DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty

DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty

The DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, generally referred to as a “DD 214”, is a document of the United States Department of Defense, issued upon a military service member’s retirement, separation, or discharge from active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States, e.g., U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force…..

The Defense Department issues to each veteran a DD-214, identifying the veteran’s condition of discharge – honorable, general, other than honorable, dishonorable or bad conduct. As a retiree, the DD 214 form becomes a most important document throughout our life but especially upon retirement as it is required for various actions in obtaining VA assistance, applying for MS Veterans Homes services and ultimately in our final steps of life with being provided military funerals, receiving the U.S. burial flag and markers and/or use of any of the military cemeteries offered.

The DD Form 214 is a complete and thorough document that verifies a service member’s proof of military service. This Certificate of Release or Discharge form is issued through the Department of Defense and is typically issued at the final out processing appointment prior to retirement or separation.

The DD 214 document contains information required to verify the veteran’s time in service. Therefore, it is considered a vital piece of documentation since it is needed in order to obtain necessities such as benefits and retirement. The information found on the form can also be used for the veteran’s future employment, membership in veteran organizations, or a proof of service for businesses offering military discounts. It gives good insight into the veteran and his/her work history since it includes among other things, the service member’s:

Military job specialty
Military education
Decorations, medals, badges
Last duty assignment
Reason for Separation
Overseas Service
Combat Service

This info document concerning the DD Form 214 is provided for informational purposes by first, emphasizing the importance of keeping a copy of your DD Form 214 in a secure location with other personal papers and second, emphasizing the need of making that location known to your spouse or closest family member for their knowledge when the need comes. If by chance you can’t locate a copy of your DD Form 214 the referenced links below gives detailed guidance on obtaining a replacement copy. If you can’t find your copy don’t wait, apply for a copy now to ensure it is within your stored papers when it is needed.

How to get a copy of the DD-214:

Option 1: Request your copy online by visiting the National Archives Website (see link provided below)

Option 2: Mailing the request with Standard Form 180 (SF-180) (see link provided below for downloading a copy)
National Personnel Records Center
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100

The below link is for detailed DD 214 information along with a link to further detailed guidance on how to obtain a copy of a DD 214 and downloading a copy of SF 180 to request a copy of the DD Form 214.

Military Benefits, How to get a replacement DD Form 214
How to Get a DD 214 Copy

Guidance on obtaining a replacement 214 from Department of Archives
U.S. Department of Archives

Download SF 180 for requesting a copy of DD Form 214
Download copy of SF 180