How To Get A Copy of Your DD Form 214 – The Most Important Military Document You Will Ever Receive

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Your DD Form 214, Verification of Military Service, is one of the most valuable military service records you will ever hold. Your DD Form 214 verifies your military service and includes information about your military service. Much of this information is required if you later wish to rejoin the military, apply for veterans benefits, or…

Your DD Form 214, Verification of Military Service, is one of the most valuable military service records you will ever hold.

Your DD Form 214 verifies your military service and includes information about your military service. Much of this information is required if you later wish to rejoin the military, apply for veterans benefits, or even apply for certain state or federal jobs.

Without your DD Form 214, you are ineligible for veteran’s benefits, including VA medical care, the GI Bill, VA Loans, and many other veterans benefits programs.

How to Get a Copy of Your DD Form 214 (And What’s On the Document)

Veterans should treat their DD Form 214 like any other important document – birth and marriage certificates, wills, vehicle titles, land deeds, insurance policies, etc.

Like all military records, you should keep it forever.

Note: there are other official military and DoD forms that show proof of military service or serve as discharge papers, including the DD Form 256, which is common for members of the Guard or Reserves.

Those forms are important, but may not be accepted in place of a DD Form 214.

In most cases, the DD Form 214 is the required form for veterans benefits.

This guide covers how to get a copy of your DD-214 from either your branch of service, or from the National Archives.

First, The Information Found on Your DD Form 214

Your DD Form 214 is labeled your Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. Everyone who served on active duty should have been issued a copy of their DD From 214.

If not, we’ll cover how to get a copy later in this article.

We’ll also cover how to replace a lost, stolen, or damaged DD Form 214.

The DD Form 214 contains the following information (numbers designate which item on the form; note: this is the FEB 2000 version – other versions may differ):

  1. Complete name used while in the service
  2. Branch of service
  3. Social Security Number (Service Number may be used in other versions)
  4. a) Grade, Rate, or Rank,  b) Pay Grade
  5. Date of Birth
  6. Reserve Obligation Termination Date (for those who transfer into the Regular Reserves or Inactive Ready Reserve upon transition from active duty).
  7. a) Place of Entry into Military Service  b) Home of Record
  8. a) Last Duty Assignment and Major Command,  b) Station Where You Separated from Active Duty
  9. Command to Which Transferred
  10. SGLI Coverage Amount (if any)
  11. Primary Duty Specialty (MOS, AFSC, Rating, etc.). This can include multiple duties and the number of years and months served in this capacity.
  12. Record of Service – Dates entered and separated from active duty; total active duty time if you have served on active duty more than once (common with members of the Guard or Reserves); Foreign Service, Sea Service, and more.
  13. Decorations, Medals, Badges, Citations, and Campaign Ribbons Awarded or Authorized (this section is small; this may be continued in the remarks section if you have a large number of authorized ribbons, medals, and decorations).
  14. Military Education (to include course title, course duration, and month and year completed)
  15. a) VEAP Participation (yes or no);  b) High school graduate or equivalent (yes or no)
  16. Amount of Leave Sold Back
  17. Member received dental exam within 90 days before separation (yes or no)
  18. Remarks (continuation of decorations and awards or other remarks).
  19. a) Mailing address after separation,  b)  Nearest Relative and address
  20. Request copy to be sent to Direct of Veterans Affairs for State of Residence
  21. Member Signature
  22. Signature of Official Authorizing Separation from Active Duty
  23. Type of Separation (Release from Active Duty, etc.)
  24. Character of Service (Discharge Type – Honorable, Dishonorable, etc.).
  25. Separation Authority (my DD Form 214 shows AFI 36-3208, which is an Air Force Instruction; most DD Form 214s probably show a branch specific reference).
  26. Separation Code
  27. Reentry Code (also known as RE Code) – this determines whether or not you are eligible to join the military again.
  28. Narrative Reason for Separation (mine lists Completion of Active Service; yours may vary depending on the reason for your separation).
  29. Dates of Time Lost During This Period (mine lists None; yours may vary depending on unique circumstances)
  30. Member Initials Requesting a Copy of DD Form 214.

