10 U.S. Code § 1552 - Correction of military records: claims incident thereto

§ 1552.
Correction of military records: claims incident thereto
(a)
(1)
The Secretary of a military department may correct any military record of the Secretary’s department when the Secretary considers it necessary to correct an error or remove an injustice. Except as provided in paragraph (2), such corrections shall be made by the Secretary acting through boards of civilians of the executive part of that military department. The Secretary of Homeland Security may in the same manner correct any military record of the Coast Guard.
(2)
The Secretary concerned is not required to act through a board in the case of the correction of a military record announcing a decision that a person is not eligible to enlist (or reenlist) or is not accepted for enlistment (or reenlistment) or announcing the promotion and appointment of an enlisted member to an initial or higher grade or the decision not to promote an enlisted member to a higher grade. Such a correction may be made only if the correction is favorable to the person concerned.
(3)
(A)
Corrections under this section shall be made under procedures established by the Secretary concerned. In the case of the Secretary of a military department, those procedures must be approved by the Secretary of Defense.
(B)
If a board makes a preliminary determination that a claim under this section lacks sufficient information or documents to support the claim, the board shall notify the claimant, in writing, indicating the specific information or documents necessary to make the claim complete and reviewable by the board.
(C)
If a claimant is unable to provide military personnel or medical records applicable to a claim under this section, the board shall make reasonable efforts to obtain the records. A claimant shall provide the board with documentary evidence of the efforts of the claimant to obtain such records. The board shall inform the claimant of the results of the board’s efforts, and shall provide the claimant copies of any records so obtained upon request of the claimant.
(D)
Any request for reconsideration of a determination of a board under this section, no matter when filed, shall be reconsidered by a board under this section if supported by materials not previously presented to or considered by the board in making such determination.
(4)
Except when procured by fraud, a correction under this section is final and conclusive on all officers of the United States.
(5)
Each final decision of a board under this subsection shall be made available to the public in electronic form on a centralized Internet website. In any decision so made available to the public there shall be redacted all personally identifiable information.
(b)
No correction may be made under subsection (a)(1) unless the claimant (or the claimant’s heir or legal representative) or the Secretary concerned files a request for the correction within three years after discovering the error or injustice. The Secretary concerned may file a request for correction of a military record only if the request is made on behalf of a group of members or former members of the armed forces who were similarly harmed by the same error or injustice. A board established under subsection (a)(1) may excuse a failure to file within three years after discovery if it finds it to be in the interest of justice.
(c)
(1)
The Secretary concerned may pay, from applicable current appropriations, a claim for the loss of pay, allowances, compensation, emoluments, or other pecuniary benefits, or for the repayment of a fine or forfeiture, if, as a result of correcting a record under this section, the amount is found to be due the claimant on account of his or another’s service in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard, as the case may be, or on account of his or another’s service as a civilian employee.
(2) If the claimant is dead, the money shall be paid, upon demand, to his legal representative. However, if no demand for payment is made by a legal representative, the money shall be paid—
(A)
to the surviving spouse, heir, or beneficiaries, in the order prescribed by the law applicable to that kind of payment;
(B)
if there is no such law covering order of payment, in the order set forth in section 2771 of this title; or
(C)
as otherwise prescribed by the law applicable to that kind of payment.
(3)
A claimant’s acceptance of a settlement under this section fully satisfies the claim concerned. This section does not authorize the payment of any claim compensated by private law before October 25, 1951.
(4)
If the correction of military records under this section involves setting aside a conviction by court-martial, the payment of a claim under this subsection in connection with the correction of the records shall include interest at a rate to be determined by the Secretary concerned, unless the Secretary determines that the payment of interest is inappropriate under the circumstances. If the payment of the claim is to include interest, the interest shall be calculated on an annual basis, and compounded, using the amount of the lost pay, allowances, compensation, emoluments, or other pecuniary benefits involved, and the amount of any fine or forfeiture paid, beginning from the date of the conviction through the date on which the payment is made.
