What is the Air Force Review Boards Agency (AFRBA)? This entity was created “to streamline the adjudication of military and civilian personnel matters through a number of statutory and secretarial boards,” according to the Air Force official site.
Headquartered at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, the AFRBA has responsibilities in a variety of areas for both Air Force and Space Force including:
- Personnel Security Appeal Board (PSAB) – Adjudicates appeals of security eligibility/clearance withdrawals by the Air Force Central Adjudication Facility.
- DoD Physical Disability Board of Review (PDBR) – Responsible for review of “any applications submitted by personnel that received a disability rating of 20% or less from all services” between Sep 11, 2001 and Dec 31, 2009.
- Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records (AFBCMR) – Oversees a board of civilians who review applications for correction of military records submitted by Air Force members (Regular, Guard, and Reserve), former members of the Air Force, “or persons with a proper interest in the correction of a person’s military record”.
- Review Boards Office at Randolph AFB, Texas -This agency is the “initial and final point of contact” for applications to correct military records for the AFBCMR, Discharge Review Board (DRB), and the PDBR.
The Air Force Review Boards Agency Website
In April of 2021, USAF launched a new centralized website for Air Force and Space Force members to correct their military records. The Air Force Review Boards Agency helps military members (not just Airmen or Guardians) to submit applications, supporting documentation, and other paperwork to four boards:
- The Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records
- Air Force Discharge Review Board
- Department of Defense Discharge Appeal Review Board
- Department of Defense Physical Disability Board of Review
Note that the last two are DoD-level boards and as such are open to all who seek corrections to their military records. This site has been created to be available to current and former military members as well as next-of-kin where applicable, which is why this Air Force official site does not require the use of a Common Access Card.
Which Board Do I Use?
As a clearinghouse for correction and review boards, a new user may be confused as to which board to apply to for their military records correction needs. This is especially true if you are in a branch of military service other than the Air Force–it’s natural that some might assume the Army, Navy, and other branches have their own versions of this site. They do not.
So which board do you or your next-of-kin apply to? There is a simple questionnaire at the AFRBA official site that will direct you to the proper board of correction or board of appeal.
To use the site, all applicants must register and receive a unique application number used to track cases. Submission via the online portal is not required–applications and documentation may also be submitted via e-mail.
The “public reporting burden”, military-speak for how long it will take you to submit is estimated at roughly 45 minutes per response in some cases–you will want to be as prepared as possible before you attempt to submit.
When submitting, it is best to complete online forms as presented online rather than printing the form, completing it, and scanning it to re-upload. Doing so may slow down processing times significantly. Do not submit ANY classified or sensitive compartmented information via this portal.
The Air Force Review Boards Agency official site reminds that by law, AFRBA applicants “may continue to submit hard copy applications” to addresses listed in the contact page. However, electronic applications will likely be processed faster than physical, hard-copy paper submissions.
Every review board process will have its own unique processing and handling requirements but in general if you have submitted a discharge review application under the Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records, an Air Force Discharge Review Board, or a DoD Physical Disability Board of Review, the following processes and timelines may apply to your application:
- Case Workup where the application and supporting documentation are received and consolidated into a case, which is “verified for completeness” 1-2 Weeks.
- Adjudication Prep where the case is assigned and analysis is performed before the case is presented to the board. 4-5 Weeks.
- Adjudication where the “adjudicative body” receives the case, votes, and makes a final recommendation. 1-2 Weeks.
- Post-adjudication, the vote, recommendation, and other data are recorded. 1-2 Weeks.
- Approval, where the documents are reviewed and signed. 3-4 Weeks.
- Case closed, records stored, and supporting documents are returned to their providers where appropriate. “Actions for required changes” are assigned and tracked. The case is finally “administratively closed and archived”. 1-2 Weeks.
The entire process may take up to 17 weeks which is one reason it pays to start early and don’t be in a hurry for the process to complete.
Other Review Boards At AFRBA
The agency provides services for a variety of other military boards including:
- Air Force Civilian Appellate Review Office
- Air Force Personnel Board
- Civilian and Military Service Review Board
- Foreign Government Employment
- Secretary of the Air Force Personnel Council
- Secretary of the Air Force Remission Board
- Security Protection Directorate
Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News
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