As you can see, your DD Form 214 is a one-page synopsis of your career. Some of the most important line items show your total number of days of active duty service, authorized decorations, awards, and campaign ribbons, military education and training, and more.

All of these items can be used to help determine your eligibility for certain veterans benefits programs.

This is also why the DD Form 214 is almost always required when applying for veterans benefits programs, veterans preference points for federal service, buying back military service credits for federal service, and more.

Safeguard Your DD Form 214

One of the most important things you can do is maintain the security of all your military records. I recommend keeping several copies.

Because it has your SSN and other private information, you should keep your copy locked away in a lock box or safety deposit box – you don’t want to become a victim of identity theft because someone swiped your SSN from your military records.

Personally, I keep an original physical copy under lock and key and I keep scanned copies backed up on my computer and in the cloud.

Having multiple copies ensures I never lose this essential document.

Consider Registering it with Your County or Town Hall

Your DD Form 214 can be registered with many town halls or county registrars, just like a land deed or vehicle title. You can consider doing this to maintain a record of your service because it will make document retrieval quick and easy.

Make sure state or local laws do not permit public access to your DD Form 214 before registering your DD Form 214 with any office.

Because it has your SSN, you may be exposing your private information to the world, making you an easy target for identity theft.

You may also consider getting your  DD Form 214 registered or notarized with your town registrar to keep it on file for certain veterans benefits, such as property tax assessments.

Some counties offer veterans with disability ratings discounted property taxes. However, they usually require a copy of both your DD From 214 and your award letter from the VA stating your service-connected disability rating.

This is well worth the hassle if it saves you a significant amount of money on your property taxes.

How to Replace Your DD Form 214 (If Stolen/Lost/Damaged)

You should receive a copy of your DD Form 214 on the day you separate or retire from the military. In some cases, the form may not be ready. In these situations, the military will usually mail a copy to your home of record.

If you have recently separated or retired from the military, you can try contacting your last unit. They only maintain these records for a short time before forwarding them to the branch of service human resources or personnel command:

I believe each branch maintains records for close to 10 years before they send records to the National Archives for permanent storage, but I’m not sure the specifics. If you have separated from the military within the last few years, check with your branch of service before the National Archives.

How To Get a Copy of Your DD Form 214 from the National Archives

If you have been out of the military more than a few years, you will need to contact the National Personnel Records Center to get a new copy of your DD Form 214.

The National Archives in St. Louis, MO processes most DD Form 214 requests. Veterans and their next of kin have two methods for requesting copies of military records.

Two methods for requesting military records:

  1. Electronic method. Use the eVetRecs system to create your request.
  2. Paper method. Mail or Fax a Standard Form SF-180. Print, sign, and date all copies of paper forms before submitting them. The address is listed at the end of the SF 180 and below as a point of reference.

Mail the SF-180 to the National Records Center at the following address:

National Personnel Records Center
Attention: [Your Service, e.g., Air Force] Records
9700 Page Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63132-5000

Some Records May Not Be Available

There was a major fire at the National Archives in 1973 that permanently destroyed military records for thousands of veterans. Many other records were severely damaged. Unfortunately, many Cold War veterans records were permanently destroyed in the Fire of 1973 and the records may not be available.

You will need to contact the National Archives for more information.

Required Information to Request Replacement DD Form 214:

  • Veteran’s complete name used while in service.
  • Service number or Social security number.
  • Branch of service.
  • Dates of service.
  • Date and place of birth (especially if the service number is not known).
  • Recommended information (not required, but may help expedite the process): Purpose for request (applying for benefits, preparing to retire, researching personal military history), deadline, additional forms or information required.

If you believe your records may have been destroyed in the 1973 fire, then you should have the following information available:

  • Place of discharge.
  • Last unit of assignment.
  • Place of entry into the service, if known.

The Privacy Act of 1974 requires all military records requests be submitted in writing. The veteran or next-of-kin must sign and date each DD Form 214 request.

National Archives Customer Support Via Telephone

The National Archives no longer processes DD Form 214 requests via phone. The National Archives does maintain a customer service support line for other military records inquiries.