(d)
Applicable current appropriations are available to continue the pay, allowances, compensation, emoluments, and other pecuniary benefits of any person who was paid under subsection (c), and who, because of the correction of his military record, is entitled to those benefits, but for not longer than one year after the date when his record is corrected under this section if he is not reenlisted in, or appointed or reappointed to, the grade to which those payments relate. Without regard to qualifications for reenlistment, or appointment or reappointment, the Secretary concerned may reenlist a person in, or appoint or reappoint him to, the grade to which payments under this section relate.
(e)
No payment may be made under this section for a benefit to which the claimant might later become entitled under the laws and regulations administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
(f) With respect to records of courts-martial and related administrative records pertaining to court-martial cases tried or reviewed under chapter 47 of this title (or under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (Public Law 506 of the 81st Congress)), action under subsection (a) may extend only to—
(1)
correction of a record to reflect actions taken by reviewing authorities under chapter 47 of this title (or under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (Public Law 506 of the 81st Congress)); or
(2)
action on the sentence of a court-martial for purposes of clemency.
(g)
Any medical advisory opinion issued to a board established under subsection (a)(1) with respect to a member or former member of the armed forces who was diagnosed while serving in the armed forces as experiencing a mental health disorder shall include the opinion of a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist if the request for correction of records concerned relates to a mental health disorder.
(h) Each board established under this section shall make available to the public each calender quarter, on an Internet website of the military department concerned or the Department of Homeland Security, as applicable, that is available to the public the following:
(1)
The number of claims considered by such board during the calendar quarter preceding the calender quarter in which such information is made available, including cases in which a mental health condition of the claimant, including post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury, is alleged to have contributed, whether in whole or part, to the original characterization of the discharge or release of the claimant.
(2)
The number of claims submitted during the calendar quarter preceding the calender quarter in which such information is made available that relate to service by a claimant during a war or contingency operation, catalogued by each war or contingency operation.
(3)
The number of military records corrected pursuant to the consideration described in paragraph (1) to upgrade the characterization of discharge or release of claimants.
(i)
In this section, the term “military record” means a document or other record that pertains to (1) an individual member or former member of the armed forces, or (2) at the discretion of the Secretary of the military department concerned, any other military matter affecting a member or former member of the armed forces, an employee or former employee of that military department, or a dependent or current or former spouse of any such person. Such term does not include records pertaining to civilian employment matters (such as matters covered by title 5 and chapters 81, 83, 87, 108, 373, 605, 607, 643, and 873 of this title).
(Aug. 10, 1956, ch. 1041, 70A Stat. 116; Pub. L. 86–533, § 1(4), June 29, 1960, 74 Stat. 246; Pub. L. 96–513, title V, § 511(60), Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 2925; Pub. L. 98–209, § 11(a), Dec. 6, 1983, 97 Stat. 1407; Pub. L. 100–456, div. A, title XII, § 1233(a), Sept. 29, 1988, 102 Stat. 2057; Pub. L. 101–189, div. A, title V, § 514, title XVI, § 1621(a)(2), Nov. 29, 1989, 103 Stat. 1441, 1603; Pub. L. 102–484, div. A, title X, § 1052(19), Oct. 23, 1992, 106 Stat. 2500; Pub. L. 105–261, div. A, title V, § 545(a), (b), Oct. 17, 1998, 112 Stat. 2022; Pub. L. 107–296, title XVII, § 1704(b)(1), Nov. 25, 2002, 116 Stat. 2314; Pub. L. 110–417, [div. A], title V, § 592(a), (b), Oct. 14, 2008, 122 Stat. 4474, 4475; Pub. L. 113–291, div. A, title V, § 521(a), Dec. 19, 2014, 128 Stat. 3360; Pub. L. 114–92, div. A, title V, § 521, Nov. 25, 2015, 129 Stat. 811; Pub. L. 114–328, div. A, title V, §§ 533(a), 534(a), (b), Dec. 23, 2016, 130 Stat. 2121, 2122.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Revised section

