As a veteran of the US Military, there are many times when you need proof of your time in service and other details to qualify for certain benefits or opportunities open to service members. Many government agencies and private companies, like banks, use an important item of paperwork to verify your service details, so an official copy of DD214 is the only thing that will do the job for many specific purposes.

What the Form is All About

The DD214 is a discharge record that explains all the important details of your military service, from rank to your rate of pay, and from awards and commendations to your total time in service. There are a few different ways to get a copy of your DD214, mostly depending on how much time and effort you are able to put into the process of working with government agencies, waiting for responses, and getting your form.

Some methods can take weeks to months, but the advantage is that there is no cost to you. These do-it-yourself methods usually require you to find the correct form to request the DD214 (usually Standard Form 1080), fill it out correctly, and properly submit it to the correct location. Some services offer to help, but on closer inspection, it seems that they may just do what you could do for yourself and charge you money. Research the company you choose. The most effective way to get your DD214 may cost a fee but will usually result with your DD214 in your hands in just a few days.

Do it Yourself Method

You can get a copy of the Standard Form 1080, used to request the DD214, and send it in by mail or fax. The agency explains that certified copies of the documents are provided “within 10 workdays 75 percent of the time,” but they also advise that more complex cases may take up to five weeks to be processed. While getting your form delivered between 10 days and five weeks from when you submit the request may be acceptable for many people, it is far too slow for some urgent cases.

Five Simple Steps

When time is critical in your request, five simple steps can get you a copy of your DD214 much quicker and more efficiently.

  1. Find the best source of DD214 online requests for your needs.
  2. Register your basic identity information, and, if you are the next-of-kin or legal guardian of a service member, enter your relationship.
  3. Verify, eSign, and submit your request.
  4. Choose the type of service and speed of response desired.
  5. Pay research and retrieval fee and get your document in just days.

Get Your Form and Get On With Life

Whatever method you choose to get a copy of your DD214, avoid making commitments based on the form until you have it in hand. In those times when you know that you will need the form immediately, start with a professional researcher to get best results in the least time. When you have received your form, be sure to keep the original in a very safe place with other important documents for easy retrieval in the future.