A DD Form 214 is a report of separation that the U.S. Defense Department issues to veterans specifying the manner of their discharge, reports About.com. Veterans and their next of kin are able to obtain DD Forms 214 by submitting an online request through eVetRecs, by fax or by mail.
Veterans use DD Forms 214, Certificates of Release or Discharge From Active Duty, to document their military service so they can obtain jobs, benefits and membership in veterans' groups, according to the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. The forms contain information such as their military job specialty, military education, last rank and assignment, and medals and awards they received. The forms also specify their character of service and the reason for their separation from service.
Military veterans or their parents, siblings, sons and daughters can obtain military personnel records such as DD Forms 214 from eVetRecs at VetRecs.Archives.gov, advises the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. The requests must include details such as the veteran's full name while in service, Social Security number, service number, branch and dates of service, and place and date of birth. The National Personnel Records Center also requests but does not require that inquirers specify why they need the records and any deadlines that may necessitate expedited service. The NPRC attempts to accommodate emergency requests for situations such as surgery and funerals.