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How to get a copy of military discharge papers Form: What You Should Know

Veteran's Legal Resource Center The Veterans Legal Resource Center (LRC) helps veterans obtain and protect their rights. Our goal is to keep veterans informed about their legal rights and about how they can improve their chances for success while protecting their physical well-being and financial security. For more information, visit VFW VFW VFW provides free legal assistance to veterans in most areas. The legal office is located at the Veterans Legal Resource Center, 1811 North Globe Road, Suite 200, Fairfax, VA 22031. For more information, visitĀ . August 21, 2018ā€” Military Service Records (DD 214) are electronically available and may also be issued as a paper copy through the PRC. ReadĀ  How to Order a Military Personnel Record You will be given a Military Service Record card in the mail upon request. The card is not required. The card contains the name and address of the military service center where the record should be sent. The Military Service Record card will contain the record you are requesting, along with a number that identifies the record. When you order a record by mail, you may not be given a card. You will have to obtain a card at the facility where the record is being processed. For more information, visit Order a Record by Mail The Military Record Card is a very useful tool. The card is used to obtain your DD Form 214, military service record. If you do not need your DD 214, read on. Once the record is requested by mail, you will be given the Military Record Card to take with you in your civilian job. For more information, visit Where to Request a Record by Mail Other than by mail, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides two locations in Washington, D.C. for military service records: the Army Center of Military History and the National Personnel Records Center. You can also request a paper copy within the VA. What to do after You Request a Record by Mail If you want your DD 214 electronically provided to you within the VA or sent to any other location (such as the Army Center of Military History), you should send the document from the Military Service Records Card. Remember, records are sent electronically until a copy is given to you. Do not mail a copy until you hear back from the military service center. You may want to check your address and send a letter to the address before mailing the record.

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FAQ - How to get a copy of military discharge papers

