DD 214/215 Program & records request program
Almost half of the contact we receive from veterans and others pertains to locating a DD 214 and other service records. Documents so important as these should be kept in a safe place. We highly recommend that veterans record their discharges/DD214s with their County Courthouse so they are able to obtain free certified copies for the remainder of their life and so they are available to next-of-kin upon their death. The DD 214 provides the member and the service with a concise record of a period of service with the Armed Forces at the time of the member’s separation, discharge or change in military status. In addition, the form is an authoritative source of information for both governmental agencies and the Armed Forces for purposes of employment, benefit and reenlistment data. If you do not currently have a copy of your Certificate of Release or Discharge, DD Form 214, now is the time to obtain it before you need it.
PENNSYLVANIA NATIONAL GUARD
Pennsylvania Army and Air National Guard maintain a state file of service after 1985. Information from these state files varies but should include records of enlistment, discharge and other administrative actions. The veteran or next of kin of a deceased veteran can obtain copies of available information by providing a Record Request Form, mailed to:
PA Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
Attention: Guard Retirement Services (Insert ARMY or AIR)
Bldg. 9-68, Fort Indiantown Gap
Annville, PA 17003-5002
Questions about Pennsylvania ARMY National Guard records requests can be directed to 717-861-8656.
Questions about Pennsylvania AIR National Guard records requests can be directed to 717-861-8624.
The Pennsylvania State Archives maintains evidence of service for Pennsylvania Military units during the period 1775-1985.
MILITARY VETERANS, NEXT-OF-KIN, AND GENEALOGISTS
Military veterans and next-of-kin (Defined as surviving spouse, father, mother, son, daughter, sister or brother) can easily request copies of discharges and other Personnel records at the National Archives.
Genealogists and others must submit a Standard Form 180 and special rules apply.
If you have been discharged from the military service, with no remaining service obligation, your Personnel Files are most probably stored at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). If you require information maintained in your Personnel Files you should review the National Archives.
A DD Form 215 is used to correct errors or additions to a DD Form 214 discovered after the original had been delivered and/or distribution had been made.
A DD Form 214/215 is prepared in 8 copies and distributed as follows:
- Copy 1 – Member
- Copy 2 – Service Personnel File
- Copy 3 – United States Department of Veteran Affairs
- Copy 4 – Member (if initialed in Block 30)
- Copy 5 – US Dept of Labor
- Copy 6 – State Director of Veteran Affairs (if checked yes in block 20)
- Copy 7&8 – Distributed in accordance with Military Service Dept directions
SERVICE MEDICAL RECORDS
You can also locate your Service Medical Records.
If you had an overnight stay in a military treatment facility while on active duty, a clinical record of that treatment most likely exists and is available. Review the rules and procedures for requesting Clinical Records.
Veterans who plan to file a claim for benefits with the USDVA do not need to request copies of Service Medical Records. The VA will obtain them if not already in their possession.