Here are the National Records Personnel Center telephone information lines:

  • Toll-Free Number: 1-866-272-6272

Be sure to have the following information available when you make your request:

  • Your full name
  • Social Security number
  • Current phone number (including area code)
  • Approximate dates of service
  • Place of discharge
  • Return address
  • Reason for request

You can find more information about replacing your DD Form 214, including which forms you will need to send to the National Personnel Records Center, at the National Archives website.

Remember, it can take a long time to get your document replaced, so take care of it. It is the most important military document you have!

Who May Request Military Records?

Only the veteran or the next of kin of a deceased veteran can request a complete copy of a member’s military service records. This Is a common request for veterans or family members who need a copy of military records in order to obtain replacement medals or military decorations.

Limited information may be available to the general public.

The next-of-kin must provide proof of death of the veteran, such as a copy of death certificate, letter from funeral home, or published obituary when they are requesting a copy of the veteran’s military records.

Next-of-kin is defined as the surviving spouse that has not remarried, father, mother, son, daughter, sister, or brother. Relatives of the deceased veteran who are not considered next of kin can still request a copy of the military service records.

However, you need to complete Standard Form 180. Follow the instructions found here: Access to Military Records by the General Public and Researchers.

Additional Tips When Requesting Military Records

Replacing your DD Form 214 is not the end of the world. But it can take some time to replace.

Be patient. Standard requests for a copy of your DD Form 214 normally take at least 10 days or longer, but it can take several weeks to get it replaced in some circumstances. This is common if the records were involved in the fire of 1973.

You can check the status of your request via e-mail or by telephone at NPRC Customer Service Line: 1-314-801-0800.

Note: this is not a toll-free number.

Avoid military records scams: Most military records are provided by the National Archives free of charge for veterans, next-of-kin, and authorized representatives. If your request involves a service fee, you will be notified by a representative from the National Archives.

There are some companies out there who charge exorbitant fees to do research which can be done by you for free. Keep in mind you must also provide these companies with sensitive and private personal information including your social security number.

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About Ryan Guina

Ryan Guina is the founder and editor of The Military Wallet. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over 6 years on active duty in the USAF and is a current member of the IL Air National Guard.

Ryan started The Military Wallet in 2007 after separating from active duty military service and has been writing about financial, small business, and military benefits topics since then. He also writes about personal finance and investing at Cash Money Life.

Ryan uses Personal Capital to track and manage his finances. Personal Capital is a free software program that allows him to track his net worth, balance his investment portfolio, track his income and expenses, and much more. You can open a free Personal Capital account here.

Featured In: Ryan's writing has been featured in the following publications: Forbes, Military.com, US News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, Reserve & National Guard Magazine (print and online editions), Military Influencer Magazine, Cash Money Life, The Military Guide, USAA, Go Banking Rates, and many other publications.

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  1. LoriH says

    Hi,
    I’m pray someone here sees this soon enough and can answer this accurately.
    My husband is a Veteran of Army. He was honorably discharged in 1999. He hasn’t needed his DD-214 until now because we’re 3 weeks away from closing on our home and of course using VA loan. With the pandemic being a thorn in our side he has been able to receive his entire military file from Nat’l archives. Our problem is there isn’t a dd-214 and they’re stating there isn’t a DD-214. He’s called everyone under the sun only to get a “we’ll have to call you back. I’m not sure abiut this one.”
    First of all, why can’t the lender use his entire military file until the economy opens back up and he’s able to speak to a live person in regards to getting a DD-214??
    Does anyone have ANY suggestions on what to do at this point???
    Thanks so much in advance!!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Lori, the VA requires a DD 214 to establish military service and provide a Certificate of Eligibility. The only advice I have is to contact the National Archives, as that is where military records are maintained. I’m not sure where else to obtain a DD 214. I hope you and your husband will be able to work through this. Best wishes!

