Military veterans will often need to provide proof of service when applying for exclusive benefits and entitlements—everything from VA home loans to college applications. But problems can arise when they don’t have the right forms in hand.

To help your search efforts go as smoothly and quickly as possible, the following is a simple breakdown of who needs what and when.

In most cases, you will need to provide a copy of your DD214.

Upon discharge, the majority of military servicemembers should receive a DD Form 214, or Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. This includes members of the five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces: the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy.

The DD214 is perhaps the most important military document a veteran will receive, so be sure to keep it somewhere you’ll remember. As well as providing an in-depth look at your career and character of service, it also lists the type of separation and the reason for separation. As such, the DD214 is often requested when proof of military service and honorable discharge is required.

Secure a copy of your DD214 here.

National Guard members and Reservists are the exception.

Unlike active-duty servicemembers, National Guard members and Reservists are not full-time members of the Armed Forces. Instead, they typically work civilian jobs here at home and agree to be called to military duty when necessary.

In lieu of a DD214, National Guard members will receive an NGB22 (National Guard Report of Separation and Record of Service) and Reservists will receive a DD256 (Honorable Discharge Certificate).

Like the DD214, the NGB22 provides all of the pertinent information about an individual’s military career, including the nature of discharge. A DD256, on the other hand, is basically just a statement confirming the individual served and was discharged under honorable conditions.

Why would I need a copy of my DD214, NGB22, or DD256?

These documents are utilized by a number of government agencies as a means to ensure and protect veteran identity. Proof of military service may be requested and required for a long list of circumstances, including:

  • VA mortgage assistance
  • Background checks
  • Military funeral honors
  • Burial benefits/burial at sea
  • Genealogical research
  • Training and education opportunities
  • Veteran employment preference
  • Veteran license plates
  • Veteran discounts for products and services
  • Rejoining the military after discharge

You can get your DD214, NGB22, or DD256 faster with

We may have DD214 in our name, but we can also locate and provide copies of your NGB22 and DD256 forms if you need them—and it’s all done online!

In just a few minutes, you can complete our simple process here from your mobile device or home computer and we can begin processing your request that same day. And, if you want your forms to arrive faster than our standard delivery times so you don’t miss out on your hard-earned benefits, you can even choose our expedited service option.

Veteran-owned DD214Direct helps 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 below to begin the order process.