Approximately 1 in 7 veterans are discharged from the military under less than “Honorable” conditions. Veterans with less than “Honorable” discharges experience bias and stigma related to their discharge, which can lead to elevated risk for behavioral and mental health challenges and homelessness. This brief summarizes the different military discharge types, explains how less than “Honorable” discharges can affect veteran health, identifies groups of veterans who are at risk of receiving a less than “Honorable” discharge, and makes policy recommendations for the Department of Defense (DoD), civilian employers, and community healthcare providers.
Veterans, Military, Mental Health, Discharge Status
Mental and Social Health | Military and Veterans Studies | Public Policy
This brief was done in partnership with the D’Aniello Institute for Veterans & Military Families (IVMF). The authors would like to thank Anthony Nanni for his insights into the challenges associated with appealing for a discharge upgrade. The authors thank Alyssa Kirk and Shannon Monnat for edits on previous drafts of this brief.
Brennan, Mariah and Graham, Emily. (2023). Serving Those Who Served: Renegotiating Support and Benefits for Veterans with Less Than Honorable Discharges. Lerner Center Population Health Research Brief Series. Issue Brief #64. Accessed at: https://surface.syr.edu/lerner/232
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