The Discharge Appeal Review Board: Another Opportunity for a Discharge Upgrade

By Spring 2021 M-VETS Student Advisor Anne Cotter On April 7, 2021, the Department of Defense (“DoD”) announced that it had formed the Discharge Appeal Review Board (“DARB”).[1] The DoD established the DARB pursuant to 10 U.S.C. § 1553a to conduct a final review of a veteran’s request for a discharge upgrade. The DARB gives … Continue reading “The Discharge Appeal Review Board: Another Opportunity for a Discharge Upgrade”

Special Victim Counsel Services Extended to Victims of Domestic Violence

By Spring 2021 M-VETS Student Advisor Raphael Johnson The Department of Defense reaffirmed its commitment to protecting and supporting victims of domestic violence by extending Special Victim Counsel services to military-connected victims of domestic violence. The Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act directed the Department of Defense to extend Special Victim Counsel services to … Continue reading “Special Victim Counsel Services Extended to Victims of Domestic Violence”

The War Within: The Uncomfortable Truth About Sexual Assault and a Pervasive Culture of Harassment in the Military

By Spring 2021 M-VETS Student Advisor Alana Nielson “I wanted to believe in the Navy’s ability to properly handle cases of sexual assault. However, after having been through the process, it became clear that while step one [reporting the assault] is for the victim, all else is done explicitly for the image of the Navy, … Continue reading “The War Within: The Uncomfortable Truth About Sexual Assault and a Pervasive Culture of Harassment in the Military”

Veteran Suicide Prevention: Small Strides Forward

By Spring 2021 M-VETS Student Advisor Alexandra Morgan For almost 10 years, the suicide rate among veterans has been 1.5 times higher than the rate for non-veteran adults.[1] Suicide is not an easy topic for anyone. Often times, the brave men and women who selflessly join the U.S. Armed Forces are portrayed and expected to … Continue reading “Veteran Suicide Prevention: Small Strides Forward”

UCMJ Jurisdiction for Retirees

By Spring 2021 M-VETS Student Advisor Brady Clapp The Uniform Code of Military Justice (“UCMJ”) is the Congressionally enacted set of federal laws that governs criminal law for the military.[1] Beyond simply listing the various crimes punishable by military law, the UCMJ also sets forth the scope and jurisdiction of military law. Broadly speaking, the … Continue reading “UCMJ Jurisdiction for Retirees”

Man’s Best Friend: A Quick Guide to Service Dogs for Veterans and Servicemembers with PTSD

By Spring 2021 M-VETS Student Advisor Samantha E. Lewis Introduction Hound, puppy, pooch, doggie, man’s best friend… dogs sure do carry many names. Other than being cute and fluffy companions, dogs can potentially serve many other important purposes, and the research on what they can do for those with mental health conditions is ever evolving. … Continue reading “Man’s Best Friend: A Quick Guide to Service Dogs for Veterans and Servicemembers with PTSD”

M-VETS Assists Navy Veteran with Adoption and Expungement

The Mason Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic (“M-VETS”) successfully assisted a Navy Veteran with two civil matters in the Loudoun County Circuit Court.  In the first matter, M-VETS represented the Veteran in filing a Petition for Adoption of his nephew who has been residing with the Veteran for several years after his mother was incarcerated … Continue reading “M-VETS Assists Navy Veteran with Adoption and Expungement”

“Liberal Consideration” and Discharge Review Boards

By Spring 2021 M-VETS Student Advisor Arianna Drerup The Hagel Memorandum, and subsequently the Kurta Memorandum, require the Discharge Review Boards (DBRs) to give “liberal consideration” to “veterans petitioning for discharge relief when the application for relief is based in whole or in part on matters relating to mental health conditions, including PTSD [Post-Traumatic Stress … Continue reading ““Liberal Consideration” and Discharge Review Boards”

The National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service: Background, Findings, and Prospects

By Spring 2021 M-VETS Student Advisor Henry Chen In March 2020, the congressionally chartered National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service released its Final Report.[1] The report recommended requiring women to register for selective service, while also proposing various efforts to expand voluntary military and national service opportunities.[2] These recommendations appear to be gaining … Continue reading “The National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service: Background, Findings, and Prospects”