What Is the DD Form 214?

The DD Form 214 is a US military form that details separation and discharge information for a former member of the armed forces. Its official designation is DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.

The form contains basic information about the former service member, including; rank, military job specialty, any decorations or commendations received, last duty assignment and the separation information itself. This will detail whether a discharge was honorable or otherwise, as well as the reason for separation and eligibility for federal programs. The form can be used as a verification of military service for retirement benefits and membership in veterans' organizations.

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.