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. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S.
Coast Guard, U.S. Marine Corps, or U.S. Navy.
1 History and usage
2 Available versions
4 Electronic Cost-Free Copy of DD-214
5 Paper Cost-Free Copy of DD-214
8 See also
10 External links
History and usage
The first DD Form 214s were issued in 1950, replacing the older "WD
AGO" (War Department Adjutant General's Office) Forms and the NAVPERS
(Naval Personnel) discharge documents. These documents had existed
since 1941. In earlier versions of the form (1 November 1972) it was
called a "Report of Separation from Active Duty"; the current title
dates from 1 July 1979.
DD Form 214 is the capstone military service document, as it
represents the complete, verified record of a service member's time in
the military (Active and Reserve), awards and medals, and other
pertinent service information, such as highest rank/rate and pay grade
held on active duty, total military combat service and/or overseas
Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), Air Force Specialty
Code (AFSC) or Navy officer designator, Navy Officer Billet Code
(NOBC), Additional Qualification Designation (ACD) or Navy Enlisted
Classification (NEC) identifiers and a record of training and schools
completed. Individuals who served exclusively in the Air National
Army National Guard
Army National Guard do not receive a DD Form 214, but will
receive a form called NGB-22 from the National Guard Bureau.
DD Form 214 is commonly used by various government agencies, chief
among them the Department of Veterans Affairs, to secure veteran
benefits, and may be requested by employers should a person indicate
he or she has served in the military.
This document also contains codes used by the Armed Forces to describe
a former servicemember's reason for discharge and, in the case of
enlisted personnel, their reenlistment eligibility. These codes are
known as Separation Designator/Separation Justification (abbreviated
as SPD/SJC) Codes and Reenlistment Eligibility (RE) Codes,
DD Form 214 is also generally required by funeral directors in order
to immediately prove eligibility for interment in VA cemetery and/or
obtaining a grave marker and/or provide military honors to a deceased
veteran. On September 1, 2000, the National Defense Authorization Act
enabled, upon the family's request, every eligible veteran to receive
a military funeral honors ceremony to include the folding and
presentation of the
United States burial flag and the sounding of
Taps, at no cost to the family.
Copies of DD Form 214s are typically maintained by the government as
part of a service member's
201 file or OMPF (Official Military
Personnel File). The
201 file generally contains additional personnel
There are two versions of the DD Form 214, usually referred to simply
as "short" or "redacted" or "deleted" (edited), and "long" or
"unredacted" or "undeleted" (unedited) copies. The edited, or "short",
copy omits a great deal of information, chiefly the Characterization
of Service, Reason for Separation, and Authority for Separation.
Service members are given the option of accepting the "short form"
edited Member 1, "long form" unedited Member 4 or both copies upon
The most important copy of the DD 214 for the individual is the long
form copy. It is the standard form needed to obtain benefits such as
GI Bill or government employment priority.
There are eight original DD214 copies. All but Member 1, the "short
form" copy, contain information as to the nature and type of
discharge, and the re-enlistment code. This code is used to determine
whether or not the service member can go back into the service. For
unemployment benefits, veterans affairs benefits, as well as for
several other services, the "Member's Copy 4" is usually requested but
any other "long form" copy is acceptable. All eight copies are
identical except Member 1, the "short form," which lacks this critical
information. The military will not provide a replacement "Member's
Copy 4" (it is the service member's personal copy and physically given
to him at separation) and any request for a replacement is always
honored by providing a "Service 2," "Service 7" or "Service 8" copy.
All but Member 1 are acceptable legal substitutes for Member 4.
Other versions of the
DD Form 214 include the "Member 1" (deleted
version), "Service 7 & 8" (additional copies of the "Service 2"),
"Veterans Affairs 3" (sent directly to the Department of Veterans
Affairs), "Member 6" (provided to the respective veteran's State
Department of Veteran Affairs), and "Department of Labor 5" (provided
directly to the
United States Department of Labor).
If for whatever reason your original DD214 is unusable, unreadable, or
destroyed, upon verification of your service the National Personnel
Record Center can issue NA Form 13038, a Certification of Military
Service, which is also a perfect legal substitute for DD214.
Electronic Cost-Free Copy of DD-214
eBenefits, a web portal managed jointly by the United States
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the
United States Department
of Defense (DoD) provides Service members with free electronic copies
of their Official Military Personnel File, including their DD Form
214. Electronic copies will be provided within 48 hours from the time
of request. In order for a Service member to request his/hers DD-214
in eBenefits, he/she must have an eBenefits Premium Account ( DS Logon
Paper Cost-Free Copy of DD-214
National Personnel Records Center
National Personnel Records Center is the government agency tasked
with replacing lost and destroyed DD Form 214s upon request from a
veteran. Requested copies are mailed from the Military Personnel
Records Center. Most veterans who separated from their service
generally pre-1992 can obtain their DD 214 from the National Personnel
Records Center, ("NPRC"). The NPRC has two distinct tracks available
to obtain records for veterans. The first is for the veteran to submit
a Department of Defense Standard Form 180 ("SF180") to the facility
via mail or fax. The second is to appear in-person at the facility.
The National Archives also maintains a list of independent researchers
who will physically visit the St. Louis facility to request records in
The DD Form 215 ("Correction to DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or
Discharge from Active Duty") is used to correct errors or additions to
DD Form 214 discovered after the original had been delivered and/or
distribution had been made. It is distributed in the same manner as
the DD Form 214.GED is not on DD214
A DD Form 214/215 is prepared in eight copies and distributed as
Copy 1 – Service Member
Copy 2 – Service Personnel File
Copy 3 –
United States Department of Veterans Affairs
Copy 4 – Member (if initialed in Block 30)
Copy 5 –
United States Department of Labor
Copy 6 – State Director of Veteran Affairs
Copy 7 & 8 – Distributed in accordance with Military Service
Department directions (shredded and retain)
US Military discharge
History, Usage and Acquisition of DD214s
^ Northwest Justice Project. "Sample DD-214". RepWaVets.org
(Representing Washington Veterans). Retrieved February 20, 2018.
^ DD214.TLD. "Your DD214 and Veterans' Employment Opportunities: DD214
and Jobs". DD214.us. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
^ eBenefits Site Tour. YouTube. 17 October 2012.
^ How to Get a
DS Logon for eBenefits. YouTube. 9 May 2014.
^ How To Acquire Your DD214, Military Separation Records. YouTube. 12
How to obtain an eBenefits Premium Account (
DS Logon Level 2)
How to obtain your free electronic DD-214 in eBenefits
SPN and Separation Codes
National Personnel Records Center
How to get copies of Military Service Records (e.g.,: DD 214/DD 215) -
Separation Program Designator (SPD) Codes (PDF)
Army Regulation 635-5 Separation Documents
Make a DD-214 t