Very often, requests for military service records and separation documents will come from someone other than the veteran who served. For example, a family member may need to request a copy of the veteran's DD214 to arrange for long-term care benefits, ensure a national cemetery burial, or conduct genealogical research. But who, exactly, can request these records? If a veteran is deceased or infirm, their next-of-kin may request a copy of their DD214, along with other documents such as an OMPF (official military personnel file), NGB22, or DD256.

Who is considered the veteran's next-of-kin?

The term “next-of-kin” is defined by the United States Government as one of the following individuals: the spouse or surviving widow (if not remarried) or the parent, child, or sibling of the veteran. If the veteran is not deceased and you are not the next-of-kin, you may be able to request a copy of their military service records if you are their legal guardian.

What are "archival" records?

According to the National Archives website, records are considered archival 62 years after the veteran's date of separation from the military. Archival records are no longer property of the military service department that created them (such as the Army or Navy) and may be requested by members of the general public for a copying fee. You can learn more about archival records here.

How do I start the process of ordering my family member's DD214?

Many times when the veteran's next-of-kin is requesting a DD214 copy, a quick turnaround time is needed. If this is the case with your situation, working with an expedited service you can trust like DD214Direct will be your fastest option. Provided you have all the necessary information, you can call us at 800.891.9285 or complete our online order form in just a few minutes. Then, instead of your name being added to a long government queue, our team of experts will go to work immediately to process your order—typically within the same day—and begin the retrieval process. You can visit our FAQs page to find out how long it will take to get your copy.

Veteran-owned DD214Direct can help you get the documents you need, when you need them.

Our cutting-edge technology platform and keen knowledge of government protocol and procedure allow us to deliver your documents faster than competitors. We physically stand in line at the records repository and manually coordinate your order, freeing up your time and easing your worries about whether or not you will get your DD214. Much like paying a small fee to have your taxes done by a professional, DD214Direct provides the service and convenience you’ve been hoping for, plus we make it a lot easier. Instead of having to download, print, sign and fax your document request form, you can submit your order directly through our website with the ease of e-signature technology from a desktop, laptop or mobile device. Once we locate your DD214, we will email you a copy immediately—a service not offered by the government. And tracking your request through us is simple, so you never have to worry about long hold times and inconclusive answers. Ready to get started? Click here to begin the order process.