Must ReadHow Do I Get Discharge Papers From The Army

How Do I Get Discharge Papers From The Army


Who Can Make The Request

Can I Upgrade My Military Discharge (Bad Paper? PTSD? TBI? MST?)

Veterans and next-of-kin of deceased veterans have the same access rights to the record. The next-of-kin is defined as any of the following:

  • the un-remarried widow or widower
  • son
  • mother
  • brother or sister

In the event a next-of-kin is making the request, proof of death of the veteran must be provided. Acceptable proof include: a death certificate, a letter from the funeral home, or a published obituary.

Emergency Requests And Deadlines

If your request is truly urgent tell National Archives the nature of the emergency and your deadline in the “Comments” section of eVetRecs or in the “Purpose” section of the Standard Form 180, Request Pertaining to Military Records.

Fax your request to the Customer Service Team at 314-801-0764.

If your burial request involves interment at a Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery, contact the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 800-535-1117 or visit the National Cemetery Administration website. We work directly with the Veterans Affairs staff to obtain records to verify service for burial benefits. If the veteran is not going to be interred at a National Cemetery, the requester may fax the SF-180 or signature page from eVetRecs to the Customer Service Team at 314-801-0764.

How To Obtain Standard Form 180 To Request Military Service Records

There are several ways to obtain an SF-180. You can:

  • Download and print a copy of the SF-180 in PDF format.
  • You need access to a printer and the Adobe Acrobat Reader software . The form is a total of 3 pages.
  • The SF-180 is formatted for letter size paper . If your printer cannot accommodate this, select “shrink to fit” when the Adobe Acrobat Reader “Print” dialog box appears.
  • This is also a fillable version of the SF-180. It will allow you to type the needed information into the form using your keyboard. You will still need to print, sign and mail the form. Otherwise, it works the same as stated above.
  • Please Note: While Section II, Paragraph 1 of the Standard Form 180 outlines multiple types of records that may be available to the requester, the DD Form 214 is the most common document necessary to obtain most veteran’s benefits. The typical DD Form 214 request can be processed within ten work days while requests for other types of records will require longer processing time. If a complete copy of the military service record is desired, please check the “Other” box and specify “Complete Copy” in the provided space.

    Where to Return the Form:

    • Review the tables on page 3 of SF-180 to identify the correct location of the record you need
    • send the completed form to the address identified on the table
  • Contact Us to order the form through the mailNational Personnel Records Center
  • Other Ways to Obtain the SF-180:

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    What Is A Dd214

    The Defense Department issues to each veteran a DD-214, identifying the veteran’s condition of discharge – honorable, general, other than honorable, dishonorable or bad conduct. You can find a sample DD-214 which can help you determine if a veteran served in armed combat HERE. Before January 1, 1950, several similar forms were used by the military services, including the WD AGO 53, WD AGO 55, WD AGO 53-55, NAVPERS 553, NAVMC 78PD, and the NAVCG 553.

    Want to know the legal nitty gritty? We’ve provided the complete DoD Instruction NUMBER 1336.1 concernng Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty HERE . We’ve also provided:

    • Air Force Regulation 36-3202 Guidance Memorandum for the Preparatuion of Separation Documents HERE
    • Army Regulation 635-8 concerning the preparation and distribution of separation documents HERE
    • the HERE
    • the Naval Military Personnel Manual NAVPERS 15560DHERE
    • and you can access the National Guard’s process for their issuance of their discharge certificates HERE .

    How To Obtain An Sadf Discharge Certificate

    How Do I Get Copy Of My Dd Form 214

    When a male citizen of South Africa applies for a visa to migrate to another country, immigration officials might request his military discharge papers. This is the case in Australia. The document is available at the Department of Defense Documentation Center in Pretoria. The archives contain personnel records for the Navy, Army and Air Force.

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  • Gather the following information: the date you began your military service date of discharge the regiment and unit in which you served and the name and address of next-of-kin when you entered the military.
  • Complete and return the form with the requested fee to the Department of Defence, DOD Documentation Centre, Private Bag X289, Pretoria, South Africa, 0001. Office Location GPS Coordinates: -25.865078 28.242082
  • You may also purchase a photocopy of your discharge papers in person at the DOD Documentation Center. The cost is 60 cents per page, , according to the South African Department of Defence Corporate Communications Office website.
  • Tips & Warnings

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    Once Ive Signed In To Milconnect How Do I Request My Dd214 Or Other Military Records

    Follow the steps below to submit a military records request.

