Frequently Asked Questions
Common questions involving your DD214 and enlistment
When do I get my DD214?
You should get your DD214 when you attend your final out processing appointment.
Do I need my DD214 to enlist in the National Guard or Reserve?
Your DD214 is not required to enlist in the National Guard or Reserve, but if you want credit for prior service you must furnish a copy of your DD Form 214, which shows the length and nature of your service, plus all awards and decorations.
Do I need my DD214 to enlist in another branch of the military?
You will need your DD Form 214 to get proper credit for prior service when you apply for another branch of military service as an active duty military member.
Why is the DD214 required to enlist in another branch of the military, Guard or Reserve?
Your DD Form 214 shows not only the length of your military service, awards and decorations, plus the nature of your discharge, in some cases it may also display codes that govern whether you are able to re-enter military service. Some discharges are due to "codes" placed on the military record that prevent re-entry into the service whether for medical, disciplinary or other reasons.
What happens if I lose my DD214 when I am going through the enlistment process for Guard/Reserve or re-entry to active duty with another branch of the service?
Contact your recruiter as soon as you know your DD214 is missing or unavailable, and be sure to request a replacement copy as soon as possible with the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, which is part of the National Archives:
How long will it take to get a replacement copy of my DD214?
When the NPRC gets your request it normally takes approximately ten days to process. If you are a recent retiree or have recently separated from the military, this process may be delayed because your records could still be en route to the NPRC and not yet entered into their system.
Will not having my DD214 delay my enlistment into the Guard/Reserve or entry into another branch of the service?
Speak with your recruiter to learn what your options are and how not having the DD214 in hand could affect the status of your enlistment. Recently separated military members should contact their last orderly room or Military Personnel Center at their last base to see if they can intercept their military records and get a copy of the DD214 if it is still filed in the base records system.
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