Mike Wishnie Helps Veterans Secure Discharge Upgrades

Mike Wishnie (’95), Counselor to the Dean and William O. Douglas Clinical Professor of Law at Yale Law School, was quoted by Seattle’s King 5 News discussing two service members upgrades to honorable discharge after they were initially discharged for behaviors directly related to PTSD from military service (“Former JBLM Soldiers Honorably Discharged, Years after U.S. Army Punishment for Combat Trauma,” Apr. 12, updated Apr. 16). “It’s unconscionable that people who sign up to join the military, take an oath, offer to serve the nation and risk everything in that pursuit, could be treated so badly,” he said. Mike and his students have brought multiple class action lawsuits against military review boards, including the Army Discharge Review Board that considered these cases, resulting in a 2021 settlement. “The Army Discharge Review Board agreed to substantially reform its procedures, how it weighed evidence, how it wrote its opinions and to go back and redo thousands of cases that it had rejected,” he said. “It does seem to be helping.” Despite reforms, Mike noted, “These boards? They shouldn’t have to exist. . . . There’s no question that the further upstream in the process this could be caught, the better for everybody. So when somebody’s struggling? They should get treatment. They should get care if they have a condition that makes them unfit for service.”