Most people going through the discharge review have a lot of questions. The Air Force Discharge Review Board process can be difficult. The process is slow. Personnel on the board can be difficult to contact. Andrews AFB can be challenging with their base security. The whole process can have uncertainty when you're not represented by counsel.
The day of the hearing, however, you will find that board members to be welcoming and friendly.
In our case today, the board did not ask many questions. This just reinforces that individuals preparing for the discharge review board need to be prepared.
MAJ Donato started the questioning off by asking about the following topics:
1- Post-service conduct and community service;
2- She then asked why the discharge was inequitable;
3- She asked about the highlights of the client's career;
4- She asked what impact the OTH had on the client; and,
5- She asked how an upgrade would benefit him.
SMSgt Howard did not ask any questions.
Mr. Schott had no questions.
COL Grove had no questions.
COL Weaver - the president of the board - only wanted to know more about the action that we wanted to board to take.
Fortunately, we were prepared for a cold panel. Although I should note that they asked fewer questions than I would have expected. We had prepared the client well to present the information that we thought was critical for the board to consider. The client had answers ready for all of the questions because we had practiced.
The entire hearing took about 45 minutes. Once again, applicant's before the DRB cannot assume that the board members have a strong knowledge of their case. You can't assume that they are going to ask many questions either. Legal counsel can be immensely valuable in preparing a presentation and identifying the key information that the board needs for a successful outcome.