Friday, May 29, 2015

Board For The Correction Of Military Records
NOTE: The following questions and ANSWERs apply only to the USCG. For the answers that apply to the USA, USAF, USN, and the USMC see the link above.
Board of Correction of Military Records (BCMRs)

a. How have BCMRs typically handled applications that specifically contain
requests for relief from retaliation for making a protected communication?
(Answer)The Chair of the BCMR has met with personnel in the Office of the Inspector
General to ensure they are aware of the BCMR as an avenue of redress, but the
BCMR has not received a whistleblower case from the Coast Guard in several years. The BCMR has specific regulations for handling such whistleblower cases at 33 CFR part 53.
b.Are there any additional considerations given if an applicant states or
provides evidence that he/she has been a victim of sexual assault in the
(Answer)If the Board received such an application, it
would consider the recent Medical
Guidance about PTSD issued by DoD for the correction boards on September 3,
c.What considerations are given when applicants note they filed a sexual
assault report, admittedly engaged in collateral or subsequent misconduct, and the command’s adverse action was unfair or an injustice (i.e., a request
to change an involuntary administrative discharge to a medical discharge)?
If those cases are not treated as retaliatory claims, please explain how
BCMRs distinguish those record corrections requests which may imply a
causal connection to the sexual assault from those that specifically state the
action was in reprisal to filing a report.
(Answer)The BCMR does not receive enough sexual assault cases to generalize (fewer than one per year on average), but the Board normally treats an implication of reprisal the same as an outright allegation of reprisal.
d.What procedures have been developed with DOD IG and/or the Service IGs
to help expedited the procedures for victims whose retaliation claims have
been substantiated? How does the BCMR coordinate cases with the DOD
and Service IGs?
(Answer) The Chair of the BCMR has met with personnel in the Office of the Inspector General to ensure theyare aware of the BCMR as an avenue of redress, but the BCMR has not received such a whistleblower case in several years.
e.Have the Services’ BCMRs established a separate procedure for sexual
assault victims challenging their discharge as required by FY14NDAA section 547?
If so, please describe that confidential process.
(Answer) The BCMR has a staff of three, and all BCMR cases are handled confidentially and on a need-to-know basis. In light of section 547, BCMR decisions in sexual assault cases will no longer be posted online.
f.What steps are BCMRs taking to give due consideration to the psychological
and physical aspects of an individual’s experience in connection with the sex-related offense and determining what bearing such experience may have had
on the circumstances surrounding the individual’s discharge or separation
from the Armed Forces as required by FY15 NDAA 547?
(Answer) When the BCMR receives an application from a victim of sexual assault, it will take into consideration DoD’s new Medical Guidance about PTSD, and if the applicant received mental health treatment while in the Service, the Coast Guard’s advisory opinion for the case will contain the opinion of a psychologist or psychiatrist, in accordance with section 521 of the FY15 NDAA.

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