Army Reserve "Uncharacterized" DD214 Separation and lack of benefits


PEB Forum Veteran
Sorry to bother the team, I need some advice. I had a tough case come across my desk and it is not in my arena of expertise. I have a RESERVE COMPONENT soldier that was injured during Annual Training (years ago) and while applying for Massachusetts state Veterans benefits, we discovered that she was separated as "Uncharacterized" on her DD214 (which precluded her from receiving benefits). This case is unusual to me because most of this type of DD214 is for individuals who have not completed basic or AIT. This Soldier completed not only Basic and AIT but also completed her 8 year obligation.

The questions is: In the teams experience do you think that a request to upgrade the DD214 to Honorable would be successful. This Soldier is Homeless and if I could get and upgrade I would be able to get this service member into key programs that would help her.


Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
It is entirety possible that this SM did get an uncharacterized discharge (for an injury during BCT), then go back to BCT/AIT and graduate. There would be another DD214 for the second period of service that may have not been produced during the records check.

You will need to discuss the issue with the Veteran and see if she can recall any of the additional details.

As far as the question of upgrading the uncharacterized discharge to honorable, I would not think that it would be likely to occur.

Look at that DD214 (if you have it) and see what the start date and end date of the service was. Try to reconcile that with the memory of the veteran.


PEB Forum Veteran
Gsfowler- thanks for the response..this type of discharge was normal for reserve and NG in the 1990's , I actually have one myself and I went back to my reserve unit after basic and AIT and completed 20 straight years (luckily I have a DD214 from other active duty time) has something to do with not being on active duty for 180 days....I was hoping someone on the forum had tested the waters in trying to get the characterization changed..... I just received the instructions form HRC and will work with the Soldier to apply for an upgrade.

Thanks again for all of your help and I will keep you posted if with the result. unfortunately HRC states that the time to process this request is at least 6 months.

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