  • From your signed-in homepage, click or tap on Correspondence/ Documentation. Then select Defense Personnel Records Information from the drop-down menu.
  • Choose the Personnel File tab.
  • Select Request My Personnel File.
  • Fill out the form. In the Document Index section, check the boxes next to the document you’d like to request.
  • Click or tap on the Create and Send Request button.
  • Types Of Military Records

    World War I – Present

    You can find veterans military service records from World War I to the present from the National Personnel Records Center . The NPRC houses many types of records, including Official Military Personnel Files . These files can include the Report of Separation and show a veterans service history, which may include:

    • Enlistment or appointment and separation dates

    • Duty stations and assignments

    • Awards

    • Disciplinary actions

    Veterans health and medical records are located in various places, depending on their branch and date of separation. See this chart of locations of veterans medical and health records.

    Before World War I

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    Standard Form 180 And Replacing Military Records

    Fortunately, the paperwork involved in requesting records replacement is relatively simple. The process is as follows:

    • First, get a copy of Standard Form 180, Request For Military Records. It is not necessary to request a duplicate copy of a veteran’s discharge or separation papers solely for the purpose of filing a claim for VA benefits.
    • Remember to either type or print on the form.
    • Fill in the individual’s name, social security number, and date and place of birth in section 1, blocks 1 through 4.
    • Provide the dates of service in the applicable spaces in section 1, block 5.
    • Indicate whether or not the individual is deceased in section 1, block 6.
    • Indicate whether or not the person retired from the military in section 1, block 7.
    • In section 2, indicate which medals need to be replaced.
    • Record a return address and then sign section 3. Only the service member, guardian, or next of kin may sign this form.
    • If possible, include a copy of the discharge or separation document, WDAGO Form 53-55 or DD Form 214.
    • Mail the completed form and supplementary documents to the appropriate address, as detailed on the back of SF 180.

    Army, 314-538-4261Air Force, 314- 538-4243Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard, 314-538-4141.

    What You Will Find In A Canadian Military Service File

    How to get a copy of a DD 214

    As you may already know, military service files contain a wealth of information about soldiers, nursing sisters and chaplains. The files for the First World War have been reviewed and contain an average of 50 to 70 pages. Later files however, such as the files for those who were killed-in-action during the Second World War, have not been reviewed by the Personnel Records Unit and might contain multiple copies of the same documents. This is why these files are larger, and may contain up to 400 pages.

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    Difference Between Member 4 Copy And Service 2 Copy

    Copies 2 and 4 are identical long-form copies of the DD-214 and contain all the necessary information to show proof of military service and honorable discharge. If a veteran needs to obtain a long-form copy of their DD-214, they will receive a Service 2 copy. A Service 2 copy should be equally acceptable when proof of service is required and has the full legal force and effect as the original Member 4 Copy.

    How Does Va Reconstruct My Records

    We submit a specific request to the NPRC for any additional service records they may have or can find for you.

    With the information we provide, the NPRC searches for documents that may help to reconstruct your records. They may also reach out to other government agencies. For example, they may try to reconstruct portions of your service treatment records by reviewing unit records, morning reports, and hospital admission records from the surgeon general’s office.

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    How To Get Military Discharge Papers


    All military service members who have separated or retired from the service can request copies of their personal military discharge papers, otherwise known as the DD-214. The discharge papers can prove military service as required for a number of processes, such as a job application or a Department of Veterans Affairs home loan guaranty approval. The records are processed and sent free of charge.

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    Reconstruct Military Records Destroyed In Nprc Fire

    How Do I Get Copy Of My Dd Form 214

    In 1973, a fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri, destroyed the records held for Veterans who were discharged from the Army and Air Force during certain periods of time. Find out if your records may have been destroyed in this fire, and how to reconstruct your records to support a VA disability compensation claim.

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    How To Get A Copy Of Your Military Discharge Papers

    The National Archives and Records Administration Military Personnel Records Center is the official repository for records of military personnel who have been discharged from the U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard.

    Requests using DD 214 can come from veterans or their next of kin. The SF-180 is used for requests for records about a veteran by the general public.

    Start your request here using their online tools or you can make the request by fax or postal mail using the contact info provided at the link above. Such requests are generally free .

    Do You Really Want To View All 400 Pages Including Duplicate Copies

    Probably not. That is why Library and Archives Canada created the Genealogy Package, which offers a selection of the most relevant documents in a file to help you discover the story of an individual during their service time.

    You can read how to order the Genealogy Package in our online article How to Order Military Records from the Personnel Records Unit. However, in case you are wondering what kinds of documents are included in a Genealogy Package, we have included the following list outlining the most common documents for the army, the air force and the navy.

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    Apply For Your Own Records

    You can apply for your own records by completing a Subject Access Request form if you are, or have been, a member of the armed forces, for example:

    • the Royal Navy
    • the British Army
    • the Royal Air Force

    Send it to the address on the form, along with any supporting documents. Theres no fee.