  2. Joseph Van Horn says

    I’m trying to gain some information about my father’s service in the Marine Corps for personal reasons, specifically his ending rank and what type of discharge he received. I have no way of contacting him while he’s incarcerated for things he did between the time he left the Corps and now, so these aren’t things I can ask him about, and after spending my entire life not knowing the man, I’m not sure I could trust anything he has to say; the only reason I believe he actually did serve is because I trust my mother when she tells me stories about having been married to the Corps. I DO know that my father is NOT deceased.

    Is there any way I could obtain this information, even if obtaining a copy of his DD214 isn’t possible?

    Thank you in advance

  3. Harold Raderman says

    I served on active duty in an Army Reserve Unit from Sept ’62-Feb ’63. I received a General Discharge on approximately 1968. Am I eligible for benefits?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Harold, Thank you for contacting me. Each situation is unique and requires a review of your military service to determine benefits eligibility.

      The best thing to do is to contact a veterans benefits counselor at the VA, your county VA office, or with a Veterans Service Organization. They have counselors who offer free, individualized claims assistance. They can review your claim, your service periods, medical conditions, and other factors and help you apply for benefits or an upgrade to your current rating.

      I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  4. Brian T. Regan says

    I too am trying to get a copy of my “fancy” certificate of honorable discharge (discharged from the Air Force back in August, 1959). It seems my records were probably burnt up in the fire of 1973. How can I retrieve that certificate or have a new one sent?

  5. Kevin says

    Hello, while in OSUT I was medically discharged during the AIT phase, my DD-214 does not show BCT as having been completed. Is there any recourse to have that corrected? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you in advance.

  6. Sandie Spear says

    Desparately trying to get military records on behalf of my stepfather; he is still living but at 92 is in a state of near dementia. He has squirreled away all of his personnel papers, and cannot tell us where papers are or the details of his service. I have his identification information (ssn, dob, address, etc.) and the information could be mailed directly to his home address … but where can we go to get information on his service records? How can he get a copy of this discharge papers to show his qualification for benefits if he cannot complete all the info requested? the evetrecs page asks for his service number, his dates of service. We don’t know that and he can’t tell us.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Sandie, Thank you for contacting me. In many cases, the National Archives can look up information based on the veteran’s name, birthdate, social security number, and branch of service. I would try doing that to see if you can get any additional information that way. If that doesn’t work, ask them if they have alternative methods for verifying proof of service.

      Also, it’s important to note that thousands of veterans’ records were destroyed in the Fire of 1973. Some of those records are irretrievable and cannot be found or replaced. The only way to prove military service, in that case, would be through personal records.

      I hope this is helpful and I wish you and your family the best.

  7. LREMJ says

    I don’t know if anyone knows how I can resolve this. There was an error in reason for separation that was harmful to me after service. I submitted the information and appropriate form(s) to the Army board. They found in my favor and sent me a corrected DD 214. VA won’t replace the original in their file. National Archives also has the original. Seems nobody but me, and maybe the Army board, has a corrected/updated copy of my DD 214. How does this get fixed? The VA ignores my requests to fix it.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello LREMJ,

      Thank you for contacting me. This is outside my scope of expertise. I would contact the Army Board that corrected your records and ask them how to resolve this issue. Also ask if they disseminate the corrected copy through all channels, to include the National Archives and the VA.

      I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  8. Neitasha Smith says

    My name is Neitasha Smith and I’m trying to assist my God-Brother who served in the Navy for 3 years during Dessert Storm before receiving an other than honorable discharge. Is he still eligible to receive any benefits? If so, what should he do. I appreciate your time and any information you can share is greatly appreciated.

    Sincerely,
    Neitasha Smith

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Natasha, Thank you for your comment. Yes, he would most likely be eligible for some veterans benefits. However, veterans benefits are often unique to the individual based on when and where they served, for how long, whether or not they have a service-connected disability, and other factors.

      Because benefits can vary by individual, it is recommended the veteran meet with the VA or a veterans benefits counselor for an overview of which veterans benefits he may be eligible to receive. Best wishes!

