turn myself in and get a quick discharge. Is that true?
- Discharges and Benefits
- VA Benefits
- Military Benefits
- What Do Different Re-Enlistment Re-Entry Codes Mean?
- Reporting Crime Involving Servicemembers
- See related regulations and commentary
Am I eligible for the GI Bill for the 21st Century (post-9/11 GI Bill)? How about the Montgomery GI Bill (education) benefits?
Based on the characterization of service for my discharge, Honorable, General, Other than Honorable, Bad Conduct, or Dishonorable, what benefits am I eligible for?
Click here to see which benefits you are eligible for and what problems can cause you to lose some of them.
How can I get a copy of my discharge papers (DD-214)?
I've heard that discharges are automatically upgraded six months after you're discharged. Is that true?
Absolutely not. Call the GI Rights Hotline to find out how you may possibly improve your discharge before you get discharged or to upgrade your discharge afterwards (which is usually harder to do).
I've heard that if I go AWOL and wait 30 days, then I can turn myself in and get a quick discharge. Is that true?
It's not easy to say what is true about going AWOL (and UA) in general, because each case depends on a number of factors and the situation keeps changing, but the majority of rumors we have heard are either not true or they only apply to people in a special category. To find out what might be true in your case call the GI Rights Hotline (877-447-4487). Our counselors keep up with the latest information about the consequences of going AWOL (and UA).
Discharges and Benefits
The following government website can help you determine what benefits you may be eligible for eBenefits.
The tables below show the eligibility for benefits based on the type of discharge a member is awarded (source: www.jag.navy.mil/documents/Benefits%20Chart.doc, but applicable generally to all branches of the military). They do not indicate any other criteria (such as years of service) that may also be required for an individual to be eligible for the benefits indicated.
- Dishonorable discharge
- BCD GCM
- Bad conduct discharge awarded at General Court-Martial
- BCD SPCM
- Bad conduct discharge awarded at Special Court-Martial
- Other than honorable
- General (under honorable conditions)
- Honorable discharge
- Not eligible
- Eligible only if the administering agency determines that, for its purposes, the discharge was not under dishonorable conditions.
|VA Benefits||DD||BCD GCM||BCD SPCM||OTH||GEN||HON|
|Wartime disability compensation||NE||NE||A||A||E||E|
|Wartime death compensation||NE||NE||A||A||E||E|
|Peacetime disability compensation||NE||NE||A||A||E||E|
|Peacetime death compensation||NE||NE||A||A||E||E|
|Dependency and indemnity compensation to survivors||NE||NE||A||A||E||E|
|Education assistance (not GI Bill)||NE||NE||A||A||E||E|
|Pensions to widows and children||NE||NE||A||A||E||E|
|Hospital and domiciliary care||NE||NE||A||A||E||E|
|Medical and dental care||NE||NE||A||A||E||E|
|Seeing-eye dogs, mechanical and electronic aids||NE||NE||A||A||E||E|
|Burial benefits (flag, national cemetaries, expenses)||NE||NE||A||A||E||E|
|Vocational rehabilitation: Survivor's educational assistance||NE||NE||A||A||E||E|
|Autos for disabled veterans||NE||NE||A||A||E||E|
|Inductees reenlistment rights||NE||NE||A||A||E||E|
|Military Benefits||DD||BCD GCM||BCD SPCM||OTH||GEN||HON|
|Payment for accrued leave||NE||NE||NE||NE||E||E|
|Transportation for dependents and household goods||NE||NE||NE||NE||E||E|
|Retain and wear uniform home||NE||NE||NE||NE||E||E|
|Notice to employer of discharge||NE||NE||NE||NE||E||E|
|Award of medal, crosses, and bars||NE||NE||NE||NE||E||E|
|Admission to Soldier's/Naval Home||NE||NE||NE||NE||E||E|
|Board for Correction of Military/Naval Records||E||E||E||E||E||E|
|Use of wartime title and wearing of uniform||NE||NE||NE||NE||E||E|
|Discharge Review Board||NE||NE||E||E||E||E|
|Civil Service employment preference||NE||NE||NE||NE||E||E|
|Credit for retirement benefits||NE||NE||NE||NE||E||E|
|Employment as District Court Bailiffs||NE||NE||NE||NE||E||E|
|D.C. police, fireman, & teacher retirement credit||NE||NE||NE||NE||E||E|
|Housing for distressed families of veterans||NE||NE||A||A||E||E|
|Farm loans and farm housing loans||NE||NE||A||A||E||E|
|Jobs counseling, training, placement||NE||NE||A||A||E||E|
|Social Security wage credits for WW-II service||NE||NE||A||A||E||E|
|Preference in purchasing defense housing||NE||NE||A||A||E||E|
What Do Different Re-Enlistment Re-Entry Codes Mean?
People sometimes have questions about re-entry re-enlistment codes and the possibility of getting back in.
Enlisted personnel separated from any component of the military are assigned RE codes to indicate their eligibility to reenter military service. Below are different branches listing of what the different codes mean.
For Reenlistment the Navy uses the following chart
For the AIR FORCE your RE-Code must be a "1" to be eligible for the AF prior service program
Reporting Crime Involving Servicemembers
From time to time people contact the GI Rights Hotline wanting to report criminal wrongdoing involving members of the military. As a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization the GI Rights Hotline is not connected to law enforcement inside or outside of the military.
Servicemembers and civilians wanting to report crime that occurred outside of a military base can contact local law enforcement from the jurisdiction where the offense happened. (Sometimes those authorities will also contact the military. For incidents that occur on base or involving a servicemember acting in an official capacity reports can be made to the military police or provost marshal of the base or to CID (criminal investigation division). Contact numbers can typically be found through an internet search.
Sometimes servicemembers want to discuss how reporting a crime could affect their standing in a unit. While our counselors are not able to give legal advice, we can sometimes help people review different considerations related to reporting a crime committed by another service member.
GI Rights Hotline Counselors can be reached through our confidential, toll free number 877-447-4487