Serious questions about RE 04 discharge
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  1. #1

    Serious questions about RE 04 discharge

    Good afternoon Marines,
    Here is my story in a nutshell. I was attending ITB with Bravo company in November of 2009 with about a week before graduation I was sent to Balboa Medical Facility to be evaluated. Basically the situation was I was reported to our Platoon Leader for "depression" or something bogus like that. After speaking with a psychiatrist they decided I needed to go to Balboa to be further evaluated. From there they decide my case of "depression" was severe enough to qualify for a discharge. This was due mostly to a family history of mental issues (brother committing suicide and family history of depression). I simple explained that no one is happy during ITB and it is just something we were all going through but the docs decided it was severe enough to discharge. I didn't ask the right questions or didn't realize that the discharge was going to be characterized as a "uncharacteristic discharge" (RE 04) which I was told was the student status equivalent of a general under honorable conditions discharge. It wasn't until I received my DD 214 the day I was getting discharge that I noticed the discrete little RE 04 code attached at the bottom and by then I knew I had done something wrong. Basically It boils down to this. For the last year I have been trying to gain as much knowledge as possible about trying to reenlist. I've read tons of different solutions with no real feasible solution. I've read you cannot under any circumstances get your discharge upgrade. I've read you can speak with your local congressmen to get some political leverage. But no real solid evidence that it can be done. Not going to lie Marines but the Corps is all I have. It in my blood and is something I cannot live without. Its literally killing me to hear from my Brothers in country doing us all proud and losing exceptional Marines. Simply put, I'll do whatever it takes until there is literally no possible way. Just asking for a little advice possibly from someone who has some knowledge on the subject. Thank all of you for the great thing you do each and everyday for us and forour Country.

    Semper Fidelis,
    PFC O'Connor

  2. #2
    Marine Free Member Riven37's Avatar
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    Dec 2002
    Buffalo NY



  3. #3
    Sorry son you are done.

  4. #4
    Yes I realize that NO reentry is able with an RE 04 code that it why I realize it has to be upgrade. Just wondering if anyone had any actual experience with this type of thing and could offer some advice.
    Thanks again.

  5. #5
    It can ONLY be upgraded if they gave you the wrong one(i.e gave a Marine a RE 04 code when it should have got a RE 1).

  6. #6
    The only thing that might give you a shot is to petition HQMC for a RE Code change to 3P (physical disability) and then try the waiver route to re-enlist with a 3P. Slim to no chance still, but better than nothing.

  7. #7

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by kirax105strike View Post
    Simply put, I'll do whatever it takes until there is literally no possible way.

    Semper Fidelis,
    PFC O'Connor
    What everyone is telling you is that you are there - There is no possible way. If it's any consolation even though I received an RE of 1 they won't take me any longer either. They say I'm too old - go figure.

  9. #9
    What you've read for the most part is correct. There ARE Marines on this site who have gotten upgrades, but it was ONLY because the RE code was issued in error. Yours was not.

    Getting a congresscritter involved won't help your case.

    Basically, there is nothing more you can do Marine Corps wise. You might, however, try the Army or another service branch and see what they say. If you are willing to serve in any capacity, then do so. If the Marine Corps is the only branch you want, then I'm afraid you've done your time and that is that.

  10. #10
    Yes there are way to get you RE code changed. There are a few ways to go about this. First is to seek an RE code change during a discharge upgrade. To apply, you must submit DD Form 293 to your service branch, along with the necessary documents, and possibly attend a hearing before the Discharge Review Board.

    Thr DRB does not directly consider requests to change an RE code, but if a discharge upgrade is granted, the DRB will typically change your RE code to correspond with your upgrade discharge reason.

    Generally, anyone with a 1 RE is immediately eligible for reenlistment, and those with a 3 RE can re-enlist if they secure a waiver and show the discharge reason is no longer valid. Anyone with a 2 or 4 RE is typically not allowed to re-enlist.

    To request a change to your RE code, you must apply to the Board of Corrections for Military Records of your service branch. Technically, you are seeking a correction based on an error or injustice rather than a change.

    The process begins whan you submit DD Form 149 along with statements and records to support your case. Character references are especially helpful if you are requestinga correction based on changes you've made to your life after leaving the military.

    You can also request a personal appearance before the board to make your case, though these are not always granted.

    Once this is complete, the board will seek an advisory opinion from other offices within you service branch and allow you to respond if the advisory opinion determines that your correction should be denied. Then, the Board makes its decision.

    Anyone who wishes to re-enlist in a different service branch must request a correction of records through their original service branch. The Board of one service branch is not permitted to change an RE code determind by another service brance.

    The information above was gathered fom the Marine Corps Times 27 December 2010 edition in Ask a Lawyer by Mathew B. Tully who is an Iraq war Veteran and founding partner of the law firm Tully Rinckey PLLC ( The information writen is not intended as legal advice.

    Good luck if you get through this process. Seems to look like it could take a long time to get through.

  11. #11
    See usmchauer's post above. Your only route is to petition the BCNR, and depending on that outcome, petition the Navy Discharge Review Board.

  12. #12
    I wouldnt expect too much out of this. Seems that anyone with less than a RE-1 or 1A will not be taken back into the Corps after being out for a while. The Corps seems to be very black and white in judging a gray area in evaluating if a condition doesn't exist anymore or whatever.

    I have an RE-3P with stacks of documentation stating the condition doesn't exist anymore and I have yet to even been able to get into MEPS after trying for two years.

  13. #13
    "To request a change to your RE code, you must apply to the Board of Corrections for Military Records of your service branch. Technically, you are seeking a correction based on an error or injustice rather than a change"

    Those are the key words in that sentence. Based on what you've have NEITHER an 'error', nor an 'injustice'.

    The DOCTORS decided you have depression. The Marine Corps went with that diagnosis.

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