New navy legal guidelines for processing disability and misconduct cases

On 8 June, our firm reported that the Secretary of the Navy was issuing new guidelines for processing cases involving medical evaluation boards and misconduct.

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​We wrote:
"Previously a service member's misconduct took precedence over diagnosed mental health conditions when considering separation, which impacted the veteran's ability to receive benefits. Now, if it contributed to the misconduct, the medical condition will take precedence.

​Under the new policy, Sailors and Marines facing involuntary administrative separation may be referred to the Disability Evaluation System if they have a diagnosed mental health condition.

Additionally, if the Sailor or Marine is being administratively processed under provisions that authorize a characterization of service of other than honorable, the case must be referred to the first general officer/flag officer in the chain of command for a final determination. Any service member previously separated under similar circumstances may also petition to have their discharge reviewed through either the discharge review board or Board for Correction of Naval Records (BCNR)."

​On 15 July, a new Legal Assistance Practice Advisory was published. That advisory is included here:
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