The DD Form 214, Report of Discharge, is one of the most important documents a veteran has–it is the key to identifying your military service, the nature of your military discharge, and helps you qualify for important benefits like VA mortgages and the GI Bill.
How To Get A DD Form 214 Copy
In the past, it was much harder to get a replacement copy of the DD Form 214 if it was lost or misplaced. In decades past, the U.S. mail was the best way to get a DD Form 214 after too much time passed to request it from the orderly room of the veteran’s last assignment.
You can still request a DD Form 214 this and other ways as a veteran or next-of-kin:
- Mail a Request Pertaining to Military Records (Standard Form SF 180) to the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, Mo. 63138. This request requires completion of Standard Form 180.
- Fax SF 180 to the National Archives. At press time, the fax number is 314-801-9195 but you should contact the National Archives to determine if faxes are still accepted when you need to submit. Rules and requirements change depending on mission requirements and other factors.
- Visit the National Archives in person to request a copy of the DD Form 214. If you request in person you may be required to provide certain documentation as proof of identity and military service. It’s best to contact the National Archives before visiting to make sure you understand the current requirements for access to records.
Next-of-Kin Record Requests
Next-of-kin requests for military records are common, but public access to military records is only possible 62 years after the service member’s retirement or separation from the military. Furthermore, non-archival records may feature access restrictions.
Who is considered next-of-kin? Any of the following:
- Surviving spouse (unremarried)
How To Request A DD Form 214 Copy Electronically
Today, military members and recently retired/separated veterans have more options to request a copy of DD Form 214s. You can request a DD Form 214 copy via milConnect.
Using milConnect requires a Premium DS Logon account. The Department of Veterans Affairs advises you cannot use My HealtheVet or ID.me credentials to access milConnect. The VA advises the following process when trying to get a DD Form 214:
- Sign in and select Correspondence/ Documentation
- Next, select Defense Personnel Records Information (DPRIS) from the drop-down menu
- Go to the Personnel File tab
- Select Request My Personnel File
- Fill out the form
- Click Create and Send Request
You can access many more records than the DD 214 alone using this process. The records you can select include but may not be limited to:
- Report of Separation
- Performance reports
- Awards and decorations
- Security clearance
Retrieving your files may take time–it is not instantaneous. You will receive an email informing you when your files are ready. These may be viewed and downloaded when ready. You can check the status of a request. Sign in to milConnect, navigate to the Personnel File tab within the Defense Personnel Records Information section.