DD 214 Information from After the Corps

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 military service.

The DD214 is the Department of Defense's verification form to prove that an individual was in the military. This document helps veterans obtain all the benefits to which they are entitled and is worth its weight in gold due, so keeping track of it is of vital importance. It's a good idea to have multiple copies of this document, just in case. If a veteran runs out of copies of his or her DD 214, there are ways to obtain another one, but it could take weeks, if not months, to receive the new copies by mail.

For more information on acquiring copies of the DD214, please click here.

Why is a DD214 important?

The Report of Separation contains information normally needed to verify military service for benefits, retirement, employment, and membership in veterans' organizations. Information shown on the Report of Separation may include the service member's:

  • Date and place of entry into active duty
  • Home address at time of entry
  • Date and place of release from active duty
  • Home address after separation
  • Last duty assignment and rank
  • Military job specialty
  • Military education
  • Decorations, medals, badges, citations, and campaign awards
  • Total creditable service
  • Foreign service credited
  • Separation information (type of separation, character of service, authority and reason for separation, separation and reenlistment eligibility codes)

Who is Entitled to a Copy?

The Privacy Act of 1974 limits access to a veteran's DD214 so that only the service member or the service member's legal guardian have the ability to obtain a copy and only these persons will have access to the information contained in that service member's record. Others requesting information on, or the health records of, a service member must have the signed authorization of the service member or legal guardian. If an individual uses a private DD 214 research service to acquire a copy of a service member's form, he or she must have the service member's written permission to do so. Only scam services do not require you to sign an authorization form.

If the former service member is deceased, the surviving next-of-kin may, under certain circumstances, be entitled to greater access to the deceased veteran's records than an unrelated member of the general public. The next-of-kin may be any of the following: a non-remarried surviving spouse, a parent, a child, or a sibling. Limited information from Official Military Personnel Files is releasable to the general public without the consent of the veteran or the next-of-kin.

Examples of information that may be available from Official Military Personnel Files without an unwarranted invasion of privacy include:

  • Name
  • Service Number
  • Dates of Service
  • Branch of Service
  • Rank and Date of Rank
  • Salary *
  • Assignments and Geographical Locations
  • Source of Commission *
  • Military Education
  • Promotion Sequence Number *
  • Awards and decorations (Eligibility only, not actual medals)
  • Duty Status
  • Photograph
  • Transcript of Court-Martial Trial
  • Place of entrance and separation

If the veteran is deceased:

  • Place of birth
  • Date and geographical location of death

Items marked with an asterisk are rarely available from the The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) records.

DD214 Sample Form

Blank Sample DD Form 214

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