  9. Orestes Portales says

    My name is Orestes Portales,Former SP4 US Army Number US51403396. Got Honorable Discharged on April 10th 1960. Last Unit : 169th Engr Bat Const. at Fort Stewart, Georgia. I´l be 83 Nov 9 this year, and Iam kindly request from you as a present for my grandchilds a Coy of Form 214 or 215 dont remember exactly, but in any case is Discharge Form, that we used to carried in our wallets. Thanks a lot.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Jean-Pierre, Thank you for your question. The DD Form 214 is only for US military members. You would be eligible if you served in the US military. Otherwise, you would need to request the equivalent form for Canadian military service (I’m not sure which form this would be; you would need to contact the military service personnel or human resources division for specific information). I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  10. William J Lavely says

    I have not received my DD 214 that I requested on line about one month ago. Is their any information needed that I need to include? I did receive notice that my application was received by the National Archives. My military Service — Air Force, from April 1961 to September 1964. Please research this and let me know the results.

    Thank You: William J Lavely

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello William,

      Thank you for contacting me. You will need to follow up with the National Archives with this request. Our website provides information for veterans, but we are not an official government agency. I do not have access to your records, and government laws would prohibit them from providing me with that information.

      Please note there was a fire in the National Archives in 1973 – this may have affected your military records. I recommend reading more about this, and contacting the National Archives if you believe this may be the case with your records.

      I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Cator, Thank you for contacting me. I recommend contacting your state personnel / human resources office. If they don’t have a copy of your records, you can contact the National Archives in St. Louis and make a records request. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  11. Suzanne says

    I was in the Army Reserve 1983-1989 and my MOS training was very lengthy. Initially, I was on ADT for Basic Training and AIT for 7 months, shown on DD214. A year later, I took advanced MOS training, which was 12 months long. However, during training I was injured (skiing), missed class and then spent 4 months as a ‘casual’ – just doing whatever work was assigned to me, until I could be recycled into the next class. That DD 214 shows a total of 1 yr 4mo 9 days of Active Duty…grand total of almost 2yrs spent on active duty. Does any of that time qualify me for VA benefits (besides GI Loan), especially since I spent 4 months working and not training? Thanks.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Suzanne, the VA has benefits counselors that can review your case and help you understand which benefits you may be eligible to receive. I recommend calling the VA customer service hotline, or scheduling a visit with a benefits counselor to better understand which benefits you may be entitled to. You can also contact a Veterans Service Organization for a similar records review. Many organizations offer free benefits claims assistance and the trained counselors will be happy to help you understand your benefits. Some organizations include the DAV, VFW, AMVETS, American Legion, and more. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  12. lawrence camacho says

    I served in the United States Armed Forces for 30 years but never received my retirement ID card. When or where can I obtain it?

  13. Debbie Findlay says

    I served in the Gulf War 1988-1994, I’m trying to apply for my benefits, I have my DD214 but it’s worn and I cant upload it to my application. Do you suggest that I request a new copy and if so, would I be able to get an electronic copy.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Debbie, you should definitely request a copy of your DD Form 214 if your only copy is illegible. The National Archives should be able to send you a copy, which will most likely be a physical copy. You can inquire whether or not they can send you a digital copy, but I’m not sure if this is something they are authorized to do for security reasons. That said, you should be able to have your new copy scanned at a library, FedEx / Kinko’s UPS Store, or a similar office supply store. You may also be able to do it with an all-in-one scanner if you have one, or with certain smartphones. I hope this is helpful, and thank you for your service!

      • Chuck Clark says

        Use ProScanner …. an app for your phone or tablet

        I use it to scan all sorts of documents into pdf format

  14. Thomas Weibel says

    I have submitted 5 requests for a copy of my DD214 to the National Archieves over the last several years and always get the same response back stating the do not find any records. I served in the Army on active duty from 9/1980 thru 4/1984. I also visited the local Veterans office only to be steered to the National Archieves. Any direction you can provide would be appreciated.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Thomas, Thank you for contacting me. The only other advice I have is to try contacting the Army Human Resources command. They may have additional records or information that can help you track down your records. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  15. Rebecca says

    The numbers you have provided for the National Archives are FAX numbers. The Customer Service telephone number is 314-801-0800

  16. Gayle says

    My recently deceased husband was receiving benefits as a disabled veteran and has a special “Distinguished Flying Cross” license plate. Wouldn’t the local VA and/or the DMV have a copy of his DD214 papers? I need them for his burial.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Gayle, Thank you for contacting me, and I am sorry for your loss.

