How to Get a DD-214 Free

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If you need to prove your military service or claim veteran status on a federal or state job application, you may be asked for a copy of your DD-214, the record of military service you received when separating from the U.S. armed forces. If your DD-214 has been misplaced or destroyed, you can obtain a new copy online through eVetRecs. You may also request your DD-214 via mail by submitting a Standard Form 180. Using these methods usually is free for veterans, certain family members and legal representatives. If there is a charge, you will be promptly notified by the National Personnel Records Center.

1 Request Through eVetRecs

2 Located on the National Archives website

Access the eVetRecs page located on the National Archives website. The link is in the Reference section of this article. Select “Request Military Records” located at the bottom of the page. A separate window will open.

3 Select Former Military Service or Current Military Service

Select “Former Military Service” or “Current Military Service.” Press “Continue” to proceed to step two.

4 Identify your branch of service

Identify your branch of service, service component, whether you were enlisted or an officer, and the reason for your request. For instance, an Army veteran seeking a DD-214 as proof of service would select “Army” from the first drop-down menu, “Active” from the next drop-down, “Enlisted” or “Officer” from the third, “Employment” from the fourth and “Service Verification” from the last drop-down menu. Click “Continue” after making your selections.

5 Enter the name

Enter the name you used in the military. Press “Continue.” Choose the type of DD-214 you would like. An undeleted DD-214 includes sensitive information such as type of separation and the reenlistment code. A deleted copy lists the date of entry and separation, but type of separation and reenlistment code are not included. Press “Continue.”

6 Enter the name and address

Enter the name and address where you want your DD-214 mailed. Press “Continue.” Review your request information and press “Continue.” Print, sign and date the signature verification page and mail or fax it to the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. The address and fax number are on the bottom of the signature verification page.

7 Request by Mail

8 Obtain a Standard Form 180

Obtain a Standard Form 180 by contacting the National Personnel Records Center by mail or phone if you do not have access to a computer. You may also obtain the SF-180 from a federal information center or your local Veterans Administration office or veterans organization.

9 Complete the form in its entirety

Complete the form in its entirety.

10 Mail the form

Mail the form. Choose the correct address from the form by selecting your branch of service, current status and address code. For example, Navy personnel discharged or retired after Jan. 1, 1995, would mail the form to the Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tenn. Air Force personnel discharged or retired after Oct.1, 2004, would mail the request to the Air Force Personnel Center at Randolph Air Force Base in Texas.

Residing in Clarksville, Tenn., Patrice D. Wimbush has been writing since 2002, with her work appearing on various websites. Her areas of writing expertise are contract and criminal law. She holds a Master of Public Administration from Murray State University and a Master of Arts in communication from Austin Peay State University.