Enlisted military members are designated a separation code upon discharge from the military. The code represents the reentry eligibility of the military member based on the service of the member and the manner by which she was discharged. The codes range from RE-1 to RE-4, with each step from RE-1 to RE-4 signifying a diminished prospect of reenlistment. Changing the code requires appealing to the Discharge Review Board. The chances of having your reentry code upgraded hinge upon your ability to persuade the board that your credentials should be reevaluated.
Locate the reenlistment code in section 15 of your form DD 214. You can obtain a copy of your DD 214 by filing a request through the National Archives Veteran's Service Records. See the Resources section for the link to the National Archives website.
Obtain a copy of the Application for the Review of Discharge or Dismissal from the Armed Forces of the United States -- form DD-293. Retrieve the form from your local Military Entrance Processing Station or download and print the form online (see Resources).
Complete form DD-293, including a description of your request to have your reentry code upgraded in section 3.
Choose whether you would prefer to appear before the board in Washington, D.C., or wait to appear before a traveling board of reviewers. Indicate in section 4 if you elect to have your records reviewed without a personal appearance.
Choose whether you will will be represented by legal counsel in section 6 of the DD-293.
Indicate any additional documents you wish to have reviewed. Note the additional documents you plan to furnish in section 7 of the application.
Detail your appeal to have your reentry code upgraded in section 8. Refer to the additional documentation as evidence if you elect to provide any.
Sign and date the form in section 9. Locate the branch of service from which you were discharged at the bottom of page 2 of the form DD-293. Mail the application to the address listed at the bottom of page 2, corresponding with your branch of service.
- Submit your request to the Review Board within 15 years of your discharge. Applications for discharge dates older than 15 years should be filed through Correction of Military Records.
- Most applications are denied. The standard for having your discharge upgraded requires that the original reentry code designation is deemed improper or inequitable by the board.