April 14, 2006, Newsletter Issue #11: I Lost My DD214. What Can I Do?

Tip of the Week

You can't get a VA certificate of eligibility without proof of the nature of your service. For those who have been discharged, separated or retired, the DD214 is the most important document you have. This form shows your status (retired, separated, discharged) and the nature of your discharge, and whether or not you were transferred to a Guard or Reserve Unit if you were on active duty at the time of discharge.

The lack of a DD214 form can bring some of your VA processes to a halt, but fortunately you can get a replacement copy by writing to the National Personnel Records Center. Enclose a completed form SF-180 and a letter stating the reason for your request, you name, rank, social security number and any deadlines associated with your request.

If you are a recently discharged military member who separated or retired at an overseas location, you should know that your DD214 form could take as long as a year before it finally appears in the National Record Center archives. If this is the case, it's best that you contact the orderly room, First Sergeant or Sergeant Major in charge of where you separated or retired and request a copy directly from your final base. Don't wait to get in touch with them, otherwise you could have a very long wait!

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