      The most common method is through the National Archives in St. Louis. They should be able to expedite your request.

      There are also other acceptable forms for a military burial.

      You may be able to get the DD Form 214 from the DMV, but I’m not sure if they are allowed to give copies due to privacy reasons, or where they would have them on file (perhaps at the state level)?

      Also note that some veterans have a copy of their DD Form 214 on file with their county court, registrar, or clerk (this used to be very common among older veterans, but is less common nowadays).

      I hope this is helpful.

      Again, I am sorry for your loss, and I hope you will be able to get this form in time for your husband to receive the funeral honors he earned.

    • Robert Briggs says

      17August,2017

      No, but you can contact your Local DAV Office and they can assist you with your questions.

      Best Wishes with getting the Records You Need and God Bless You.

      MN1 Robert Briggs USN Retired & Vietnam Veteran.

  17. David` says

    I am an Army Civilian Staffer that is trying to assist an employee with obtaining a Member 4 (or similar) copy of her DD 214 from 1986-87 when she prematurely left the US Naval Academy. She has made several attempts to retrieve the documents from the National Archives, but they were not able to find her records. This could be due to one of the many disasters that have destroyed records over the years. How else could she possibly get a replacement DD 214 showing her Character of Service?

  18. Bryan McGraw says

    The phone numbers listed are years out of date. Please go to http://www.archives.gov and click on the military service records box on the main page. This will take you to the page to request records and has the forms and contact/address info. All requests for service records must be in writing (letter, SF 180 or through eVetrecs).

    Bryan McGraw
    National Archives and Records Administration

    • Ryan Guina says

      Thank you for the update, Bryan. I have corrected this article by removing the old phone numbers and updating the process. I have also included the National Archives customer support phone numbers for other requests. Thank you for bringing this to our attention!

  19. Jaclyn dodson says

    My husband just checked his dd214
    He EAS in 2014.
    He is applying for a contracting job and noticed his deployment dates are not all listed. How should we go about correcting this?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Jaclyn, He should contact his branch of service’s primary personnel section (Army Human Resources Command, Air Force Personnel Center, Navy BUPERS, etc.). They can help him correct his DD Form 214 or direct him to someone who can. He may need copies of his deployment orders or other proof of his deployments, to include the dates and locations. I hope this helps!

  20. Bob Sanders says

    My father Got out before the DD214 with notice of separation papers NAVPERS- 553 (rev 8-45) and the VA finally accepted these in 2014 when he was 88. He’s 90 now and very appreciative of finally getting to see some of his GI benefits.

  21. Jennifer McDonald says

    The National Archives stated they do not have a copy of a DD214 for my husband and we are trying to purchase a home. Am I just out of luck or anything else I can do ?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Jennifer, This can be common if you husband recently separated (within the last several years). I believe each branch of service maintains military personnel records for a certain amount of time before forwarding them to the National Archives for permanent storage.

      You can try contacting the main personnel headquarters for the branch service he was in. Army Human Resources Command, Air Force Personnel Center, or Navy BUPERS. They should have a copy of his service records or they should be able to help you locate a copy. I hope this points you in the right direction, and I wish you the best with your home purchase!

  22. Nelson Burnside says

    I was in the U. S. Army and served from 1980-2003 and when I applied for my DD214s they said my records were not there. Please help. This is causing me to miss out on job openings and being hired for numerous positions. I need help now

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Nelson, Thank you for contacting me. Are you a military retiree, with a military ID card and drawing military retirement pay? If so, there has to be some record at DFAS, the VA, or in the National Archives. The only suggestion I have is to contact the National Archives and see what they can provide as far as military records go. It will be helpful if you have some military records that proved you served (copies of pay stubs, orders, enlistment contracts or commissioning documents, etc.). I wish you the best and thank you for your service!

