2017 NDAA Breathes New Life into Previously Denied ABCMR Requests for Reconsideration
Key Case: Wilhelmus v. Geren
New statutory amendments suggest:
- The ABCMR’s one-year deadline now appears to be invalid.
- The ABCMR’s one-time reconsideration rule is now appears similarly invalid.
- Most importantly, it appears that any applicant who was at one time denied reconsideration purely on timeliness grounds now must be considered by the board so long as they are supported by “materials not previously presented to or considered by the board . . .”
Department of Defense Expands Guidance for Veterans Seeking Discharge Upgrades in PTSD-related Cases
Wilhelmus held that the Army Board for Correction of Military Records (ABCMR) violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) by failing to properly distinguish its own relevant precedent.
[UPDATE] New BCNR Rules for Requests for Reconsideration?
On February 24, 2016, Acting Principal Under Secretary of Defense Brad Carson issued a memorandum to the secretaries of the military departments that substantially augmented previous guidance on how military record-correction and discharge review boards address applications by Veterans claiming PTSD or related conditions.
ABCMR Retroactively Awards Purple Heart and Other Medals to Vietnam Vet
There is a class of applicants who submitted reconsideration requests between September 16, 2014 and July 1, 2016 whose cases were unlawfully rejected as untimely. These applicants could reapply for reconsideration, although the requirements for new and material evidence must still be met.
The Army Board for Correction of Military Records (ABCMR) records recently awarded a Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, Vietnam Service Medal (3 Bronze Stars), Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Unit Citation, Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Honor Medal First Class Unit Citation, and Expert Marksmanship Qualification Badge with Rifle and Machinegun Bars for a Vietnam veteran who petitioned the Board nearly 50 years after he sustained injuries in the Battle for Hill 875.