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Your DD Form 214

DD Form 214. "DD" is short for Department of Defense. Generally, Form 214 is the document issued by the branches of the United States armed forces upon a military service member's separation or discharge from active-duty military. A DD Form 214 is also commonly referred to as "Discharge Papers" or simply DD214.

The DD214 is essential to establish eligibility for awards, time in service, retirement and veteran's benefits. The DD214 is a veteran's most valuable military document.

Service members are given the option of accepting the edited, unedited or both copies upon separation. The National Personnel Records Center is the government agency tasked with replacing lost and destroyed DD Form 214s upon request from a veteran. The documents are mailed from the Military Personnel Records Center which maintains a goal of a ten-day response time for any request for a DD Form 214 (provided no other information is needed from the military service record). Currently, that agency is delivering DD214s in several weeks, and it is not uncommon for them to deliver a DD214 after several months.

Although veterans can obtain copies of their DD214 form the National Personnel Records Center free if they can afford to wait for delivery, veterans may also find private researchers who can expedite record acquisition for a fee. These private research firms can frequently deliver a copy of a DD214 to you within a day, and almost certainly within a week. Some can deliver you a faxed copy the same day you place your order.

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Here's the list of ways to acquire a copy of your DD214:

Fastest, Personal Service Research Firms:

Touchstone Research, personal service research firm that can deliver you a copy of your DD214 the same day. Recommended, and without any complaints that we can find. About 100 bucks.

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DD214 "Assistance" Firms

The following businesses will assist you to some extent in preparing and submitting your request to the appropriate Government agency which holds your military records. The appropriate agency will then process your request according to their standard internal procedure - so you're back to the several weeks to months wait. and, $20 - $25. and other "On Line" military record databases, about $20 BUT DD214s ARE NOT ON LINE. is a domain that points to, about $100 to $150. However, they DO NOT personally retrieve your DD214 but only assist you in acquiring your DD214. They submit your forms to the Government for the Government's same several weeks to months processing. If you're going to pay that much, you might as well use Touchstone or Lyon who will get you your DD214 within a week.

And, finally, the Government's own site: .

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Useful Links

DD214.US is dedicated to the DD Form 214, its history, uses and acquisition. They also provide links to all state veteran's administrations.

Veterans' Administration benefits page. .

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