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Requesting Your DD Form 214 (Report of Separation)
Note: Some companies claim they can get a copy of your DD Form 214 to you for a fee. There is no need to pay a fee to a company (unless you want an expedited copy), as you can request a copy yourself, using the information and form below. Beware of "scam" DD 214 Websites. If you need an expedited copy of your DD Form 214, MNN recommends Touchstone Research Store.
The National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records (NPRC-MPR) is the repository of millions of military personnel, health, and medical records of discharged and deceased veterans of all services during the 20th century. (Records prior to WWI are in Washington, DC. NPRC (MPR) also stores medical treatment records of retirees from all services, as well as records for dependent and other persons treated at naval medical facilities. Information from the records is made available upon written request (with signature and date) to the extent allowed by law.

If you are a veteran or next-of-kin of a deceased veteran, you may use vetrecs.archives.gov to order a copy of your military records. For all others, your request is best made using Standard Form 180 (PDF) (SF 180). It includes complete instructions for preparing and submitting requests. Please Note: All requests must be in writing, signed and mailed to the address shown below.

National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100

Directions

The Military Personnel Records (MPR) facility of the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) is located in the St. Louis suburb of Overland, MO, about 10 miles west-northwest of the Gateway Arch.

From Interstate 170 take Page Avenue west for a mile, and turn left into the Federal Records Center (FRC) complex at the Spencer Avenue traffic light. From Interstate 270 take Page Avenue east for four miles and turn right at the Spencer Avenue traffic light. The Guard at the gate will provide further information about parking and building entry.

Contact Information

Telephone: 314-801-0800
E-mail: MPR.center@nara.gov
Status Check: mpr.status@nara.gov
Fax: 314 801-9195

Checking the Status of Your Request by E-mail: Once you have allowed sufficient time for your request to be received and processed (about 10 days), you may check the status of your request by e-mail through the NPRC Customer Service Center at mpr.status@nara.gov. Provide the request number if you have one, the name, address and phone number of the requester, and the veteran's branch of service to aid finding your request in the system. You will receive a return e-mail with a projected completion date for your request.

Special Note on Calling by Phone: If you have already submitted a request and need to know its status you may speak to a Customer Service Representative. Peak calling times are weekdays between 10:00 am CST and 3:00 pm CST.  Staff is available to take your call as early as 7:00 am and as late as 5:00 pm CST. The above number will allow you to hold until a technician is available to help you.

Special Note on Contacting by E-mail: Requests for military personnel records or information from them cannot be accepted by e-mail at this time. The Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a) and Department of Defense directives require a written request, signed and dated, to access information from military personnel records. The e-mail address should only be used only to request general information (hours of operations, procedures, and forms) or to submit compliments, complaints or concerns.

Order Response Times: Response times for records requested from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) vary depending on the nature of the request. For example, the NPRC Military Records Facility receives about 10,000 requests per week for DD-214s. Most requests take about a week to process and send back to the veteran. Extensive requests that require research can take up to a month.

DD Form 214 (Report of Separation)
Image right: Example of a DD Form 214 from the Vietnam War era (click to enlarge).

A Report of Separation is generally issued when a service member performs active duty or at least 90 consecutive days of active duty training. The Report of Separation contains information normally needed to verify military service for benefits, retirement, employment, and membership in veterans' organizations. Information shown on the Report of Separation may include the service member's:
  • 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
  • Military education
  • Decorations, medals, badges, citations, and campaign awards
  • Total creditable service
  • Foreign service credited
  • Separation information (type of separation, character of service, authority and reason for separation, separation and reenlistment eligibility codes)

The report of separation form issued in most recent years is the DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. 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.

(Source: Archives.gov)

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