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-Manpower & Reserve Affairs (M&RA) > BCNR
Welcome to Board for Correction of Naval Records (BCNR)
Image Board for Correction of Naval Records

Board for Correction of Naval Records
701 S. Courthouse Road
Building 12, Suite 1001
Arlington, VA 22204-2490

Comm: 703-604-6884/6885
DSN: 664-6884/6885
Fax: 703-604-3437
DSN Fax: 664-3437


BCNR is the highest level of administrative review within the Department of the Navy. Our mission is to correct errors and remove injustices from Naval records.


The statutory authority for BCNR is Title 10, United States Code, Section 1552. It is a Secretary of the Navy organization under the direction and supervision of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower & Reserve Affairs). The governing instruction for BCNR is SECNAVINST 5420.193.

Key Information for Applicants

SECDEF Policy for consideration of discharge upgrade for veterans claiming PTSD

On September 3, 2014, the Secretary of Defense issued a memorandum providing guidance to the Board for Correction of Naval Records as it considers petitions brought by veterans claiming Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with other than honorable conditions discharge. This includes a comprehensive review of all materials and evidence provided by the applicant.

This policy guidance is intended to ease the application process for veterans who are seeking redress and assists the Board in reaching fair and consistent results in these cases. The guidance also mandates liberal waivers of time limits, ensures timely consideration of petitions, and allows for increased involvement of medical personnel in Board determinations.

The new guidance provides that liberal consideration will be given by the Board for Correction of Naval Records in petitions for changes in characterization of service. The supplemental guidance outlines specifically what type of records and evidence will be given special and liberal consideration by the boards. Read the memorandum and supplemental guidance here.

Who does this guidance apply to?

This guidance applies to veterans whose characterization of discharge was under other than honorable conditions and who assert that they suffered PTSD or related conditions that they believe mitigated the misconduct that led to the discharge. This memorandum focuses on those veterans who served before PTSD was a recognized diagnosis; however, the guidance will be applied to all veterans.

Under Secretary of Defense policy for correction of military records pursuant to the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act (DADT) of 2010

On September 20, 2011, the Under Secretary of Defense issued a policy that addresses how service boards of correction should review applications to correction of records of individuals discharged under DADT or a similar policy in place prior to DADT.
Boards were directed to normally grant requests to change narrative reasons of discharge, characterization of discharges, and re-entry codes of individuals provided the following two conditions are met:

-- The original discharge was based solely on DADT or a similar policy in place prior to the enactment of DADT; and
-- There were no aggravating factors in the record, such as misconduct.

The policy directs that an honorable or general discharge should be considered absent aggravating factors.

Former service members who wish to file an application with the Board under this policy should annotate clearly on their application "DADT" or "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in block 5 of the DD Form 149. This will allow the Board to expedite consideration of DADT cases.

Who is eligible to apply to BCNR?

Current and former members of the United States Navy and Marine Corps (including Reserve personnel) may apply for a correction of an error or removal of an injustice in their official military record. If a former service member is deceased or incompetent, the member’s spouse, widow or widower, next of kin (parent, sibling, or child), or legal representative can apply for the service member. An applicant must provide legal proof of death or incompetence of the service member and proof of legal relationship.

How can I apply to BCNR?

Download the DD149 Application and print a copy of the application form. An application may also be obtained from BCNR by sending a request to the mailing address listed on BCNR’s homepage.

What do I need to send with my application?

Please provide copies of all relevant military records in your possession and additional evidence to support your application. Do not send original records. In addition, you will need to provide copies of all correspondence you have with other agencies regarding the issue for which you are applying. BCNR will only consider your application once you have exhausted all your administrative remedies within the Department of the Navy.

How long will it take to process my application?

It depends on a number of factors. BCNR reviews applications in the order in which they are received. Due to the large number of applications and the complexity of cases, it may be as long as 18 months before a board considers your case. BCNR processes over 14,000 applications annually and often must request records from the National Personnel Records Center prior to assigning a case to an examiner. Since BCNR is not an investigative agency, it also routinely requests advisory opinions from other Department of Navy offices prior to hearing a case. The delays associated with getting a case ready for a board can be lengthy depending on the workload of these outside offices and the complexity of the issues involved. Title 10, United States Code, Section 1557 requires BCNR to process cases in a timely manner. It is our mission to consider all applications as soon as possible.

If BCNR receives a negative advisory opinion, will I get an opportunity to respond to it?

Yes, you will normally be provided 30 days to respond in writing to the opinion. If you require additional time, you may request an extension provided it does not require BCNR to exceed its statutory timeline standards.

If BCNR grants relief, how long will it take before my record is corrected?

When BCNR determines relief is required, it directs the responsible office to make the necessary change(s) to the records. Depending on the offices involved, these actions can take 3-4 months to complete after a BCNR decision is published. In pay cases, the Defense Finance and Accounting System must take additional action after a record is corrected. This often results in additional delay.

Can I receive damages from BCNR for the error or injustice I suffered?

No, claims against the government for damages or compensation must be litigated in a Federal court of appropriate jurisdiction.

Do applicants have a right to have a hearing before the Board?

No, there is no right to a hearing. The Board will determine whether to grant a hearing based on the evidence presented in the case. If a hearing is granted, no reimbursement of expenses will be authorized.

Will the Board reconsider my request if I submit another DD149 application?

In accordance with Lipsman v. Secretary of the Army, 335 F. Supp. 2d 48 (D.D.C. 2204), the Board will reconsider an application if an applicant submits new evidence not previously considered by the Board. If an application is submitted without new evidence, the BCNR staff will administratively close the case.

What cases will BCNR not hear?

BCNR will not consider cases that it does not have authority to correct. In addition, it will not consider cases that are administrative corrections to military records.

Why do so many applications fail to warrant relief?

Each application is unique and results depend on the facts and circumstances of the case. However, many applicants fail to provide any evidence to support their application and their contentions of error or injustice. It is important to keep in mind that a presumption of regularity attaches to all official records. Consequently, when applying for a correction of an official Naval record, the burden is on the applicant to demonstrate the existence of probable material error or injustice.

Important Links for Applicants

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701 S. Courthouse Road
Building 12, Suite 1001
Arlington, VA 22204-2490

Office Contact:
T: 703-604-6884/6885

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