Leaving their military career and joining the civilian workforce is an important step in the life of any veteran, and there are numerous resources and opportunities available for veterans to help make the transition a successful one. Among them are GI Bill and other education benefits, training and apprenticeship opportunities, and military job fairs.

However, before you begin updating your resume and working on your interview skills, you should definitely make sure you have a copy of your DD214 handy.

Why is my potential employer asking for my DD214?

If you are applying for a job within the federal government, you may be eligible for something called Veterans' Preference, which gives you an edge over non-military applicants in the hiring process. But, to show proof of eligibility, you will need to provide a copy of your DD214.

Likewise, many private sector companies and organizations will often give preference to veterans, or at the very least have an HR initiative dedicated to hiring former servicemembers to benefit from their experience and unique skill set. In fact, in fields like health care, technology, and manufacturing, where there is a significant talent shortage, many employers are actively reaching out to veteran applicants to fill the gaps. Again, however, you will need to make sure you have a copy of your DD214 before you begin the application process.

What exactly does my DD214 tell employers?

Think of your DD214 as an overview of your entire military career. In addition to showing when, where, and for how long you served, your DD214 will also list your Type of Separation (i.e., why you are leaving active duty) and your Character of Service.

Character of Service is especially important because, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, "Generally, in order to receive VA benefits and services, the Veteran's character of discharge or service must be under other than dishonorable conditions (e.g., honorable, under honorable conditions, general)."

What if I can't find my DD214?

At this time, the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) is still prioritizing what they consider emergency records requests, which includes those being requested for employment opportunities. If you need a copy of your DD214 quickly to give to a potential employer, be sure to let one of our team members know when you call 800-891-9285 to place your order.

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 you could get them on your own. First, we digitize both your request and the returned documents, using electronic signatures to avoid extra time with the postal service. We also integrate email and fax throughout our entire process, while many agencies do not. 

To further expedite the process, our team ensures your initial request is filled out properly the first time and includes the necessary supporting documentation so that it doesn't bounce back. In addition, we break up multiple requests (DD214, OMPF, etc.) so that each piece is handled separately and one does not delay the other. 

Once your request is processed, DD214Direct becomes your personal advocate, working directly with the agency that holds your records (currently there are about 75 independent agencies) and immediately responding to any agency issues on your behalf. In many cases, DD214Direct is able to advance your request to a higher-priority workflow. Finally, we have team members at many locations to drop off and pick up documents. 

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. Once we locate your DD214, we can 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.