    Also use this form if youre acting on behalf of the person, for example if you have lasting power of attorney.

    To Obtain A Copy Of A Discharge:

    How do I obtain a copy of my discharge/separation papers (DD 214)?

    A copy of a Military Discharge may be made only for the Veteran, surviving spouse, and certain third parties defined by State law. Discharges are not available for genealogy or other research purposes. Military Discharges recorded with Missouri and Illinois Recorders of Deeds are closed records.

    Mail or bring your Application for Military Discharge Copies form and copy of Drivers License or State Identification Card to:

    Military Discharge RecordsSt. Louis City Recorder and RegistrarCity Hall, Room 124, 1200 Market StreetSt. Louis, Missouri 63103

    8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday


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    The Information Displayed On A Dd

    • Date and place of entry into active duty
    • Home address at time of entry
    • Date and place of release from active duty
    • Home address after separation
    • Last duty assignment and rank
    • Military job specialty
    • Total creditable service
    • Foreign Service credited

    Before January 1, 1950 several similar forms were used, including the WD AGO 53, WD AGO 55, WD AGO 53-55, NAVPERS 553, NAVMC 78PD, and the NAVCG 553.

    What If Im Not The Veteran Or Next

    • It depends on the date the service member separated from the military. Military personnel records are open to the public 62 years after they leave the military. Records of any veteran who separated from the military 62 years ago can be ordered by anyone for a copying fee . See Access to Military Records by the General Public for more details.

    But what if it’s been less than 62 years?

    • Records of individuals who left service less than 62 years ago are subject to access restrictions and only limited information or copies may be released to the general public within the provisions of the law. The Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act provide balance between the right of the public to obtain information from military service records and the right of the former military service member to protect his/her privacy. See Federal Records Center Program to access these records.

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    How To Submit Requests:

    Federal law requires that all written requests for Federal records and information be signed and dated .

    You may submit more than one request per envelope or fax, but please submit a separate request for each individual whose records are being requested.

    Please Note: While Section II, Paragraph 1 of the Standard Form 180 outlines multiple types of records that may be available to the requester, the DD Form 214 is the most common document necessary to obtain most veteran’s benefits. The typical DD Form 214 request can be processed within ten work days while requests for other types of records will require longer processing time. If a complete copy of the military service record is desired, please check the “Other” box and specify “Complete Copy” in the provided space.

    • Fax a letter or Standard Form 180 to: 314-801-9195

    The Center will respond in writing by U.S. Mail.


    Welcome Veterans And Their Families To The Dd214 Website

    How Do I Get Copy Of My Dd Form 214

    If you’d like to learn everything possible about DD Form 214, commonly referred to as just DD214, you’ve come to the right place. But, before we get into the minutia, the DD214’s history, importance and many uses, most people who visit this site simply want to know the best method to acquire a certified copy of their DD214. In order to save you some time, we’ve placed a link to The Best Method to Acquire Your DD214 first.

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    Write A Letter To Request Records

    If you are not able to obtain a SF-180, you may still submit a request for military records. Requests must contain enough information to allow us to identify the record from among the more than 70 million on file at the National Personnel Records Center . For example, if you are requesting an Official Military Personnel File , please include as much of the following information as possible:

    • The veteran’s complete name used while in service
    • Branch of service
    • Dates of service
    • Date and place of birth may also be helpful, especially if the service number is not known
    • If the request pertains to a record that may have been involved in the 1973 fire, also include:
    • Place of discharge
    • Last unit of assignment
    • Place of entry into the service, if known.

    Please submit a separate request for each individual whose records are being requested.

    Please Note: Next-of-kin must provide proof of death of the veteran, such as a copy of the death certificate, a letter from the funeral home or a published obituary.

    Additional information is required if you are requesting clinical or medical treatment records .

    To Record A Military Discharge:

    Military Discharge papers should be recorded in the county of residence upon being discharged, or when moving to a new residence in a new county. Bring your Military Discharge papers in person to:

    Military Discharge RecordsSt. Louis City Recorder and RegistrarCity Hall, Room 124, 1200 Market StreetSt. Louis, Missouri 63103

    8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday


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    Request Military Service Records

    Recent military service and medical records are not online. However, most veterans and their next of kin can obtain free copies of their DD Form 214 and the following military service records any of the ways listed below.

    Looking for records?

    How can I check on the status of my request?

    Allow about 10 days for us to receive and process your request before checking your request status.

    Please indicate whether you know your request number using the buttons below:

    You may also telephone the NPRC Customer Service Line : 314-801-0800. Note: Our peak calling times are weekdays between 10:00 a.m. CT and 3:00 p.m. CT. Staff is available to take your call as early as 7:00 a.m. and as late as 5:00 p.m. CT.

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