If you’ve served in the armed forces, you were likely issued a DD214 form when you were discharged. This important document can help open doors for you in civilian life, so it’s very good to have it on hand. Here’s everything you need to know about your DD214 form.
What is a DD214 Form?
The DD214 form is sometimes referred to as a summary of your service to the country, noting the date of your entry and exit from the armed forces, and the highest rank you achieved. It also summarizes your service record, decorations, tour dates, skills, and much more. It’s important that you keep this document in a safe place, so it’s available when you need it.
What Purpose Does the DD214 Separation Paper Serve?
There are many situations where it can be useful to you both as a point of reference, and as proof of your service for anybody that might require it. Some situations that might involve a DD214 request include:
1. Taking out a VA loan. In order to apply for a VA mortgage, you’ll need to show your discharge papers if you’re not on active-duty. VA home loans can offer the lowest monthly payment option for veteran homeowners, so it’s worth having your DD214 Form on hand for this option alone.
2. Medical services and disability compensation. In order to access treatment for wounds or disabilities acquired during your service, you might be asked to show your DD214 Form.
3. Skills for future employment. Many positions in the military instill service members with practical skills that they can apply in civilian jobs. A DD214 is an excellent supplement to your résumé.
4. Re-enlisting. Should you choose to return to military duty at any point, a DD214 will be an important part of your re-enlistment. Having a military document that summarizes your experience, skills, and decorations can help fast-track many aspects of the process.
How Do I Get My DD214 Online?
If you don’t have one on hand, there are a couple ways to find your DD214 discharge form.
Your first option is filing for a free record retrieval with the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC). This is the only free option, but unfortunately the major drawback is the waiting time. The NPRC is notoriously slow to fulfill requests, but you will get your DD 214 if you have the time to spare.
Some veterans choose to hire someone to help them get their personnel records faster. Be aware that many companies that offer to retrieve your DD214 form might just be using the same free-file service requested above. Some companies that specialize in DD214 research can, however, quickly compile and deliver your form in a fraction of the time it would take to request directly from the NPRC.
When you have your DD214 form, you’re already on your way to getting the perk you’re eligible for. At The Federal Savings Bank we make it our mission to help veterans make the most of these opportunities. If you are interested in purchasing or building your next home, consider speaking with one of our VA loan specialists at +1 877-788-2520. Whatever your financial situation, you can explore our resources for prospective homebuyers before you decide to apply for a home loan.
Subject to credit approval. Terms and conditions may apply. Subject to VA eligibility requirements. Property insurance is required on all loans secured by property.