Military Discharge Upgrade Project

We are excited to launch our newest
statewide project, the Military Discharge
Upgrade Project, aimed at upgrading the
discharge statuses of Native Veterans
regardless of discharge dates.

If you are a Native Veteran who served in any branch of the military or National Guard and received a less-than-honorable discharge status or have been denied access to Veteran Affairs benefits as a result of your discharge status, California Indian Legal Services may be able to help you.

For individuals who meet certain eligibility requirements, these services are free. We may be able to help any Native person who served in the military with discharge status issues resulting from factors that include but are not limited to: 

  • Service in Vietnam
  • PTSD caused by military service
  • A traumatic brain injury (TBI) that occurred during military service
  • A discharge solely based on sexual orientation
  • Sexual harassment, sexual assault, or other sexual trauma in service
  • People who suffered from alcohol or substance abuse during their service

With this project, CILS may be able to help Native Veterans who have previously applied for discharge upgrades and were denied, especially if it was within the last 10 years because several key legal rules have been changed. 

Please Note

CILS may be able to help Native veterans who have previously applied for discharge upgrades and were denied. Veterans will need to consult our attorneys to determine what services we can provide. 

We therefore cannot know of the services that can be provided until a consultation with our office is done. Veterans who have remained in touch with, or are on good terms with, people they have served with (especially former commanding officers) are especially likely to have a better chance at receiving an upgrade.

Contact Our Office To Make An Appointment

If you are a Native person living in California who served in the military and would benefit from upgrading a discharge status, or know somebody who fits this description, please contact Jason Golfinos via email at