Recently Retired and
Separated Military Members
Why you need your DD214
If you're interested in signing up for the National Guard or becoming a member of the Reserves as a prior service member, one thing you'll need to enlist is a copy of your DD214. Recently retired or separated military members are at a disadvantage when it comes to getting a replacement DD Form 214, especially those who have retired or separated from overseas assignments.
If you misplace your DD Form 214 between your final outprocessing appointment and your return to your home of record, you'll need a replacement right away-the Guard or Reserve recruiter will need to see your DD214 to show proof of service, the nature of your discharge, and your rank at the time of retirement or separation.
Those who have only recently retired or separated may experience a delay when requesting their replacement DD214 because of the time it often takes to transfer your military records to the National Archives. Unfortunately there may be several weeks in between your final out-processing appointment and the shipment of your military records (including copies of your DD214) to the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. This delay can be even longer when your records are being sent from an overseas location.
The moment you realize you can't locate your DD214, it's best to contact the National Archive (see the address and web information below), but recent retirees or those who have separated should also check with the orderly room at their last base. You may be able to get a copy of your DD214 from your last orderly room, but there are no guarantees. Make the call anyway, just in case—you'll be glad you did if you're able to intercept your military records before they're sent in the mail.
Overseas bases are naturally harder to get a hold of, but you may be able to get some assistance from your nearest military base. Call the base operator and ask to be connected to your old orderly room via DSN or other direct means by phone—the operator may be able to help you make a free phone call to your last duty station if you explain what you're trying to do. Again, there are no guarantees, but it never hurts to try. In the meantime you should send a request to the National Archives and explain that you've only recently retired or separated and that your records may be in transit.
NPRC Fax Number:
National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100
IMPORTANT NOTE: Before you send anything to the NPRC, carefully read these instructions and follow them to the letter.
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