Your DD 214, also called The Report of Separation, is an important document for veterans to keep on hand. This document will be required for you to verify your military service when you apply for benefits, employment, retirement or membership in veteran’s organizations. It may also be required by funeral directors in order to prove eligibility for burial at a VA cemetery, obtaining a grave marker or providing military honors to a deceased veteran. Issued by the Department of Defense, information contained in the DD 214 may include:
- Separation information such as the type of separation (honorable, general [under honorable conditions], other than honorable, bad conduct or dishonorable).
- Date and place of entry into active duty.
- Home address at the time of entry.
- Date and place of release from active duty.
- Home address after release.
- Last duty assignment and rank.
- Military job specialty.
- Military education.
- Military decorations, medals, badges, citations and/or campaign awards.
- Total creditable service.
If you are not in possession of your DD 214, you (or the next of kin of a deceased veteran) can request a copy either online or via the U.S. Mail. Your County Veteran Service Officer will be able to advise you about your options, or will be able to assist you in filling out the required forms. You should be prepared to provide the following information:
- Complete name used while in the military.
- Service number.
- Social Security number.
- Dates of service.
- Date and place of birth.
Depending where your records are held, you may also be asked for:
- Place of entry into the service.
- Place of discharge from the service.
- Last unit of assignment.
All requests for DD 214s must be signed and dated either by you or your next-of-kin. Services are normally provided at no cost for veterans, next-of-kin or authorized representatives. If there is a fee involved, you will be notified as quickly as possible. The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) usually responds to requests within ten working days, however, requests that require reconstruction due to the 1973 fire at the NPRC’s St. Louis location, or older records requiring extensive research may take considerably longer.