  23. Karen Ostby says

    Is there anyway of speeding up getting a copy of your DD214? My husband’s does not show how he was discharged and we are trying to qualify for a house. When they told us that we were pre-approved they had not checked his form. Someone said that there may be a place that we can pay to get a copy faster?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Karen, Try contacting the National Archives. They can often rush certain records requests if there is a need to get the documents more quickly. Good luck with the records and your home purchase!

  24. Charles D. Gentry says

    I joined the Army in 1958 under the reserve program. I served 6 months active duty and then began my reserve services. In October, 1961, my unit in Abilene, Texas was activated. We were sent to Fort Gordon, Ga. After serving active duty there for almost a year, we were returned to reserve duties. I was then discharged on March 31, 1964. I received a certificate of Honorable Discharge but have never received a DD Form 214. I am just now learning of such a thing. I have never received any kind of benefits from being a veteran because I had nothing to prove to anyone. How can I get a DD Form 214?

  25. Marsha says

    Hi. I entered the Army Reserve in 1988. I did basic training only from June-Aug 1988, returned home and drilled monthly to finish my senior year in high school. Then from Jun – Aug 1989 I attended AIT. I again returned home and drilled monthly from Sep 1989-Feb 1990. After this I went active duty.

    I have all the documents from the National Archives that shows my active duty service from 1990 to 1996. It does not have ANY prior documents from 1988-1990 that shows my reserve time. My old reserve unit disbanded in 1995.

    I have absolutely no documents from almost 30 years ago. How do I show proof that I did reserve time? What do we do when no documents were stored in the Archives?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Marsha, To be honest, I have no idea. I was under the impression that all records should be maintained at the National Archives. The best recommendation I have is to contact the Army Human Resources Center and ask them if they have a way of finding these records. I don’t know which other agency might have a record.

  26. Kimberly Nash says

    I never received my honorable discharge certificate. I heard we can request one. I received my DD 214 but not the “fancy” certificate like I did when I re-enlisted. How do I get one?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Kimberly, Thank you for contacting me. To be honest, I’m not sure how to request a copy of your discharge document. This might be available through your branch of service’s personnel command, or it might be something you can request through the National Archives. I would start by contacting your personnel command if you separated recently. If that doesn’t work or if they don’t provide this, then try contacting the National Archives.

    • Joshua Crabtree says

      Ms Nash, did you ever get this resolved? For some reason, I only have a member 1 copy of my dd214 from my deployment. However, I am trying to buy a house and I need a member 4 copy to be eligible for the VA loan. Archives doesn’t have it, AHRC doesn’t have it, it’s like it never existed.

      • Shawn says

        I have the very same issue. The member 1 form does not show discharge status and ends before this field. As well, archives and Dept of the Army has absolutely no record of my service.

      • BinSF says

        Did either of you guys figure this out?? Same problem here. WTH, how can there be no file about our time enlisted? Now what?

    • Kyle says

      I also have the member 1 DD214 that does not show my discharge condisions. It was an Honorable so I never thought twice about it or really looked at the DD214 much. I have bought a house with a VA loan and gotten tuition benefits with this document.

      Recently I was trying to buy a hunting licence in a new state and they wanted me to take a hunters safety class, but said there was an exemption if I sent in my DD214. Out of all the times I have used this document to obtain benefits getting a waiver for this stupid class is the one time this was brought up. They will not waive the class because it does not say what the condition of my discharge was and they specify honorable in their documentation.

      Now this is not on par with trying to secure a home loan as I could just take the stupid class, but it got me thinking about why my DD214 doesn’t show that information and how nobody has taken issue with the fact it doesn’t until now. So here I am reading this thread trying to find an answer.

      I don’t know if requesting a new one would solve the issue because this is the DD214 I was sent when I requested the document from archives not my original as that was lost in a move. I don’t really know how one would resolve this issue other than to try and make some phone calls.

      • Ryan Guina says

        Hi Kyle, I don’t have an answer either – I think you may have to make some phone calls.

        As a side note, my wife experienced the same thing when she tried to get the Veterans Designation on her driver’s license. Her DD Form 214 didn’t state Honorable Discharge, so the state wouldn’t include the designation. She was frustrated because she served honorably – it just wasn’t on her form. We haven’t figured out how to handle this yet.

