INSTRUCTIONS : CERTIFICATE OF RELEASE OF DISCHARGE FROM ACTIVE DUTY (Form DD-214)
A DD-214 Form is a Department of Defense form used as a certificate of release or discharge from active duty. It is the final papers a military member receives and is very important for receiving veterans benefits.
The DD-214 Form is available on the Department of Defense documentation website or can be supplied through the chain of command. When requesting a completed DD-214 Form, you must contact the National Personnel Records Center.
In order to properly fill out a DD-214 Form, you must first start with the basic information of the individual.
1. In boxes 1 through 6, you must fill in the military member's name, department, social security number, grade at time of discharge, pay grade, date of birth, and reserve obligations.
2. Box 7 requires some basic historical information about the military member, including their place of entry into the service and home of record at the time of entry.
3. Box 8 requires the last duty assignment as well as last station when separated.
If the military member is being transferred to another department or branch, box 9 is used to indicate where the transfer is to take place.
Boxes 11 through 14 will give a history of the military member's career and service records.
4. Box 11 requires specialties, listed in order with dates and length of specialty service. Additional space may be needed, so an addendum may be added if all specialties do not fit inside the box.
5. Box 12 will indicate the record of service, specifically breaking down the time periods of active duty, separation dates, prior active and inactive service time, foreign service, sea service, and effective pay rate dates.
6. Boxes 13 and 14 further expand on the military career of the subject of the DD-214 Form. Awards, education, and commendations will be listed in these boxes. Additional sheets may be added.
Box 16 will indicate the days accrued pays leave, if any are applicable.
Box 18 will have any additional remarks that involve the separation from the military. This box may be left blank, unless there are clear remarks of the individual's military service that should be commented on.
7. Boxes 19 through 22 are the contact information for the military member at the time of separation and the certification by both the separated member and the authorization officer.