DD Form 214/DD Form 215 Program

Almost half of the contact we receive from veterans and others pertains to locating a DD 214. A document so important should be kept in a safe place. We highly recommend that veterans record their discharges with their County Courthouse so as to be able to obtain free certified copies for the remainder of their life and available upon their death.

The DD 214 provides the member and the service with a concise record of a period of service with the Armed Forces at the time of the member’s separation, discharge or change in military status. In addition, the form is an authoritative source of information for both governmental agencies and the Armed Forces for purposes of employment, benefit and reenlistment data.

If you do not currently have a copy of your Certificate of Release or Discharge, DD Form 214, now is the time to obtain it before you need it.

Pennsylvania Army and Air National Guard maintain a state file of service after 1985. Information from these state files varies but should include records of enlistment, discharge and other administrative actions. The veteran or next of kin of a deceased veteran can obtain copies of available information by providing a Record Request Form, mailed to:

PA Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
Attention: Guard Retirement Services (Insert ARMY or AIR)
Bldg 9-68, FTIG
Annville, PA 17003-5002

The Pennsylvania State Archives maintains evidence of service for Pennsylvania Military units during the period 1775-1985. You can review their holdings and procedures at: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/military_records/3186

Military veterans and next-of-kin (Defined as surviving spouse, father, mother, son, daughter, sister or brother) can easily request copies of discharges and other Personnel records at: 

Genealogists and others must submit a Standard Form 180 and special rules apply. You can read these rules at: http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel/public/general-public.html

If you have been discharged from the military service, with no remaining service obligation, your Personnel Files are most probably stored at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). If you require information maintained in your Personnel Files you should review this site: http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records

A DD Form 215 is used to correct errors or additions to a DD Form 214 discovered after the original had been delivered and/or distribution had been made.

A DD Form 214/215 is prepared in 8 copies and distributed as follows:

Copy 1 – Member

Copy 2 – Service Personnel File

Copy 3 – United States Department of Veteran Affairs

Copy 4 – Member (if initialed in Block 30)

Copy 5 – US Dept of Labor

Copy 6 – State Director of Veteran Affairs (if checked yes in block 20)

Copy 7&8 – Distributed in accordance with Military Service Dept directions
If you are attempting to locate your Service Medical Records you should review the information at
http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/medical.html#medical-claims to determine where to start your search.

If you had an overnight stay in a military treatment facility while on active duty, a clinical record of that treatment most likely exists and is available. To review the rules and procedures for requesting Clinical Records refer to: http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel/public/active-duty-medical-records.html

Veterans who plan to file a claim for benefits with the USDVA do not need to request copies of Service Medical Records. The VA will obtain them if not already in their possession.