        I hope you are able to get a replacement DD 214 that includes your discharge designation.

        I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  27. Terry Howard says

    My DD214 stashes under honorable conditions
    Type of certificate DD Form 257A issue October 2-1975

    And the I have a correction issue July -1-1979
    RE-3,RE-3C
    Added chapter 4, AR 600-200 and Appendix C,AR 601-210 Apply
    Could you please explain what all this mean?

  28. Jimmy downs says

    I was discharge in 4-14-70 with a dd256a form a company that give veteran a discount on there equipment will not except this form so no discount for me

  29. Jeorge says

    I was in the USMC and served from 2000-2005 and when I applied for my DD214s theyre saying that the social security number and name I am giving them doesn’t match the file. Please help. I have no id. My fiancé lost her job and we are going to be homeless with our 3 children under the age of 6. I need help now!

  30. Anderson says

    Hi, I served in the military for a little over 2 years. I ending up breaking my hip and lower lumbar in a training accident. I was given a general under honorable discharge after fighting the board for it. (I wanted to rejoin later if possible) I recently requested a copy of my seperation papers and DD-214. I recieved a DD-214 release from active duty training. No seperation papers and no actual DD-214. The cover letter I recieved said that the documents I requested were not found. I joined in 2006 and discharged November of 2008. I need it for a correctional officers job. I was considered byt turned down because I didnt have a copy of my DD-214. Any help at all would be appreciated. Thank you.

  31. Mary Ann says

    THANK YOU! I have been in the clutches of the VA as I tried to find out what my father-in-law needed to do to get proof of military service just so he can obtain local businesses discounts; this site breaks down the information needed and what we need to do in a clear, logical (haha using that word and government in same sentence), and systematic format.
    I am also trying to find out if my mother qualifies for any VA benefits since my father was 100% service connected disabled. She has an ID that entitles her to use the commissary and they had Tri-Care when I was a child but her card is now expired. Again, I think I will be able to accomplish my goal with the help of this site!
    The wonderful job you have done here is a God send to those of us who have no clue where to start.

    Mary Ann

  32. Dale says

    I Served my country in the Army National Guard, for 6yrs and was honorably discharged in 1963

    My discharge records show a form NGB22 not a DD214 form. Because of this I have no benefits, and not considered a Veteran. I signed my name on the dotted line like all vets and belonged to USA, like all vets. But cannot receive any benefits because of the paper work as usual. So I am just doing what this says “speak your mind” thanks for letting me blow of steam.
    Dale sgt E-5 118th Sig Bn

  33. Bevi says

    How would I go about getting a copy of so to find out if they were honorably discharged or. Dishonorably discharged i believe they lied under oath on the witness stand. This is very well could be the key that I need to prove that they lied under oath. Thanks so much for any help.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Bevi, you will need to contact the National Archives, which is where official military records are maintained. It’s important to note that in most cases only family members can obtain these documents, though some of them are public information. If you are not a family member and wish to see a copy of the D Form 214, the you may need a court order and will need to go through the official process.

  34. morris Goldman says

    I used the phone #s that you printed in this article for contacting the navy
    they are not in service i am told
    You may also call the National Records Personnel Center telephone information lines:

    Army Reference Branch: (314) 538 – 4122
    Air Force Branch: (314) 538 – 4218
    Navy Reference Branch: (314) 538 – 4200
    Marines Reference Branch: (314) 538 – 4200
    Coast Guard: (314) 538 – 4200

    I need my Discharge date corrected in my DD214. I have been trying to get it corrected for years, but no luck. I was discharged a few days later due to a Snow Storm that year, and that gave me over 4 years in the service. How do i get all my records corrected and get a replacement copy for my wallet I was officially Discharged in 22 March 1956

  35. della mann says

    I served in the gulf conflict from 1/9/91 to 3/12/91. My DD214 dose not show the suthwest asia medal information, even though it was given to me when i reached state side and was discharged. What should I do to find out if I am eligible.

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