Source (U.S. Code)

Source (Statutes at Large)

1552(a)

5:191a(a) (less 2d and last provisos).

5:275(a) (less 2d and last provisos).

Aug. 2, 1946, ch. 753, § 207; restated Oct. 25, 1951, ch. 588, 65 Stat. 655.

1552(b)

5:191a(a) (2d and last provisos).

5:275(a) (2d and last provisos).

1552(c)

5:191a(b), (c).

5:275(b), (c).

1552(d)

5:191a(d).

5:275(d).

1552(e)

5:191a(f).

5:275(f).

1552(f)

5:191a(e).

5:275(e).

In subsection (a), the words “and approved by the Secretary of Defense” are substituted for 5:191a(a) (1st proviso). The words “when he considers it” are substituted for the words “where in their judgment such action is”, in 5:191a and 275. The words “officers or employees” and “means of”, in 5:191a and 275, are omitted as surplusage. The word “naval”, in 5:191a and 275, is omitted as covered by the word “military”.

In subsection (b), the words “before October 26, 1961” are substituted for the words “or within ten years after the date of enactment of this section”, in 5:191a and 275. The last sentence of the revised subsection is substituted for 5:191a(a) (last proviso) and 275(a) (last proviso).

In subsection (c), the words “if, as a result of correcting a record under this section * * * the amount is found to be due the claimant on account of his or another’s service in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard, as the case may be” are substituted for the words “which are found to be due on account of military or naval service as a result of the action * * * hereafter taken pursuant to subsection (a) of this section”, in 5:191a and 275. The words “heretofore taken pursuant to this section”, in 5:191a and 275, are omitted as executed. The words “of any persons, their heirs at law or legal representative as hereinafter provided”, “(including retired or retirement pay)”, “as the case may be”, “duly appointed”, “otherwise due hereunder”, “decedent’s”, “precedence or succession”, and “of precedence”, in 5:191a and 275, are omitted as surplusage. The last sentence is substituted for 5:191a(c) and 275(c).

In subsection (d), the word “but” is substituted for the words “That, continuing payments are authorized to be made to such personnel”, in 5:191a and 275. The words “if he is not reenlisted in, or appointed or reappointed to, the grade to which those payments relate” are substituted for the words “without the necessity for reenlistment, appointment, or reappointment to the grade, rank, or office to which such pay (including retired or retirement pay), allowances, compensation, emoluments, and other monetary benefits are attached”, in 5:191a and 275. The words “or one year following the date of enactment of this section”, in 5:191a and 275, are omitted as executed. The words “for payment of such sums as may be due for”, in 5:191a and 275, are omitted as surplusage. The words “(including retired or retirement pay)”, in 5:191a and 275, are omitted as covered by the definition of “pay” in section 101(27) of this title.

In subsection (e), the words “No payment may be made under this section” are substituted for the words “Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize the payment of any amount as compensation”, in 5:191a and 275.

References in Text

The Uniform Code of Military Justice (Public Law 506 of the 81st Congress), referred to in subsec. (f), is act May 5, 1950, ch. 169, § 1, 64 Stat. 107, which was classified to chapter 22 (§ 551 et seq.) of Title 50, War and National Defense, and was repealed and reenacted as chapter 47 (§ 801 et seq.) of this title by act Aug. 10, 1956, ch. 1041, § 53, 70A Stat. 641, the first section of which enacted this title.

Amendments

2016—Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 114–328, § 534(a), designated existing provisions as subpar. (A) and added subpars. (B) to (D).

Subsec. (a)(5). Pub. L. 114–328, § 534(b), added par. (5).

Subsecs. (h), (i). Pub. L. 114–328, § 533(a), added subsec. (h) and redesignated former subsec. (h) as (i).

2015—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 114–92 substituted “(or the claimant’s heir or legal representative) or the Secretary concerned” for “or his heir or legal representative”, “discovering” for “he discovers”, and “The Secretary concerned may file a request for correction of a military record only if the request is made on behalf of a group of members or former members of the armed forces who were similarly harmed by the same error or injustice. A board” for “However, a board”.

2014—Subsecs. (g), (h). Pub. L. 113–291 added subsec. (g) and redesignated former subsec. (g) as (h).

2008—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 110–417 designated existing provisions as pars. (1) to (3), redesignated former pars. (1) to (3) as subpars. (A) to (C), respectively, of par. (2), and added par. (4).

2002—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 107–296 substituted “Secretary of Homeland Security” for “Secretary of Transportation”.

1998—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 105–261, § 545(a), inserted “, or on account of his or another’s service as a civilian employee” before period at end of first sentence.

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 105–261, § 545(b), added subsec. (g).

1992—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 102–484 substituted “announcing the promotion and appointment of an enlisted member to an initial or higher grade or the decision not to promote an enlisted member to a higher grade” for “announcing a decision not to promote an enlisted member to a higher grade”.

1989—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 101–189, § 514(a), amended subsec. (a) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (a) read as follows: “The Secretary of a military department, under procedures established by him and approved by the Secretary of Defense, and acting through boards of civilians of the executive part of that military department, may correct any military record of that department when he considers it necessary to correct an error or remove an injustice. Under procedures prescribed by him, the Secretary of Transportation may in the same manner correct any military record of the Coast Guard. Except when procured by fraud, a correction under this section is final and conclusive on all officers of the United States.”

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 101–189, § 514(b), substituted “subsection (a)(1)” for “subsection (a)” in two places.

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 101–189, § 1621(a)(2), substituted “Secretary of Veterans Affairs” for “Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs”.

