It is quite easy to obtain a copy of your own honorable discharge from the military. The key is to know whom to ask and what information you'll need to include in your request. Only the veteran or the next of kin (in the case of deceased veterans) can request military service records. Your discharge, or DD214, will include such information as your date and place of enlistment in the military, your address at time of enlistment, date and location of discharge, home address after discharge and all other information regarding your time in military service.
Visit the veteran's section at the website of the National Archives.
Click the button at the bottom of the page marked "Request Military Records." This will bring up the privacy notice. Click “Continue.”
Choose whether you are the veteran or the next of kin. If veteran, the next question will change to “not applicable.” If next of kin, choose your relationship to the deceased veteran and whether you are looking for information concerning current or past military service. Click “Continue.”
Choose your branch of service, whether active or reserve, and enlisted or officer from the drop down lists. Choose the reason for your request. Once you have answered all the questions on this screen, click “Continue.”
Enter your personal information on the next screen, including name, social security number, date and place of birth and military identification numbers. Click “Continue.”
Select which report you wish to receive. A deleted report will have certain identifying information removed if you so request. A nondeleted report will be a copy of the original file on record with the military. Click “Continue.”
Fill in the address where you would like your military record sent to complete your request.
- It normally takes four to six weeks to receive military records in the mail. Including the zip+4 on your return address will speed delivery of your document.
- If you do not have Internet access, you can also go to your nearest VA office and submit form SF-180 to request your records.
- Military records are highly personal in nature. Keep yours in a safe place once you receive it.