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How to fix your military rank.

Updated on April 4, 2014

DEERS (Defense Enrollment Eligibility Systems) is a large computer database that has the up to date information on active duty, drilling reserves, retirees and their dependents. Personal information about these groups are kept and can be updated online. Some of the information includes: military status, military pay grade, names of persons, birth dates, marriage information, current address, etc. If the information is incorrect it can effect the following:

1. Receiving benefits such as Tricare, and Tuition's Assistance.

2. Receiving proper pay for service members on active duty or drilling reserves.

Sometime the information on DEERS is wrong or out of date. Often times, service members can update certain personal information online on their own such as names, beneficiaries, addresses, etc. Military information such as rank cannot be updated online by the service member directly. Here are some of the issues that can be faced.

Rarely, a service member who have been promoted will not have their rank entered into the system by the units diary clerk who works in the admin section. This issue can be seen when the service member looks at his or her Leave and Earning Statements and realizes the pay is still the same as his or her old rank.

A more common error is the transfer of branches, ie: a former Marine joining the Army. Often times the recruiter of another branch wants all the paperwork from the previous branch. Reservists in particular can have more issues since recruiters will ask for all discharge documents (discharge from Initial Active Duty Training, long active duty assignments and reserve discharge certificates.) With all of the paper work, people entering information sometimes go by discharge paper with the older rank on it. When that person logs on, the rank is not the same as it was on the enlistment contract.

When the error is discovered, there are multiple avenues to go through. You can go through the recruiter, or your new unit. Both may take time and effort. A simple fix is simply going to your local DEERS Rapids office located on major military installations. Most do require appointments in advanced. There is a website (

Upon setting up the appointment, have two forms of ID, one of which can be your old CAC card (they make you turn the old CAC in or if you don't have it, you have to fill out a statement saying you don't have it through base police which is not a big deal). You will also need the original copy of your current promotion warrant from your previous branch. Once the DEERS Rapids personnel have this information, they can input your correct rank into DEERS and get you the CAC card with the correct information on. The process is about 20-30 minutes tops.

Hopefully this addresses the issues that those have with correcting their rank on DEERS. If you have questions or updates, please comment below. Remember to keep all military records with you!


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