Can Guardsmen and Reservists obtain the DD-214?

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Since 12-31-02

From: Reference Desk
 Date: 12/31/2002 6:29:28 PM
 Subject: [vetissues] Can Guardsmen and Reservists obtain the DD-214?


  1. It is common knowledge in many Guard and Reserve units that no DD-214 be issued to Guard and Reserve personnel. This misinterpretation came to be because former documents preceding the DD-214 were titled "Report of Separation". Many Guard are Reserve commanders are still operating under  the misperception that Guard and Reserve members should never receive a DD-214 even for active service periods. This is incorrect.

  2. The DD-214 (officially titled "Certificate of Release or Discharge From
     Active Duty") is mandated/required issue at the close of ANY and ALL ACTIVE service periods REGARDLESS how long or brief. This INCLUDES any and all ACTIVE periods served by Guardsmen and Reservists. This is the law. In the case of Guardsmen and Reservists the words in the title of the DD-214, "or Discharge", are to be ignored with regard to completion of any active service period.  (This is precisely why DoD used the word "OR" instead of the word "AND" in the DD-214 title.)

  3. At some point in time every Guardman or Reservist performed some level of active duty, either to obtain training, perform missions, etc. Your command was authorized to provide you a DD-214 at the end of each of those active periods, regardless of the number of days, weeks or months you served on active status.

  4. Either through gross misunderstanding or arrogant unwillingness many NG and Reserve commands choose not to fulfill Dept of Defense regulations by supplying DD-214's at the close of its member's active service dates.

  5. If you currently serve in the Guard or Reserves: For your future Social Security and VA benefits we very, very, very STRONGLY advise you to pursue acquiring DD-214's for each and all of your former active service periods. Your commander not only has the authority but also the responsibility to ensure his guard members' active service periods are recorded on the DD-214.

  6. References:

      link noted dead 05-18-05

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