1988—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 100–456, § 1233(a)(1), substituted “for the correction within three years after he discovers the error or injustice” for “therefor before October 26, 1961, or within three years after he discovers the error or injustice, whichever is later”.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 100–456, § 1233(a)(2), substituted “The Secretary concerned” for “The department concerned”.

1983—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 98–209 added subsec. (f).

1980—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 96–513 substituted “Secretary of Transportation” for “Secretary of the Treasury”.

1960—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 86–533 repealed subsec. (f) which required reports to the Congress every six months with respect to claims paid under this section.

Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Pub. L. 110–417, [div. A], title V, § 592(c), Oct. 14, 2008, 122 Stat. 4475, provided that:

“The amendment made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall apply with respect to any sentence of a court-martial set aside by a Corrections Board on or after October 1, 2007, when the Corrections Board includes an order or recommendation for the payment of a claim for the loss of pay, allowances, compensation, emoluments, or other pecuniary benefits, or for the repayment of a fine or forfeiture, that arose as a result of the conviction. In this subsection, the term ‘Corrections Board’ has the meaning given that term in section 1557 of title 10, United States Code.”

Effective Date of 2002 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 107–296 effective on the date of transfer of the Coast Guard to the Department of Homeland Security, see section 1704(g) of Pub. L. 107–296, set out as a note under section 101 of this title.

Effective Date of 1980 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 96–513 effective Dec. 12, 1980, see section 701(b)(3) of Pub. L. 96–513, set out as a note under section 101 of this title.

Training of Members of Boards

Pub. L. 114–328, div. A, title V, § 534(c), Dec. 23, 2016, 130 Stat. 2122, provided that:

“(1)In general.—
Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 23, 2016], each Secretary concerned shall develop and implement a comprehensive training curriculum for members of boards for the correction of military records under the jurisdiction of such Secretary in the duties of such boards under section 1552 of title 10, United States Code. The curriculum shall address all areas of administrative law applicable to the duties of such boards.
“(2)Uniform curricula.—
The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall jointly ensure that the curricula developed and implemented pursuant to this subsection are, to the extent practicable, uniform.
“(3) Training.—
“(A)In general.—
Each member of a board for the correction of military records shall undergo retraining (consistent with the curriculum developed and implemented pursuant to this subsection) regarding the duties of boards for the correction of military records under section 1552 of title 10, United States Code, at least once every five years during the member’s tenure on the board.
“(B)Current members.—
Each member of a board for the correction of military records as of the date of the implementation of the curriculum required by paragraph (1) (in this paragraph referred to as the ‘curriculum implementation date’) shall undergo training described in subparagraph (A) not later than 90 days after the curriculum implementation date.
“(C)New members.—
Each individual who becomes a member of a board for the correction of military records after the curriculum implementation date shall undergo training described in subparagraph (A) by not later than 90 days after the date on which such individual becomes a member of the board.
“(4)Reports.—Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 23, 2016], each Secretary concerned shall submit to Congress a report setting forth the following:
“(A)
A description and assessment of the progress made by such Secretary in implementing training requirements for members of boards for the correction of military records under the jurisdiction of such Secretary.
“(B)
A detailed description of the training curriculum required of such Secretary by paragraph (1).
“(C)
A description and assessment of any impediments to the implementation of training requirements for members of boards for the correction of military records under the jurisdiction of such Secretary.
“(5)Secretary concerned defined.—
In this subsection, the term ‘Secretary concerned’ means a ‘Secretary concerned’ as that term is used in section 1552 of title 10, United States Code.”

Board for Correction of Military Records

Pub. L. 101–225, title II, § 212, Dec. 12, 1989, 103 Stat. 1914, provided that:

“Not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 12, 1989], the Secretary of Transportation shall—
“(1)
amend part 52 of title 33, Code of Federal Regulations, governing the proceedings of the board established by the Secretary under section 1552 of title 10, United States Code, to ensure that a complete application for correction of military records is processed expeditiously and that final action on the application is taken within 10 months of its receipt; and
“(2)
appoint and maintain a permanent staff, and a panel of civilian officers or employees to serve as members of the board, which are adequate to ensure compliance with paragraph (1) of this subsection.”

This is a list of parts within the Code of Federal Regulations for which this US Code section provides rulemaking authority.

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32 CFR - National Defense

32 CFR Part 516 - LITIGATION

32 CFR Part 581 - PERSONNEL REVIEW BOARD

32 CFR Part 723 - BOARD FOR CORRECTION OF NAVAL RECORDS

33 CFR - Navigation and Navigable Waters

33 CFR Part 52 - BOARD FOR CORRECTION OF MILITARY RECORDS OF THE COAST GUARD

 

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