How Can a Person Get a Copy of Their DD-214?

In order to obtain a DD-214 (or separation document) from The National Archives, it is necessary to compile personal information, such as name and dates of service, and complete an application form. It is important to note, however, that it is unlikely (although not impossible) that DD-214 documents will be available for those who served in the Army prior to 1960 or in the Air Force prior to 1964. This is because a fire in 1973 destroyed most of the military records from before these years.

DD-214 documents may be requested for oneself or by a relative. If the request is urgent, the Aardvark Research Group can assist with a faster turnaround of around one day. They are based in St. Louis and can be contacted via their website.

Step 1: Collect information

Gather as much information as possible, including the complete name used in service, date and place of birth, the service number (often the Social Security number) and the specific branch and dates of service.

Step 2: Request DD-214 documents

Complete the application form online or download the paper application and mail it to The National Archives. Requests will need to be signed either by the veteran themselves or their next-of-kin.