What are some things I should prepare myself with when I get out of the US Military?
First order of business: DD214When you get your DD214, read that sucker closely. Every box. Every line. It is short. Have whoever hands it to you walk you through the codes. Then double check those codes on your phone before leaving their presence. That is the one and only meaningful proof and measure of your service to 90% of civilians. Do not screw it up.Now that single copy of your DD214 they handed you? It's loniness should scare the shit out of you. If you lose it you must apply to Never Neverland for a copy. That is actually what we call it because you will never, never get one. Some people's records have been utterly destroyed there by accident in the past. I don't know how you unscrew that.So take your lonely copy of your DD214 down to the nearest Kinkos. Treat it like someone handed you a glass vial of nerve gas until then; Don't drop it, don't take any side trips until it is resolved, and for the love of God don't lose it. When you arrive at Kinkos, cough up whatever money they demand and make 1000 copies. Large orders like that are a lot cheaper per copy anyway. Now have 3 of those copies laminated. Immediately, right there in the Kinkos, mail 1 laminated and 10ish unlaminated copies to 2 different relatives in 2 different states. They have mail pickup.Get a BIG handful of notarized copies too. In bulk.Ask aroundu2023 there may be a notary service somewhere on post cheaper than off. Otherwise just Google it. This idea courtesy of George Thomas (Ted) McNabb.Now, over the next week, make your way to 2 county records offices. They are near the courthouses, or often attached. Pay a small fee to have your DD214 filed there permanently. If you somehow lose all of yours you can now always get a copy from them. Why 2? Sometimes they flood or burn down.You will need a fresh copy of your DD214 for every job, school, professional licence, free meal at Golden Corral, and public benefit you apply for until you die. I assume St. Peter demands one at the Pearly Gates too.OK. So that single sheet of paper is resolved.If you have weeks left, go down to your education office. Be ready to feel like you are cheating. Ask for the tests (at one point they were CLEP) that let you test out of college classes. 3 semester units each. Each such test will save you half a year of 3 hours in class and 3 hours of homework per week. Take every damned one of them, unless the class sounds like fun. (The VA won't pay you to u201cretakeu201d any fun ones.) Get yourself to 90 semester units total. 3 of your 4 college years. No one will accept more so it is pointless to take them.These tests are free.I have almost never heard of anyone failing one. Even if you do not know the subject matter. Even if (no joke, we tried) you are falling down, risking an Article 15-level drunk. French Literature 1615u20131688? Oi! Certified Massage Technician Ethics? This story has a happy ending.Have you ever bought a used car? One that didn't come at an even cheaper price because the owner was a close family member? Do you remember how picky you were about every-damned-thing? Once you give them the money, all those problems are yours right?Pretend your body is that car. When you do your exit physical be picky as hell. If it ever ached, itched, ticked, or stank you need to get it in writing. Everything. Those tiny issues will be big issues someday. Trust me. Half of them will get worse.Were you ever sad? For one day? Just once because your uncle died? Write it down. Make sure the doctor records it permanently. I shit you not. 3 words. u201cI was sad.u201d Easy. Something this simple can leave the door open should you turn out to have PTSD, or endocrine issues, or half a dozen other life altering things you totally don't expect now. It is a 10 second conversation that can literally save your life.The VA will only own the issues written on your medical records. That physical is your last chance ever to get those issues recorded. Do not let that doctor leave the room liking you. Make them late for lunch. Record everything.Seal your uniforms up nice and pretty. A vacuum bag is a good choice. You may come to treasure them over the decades even if you feel like you want to ditch them at a GoodWill now. If that doesn't convince you, remember this; You're still in the Army after you leave. You have technically committed yourself to a few years of IRR status. We recalled people after 9/11 and had to (personally on our off-time) scrounge uniforms for people to report in wearing. Don't be that guy.Give the Green-to-Grey class a whirl. It did nothing for me, but you are getting paid no matter what you do. It seemed like it might have value for someone.You have been eating 2500u20133500 calories per day if you have not been actively controlling your diet. You may not believe it, but you are an athlete even if you had a desk job.The day after you are discharged all of that changes unless you get in the habit of training for marathons or are employed as a personal trainer. Your body no longer needs about 1/3 of what you have been feeding it.This is made worse by the fact that your metabolism slows as you age. You are not 18 any more. Again, you probably will not be an athlete either.Swing by AAFES and buy a digital scale. It's cheaper there. Keep an eye on your weight. Fat weighs less than muscle, so even if you stay the same weight keep an eye on that waistline or you may find yourself looking 11 months pregnant.A good rule of thumb: If you have to buy a new belt because you outgrew the old one, you're headed for troubleYou can't keep eating like a soldier if you don't keep training like one.When you go to bed the first night after discharge, you have a choice to make. It seems trivial. It is not.Do you set your alarm for your old wakeup time?This will set the tone for the years that follow.Are you going to be a lazy shitbag civilian? Cool. Leave the alarm off. No one is gonna yell at you.Are you going to end up like the main character of Gran Torino? u201cGet the hell off my lawn!u201d Set that clock for O-dark-thirty.I recommend O-dark-fourtyfive.There is depth to this. Meditate on it, Padawan.Pick a Veteranu2019s Service Organization. Today. While it is fresh in your mind. Maybe one that best describes you. Maybe you put all their logos on the wall, blindfold yourself, and throw a dart to decide. There are no wrong answers except The Wounded Warrior Project. Screw those guys.You may think there are people employed by the government to make sure Veterans donu2019t fall through the cracks. Medical care? Disability payments? Education plans? Record revisions? Burial? Youu2019d be wrong. There are no such government employees. You need a VSO and, often, a personal service representative to call whenever life throws you a curve ball.Sign up before you are discharged. Cough up for a lifetime membership with your last paycheck. Youu2019ll never stop being a veteran, so youu2019ll always want to be a member. If you get a lifetime membership (which is cheaper), hopefully you will get to forget about them.They will never forget about you.The American LegionThe Veterans of Foreign WarsDisabled American VeteransNon Commissioned Officers AssociationDo not get roped into any job on commission. Right now your resume says u201cSalary.u201d If you backslide onto commission even once you will lose that distinction in the eyes of HR managers.Get down to the VA hospital and sign up. Day 2 of being a civilian. No exceptions.I see you starting to protest. Zip it! Ah ah! No arguing on this one. I give no damns here about your politics. Or how great you know your life is going to be. Or how healthy you are. Or how wealthy your job will make you.Get your tail down there within 72 hours. It is your next place of duty. You don't want to be signing up for benefits while bleeding in the Emergency Room lobby.If you sign up, it will always be there for you. Your life will have a backstop. It can only get so bad so long as you have that.Weed Opiates. That is all.Remember how I was rushing you through college earlier? Now we're gonna do the opposite.Go sign up for college. Even junior college. One class a semseter is fine if it isn't where you want to be. Silly shit like ballroom dance is perfect. It will transition you back to the civilian world by helping you meet actual civilians who are not your high-school buddies.Oh yeah. That reminds me. If you didn't keep up with your high school buddies, don't seek them out. It is depressing. Your life went somewhere. Many of theirs did not. I found that 2 were dead. The worst part was that one of them took me years to find; He died, and none of his friends from high school who lived in the same town even knew he was dead.That chapter of your life has been over for a long time. Don't reopen it if you value your mental health.I'm sure I will have more later, so to be continuedu2026
Why do people lie about serving in the United States military?
As a career military man (20+ years in the US Navy), I have had a few chances to see examples of u201cstolen Valor,u201d in which people who have never served in the US military have the apparent need to appear as not just active members of the military, but as someone who has been singled out and honored for valor and bravery.This problem is not specific to any particular force or branch of the US military, though it does appear that most attempts to fake military service include faking service which was meritorious or heroic. Many of those falsely wearing the uniform will wear combat ribbons, medals and awards that make them appear to be u201cwarriors,u201d though this is almost always what trips them up in the end. They simply canu2019t get enough glory, and so will wear excessive amounts of ribbons and medals, often wearing them out of the order of precedence or wearing medals of one service with the uniform of other.Doing this makes them easy to spot, as actual service members are generally very aware of the order and precedence of military ribbons and medals. They HAVE to be, or theyu2019ll get chewed out by their superiors in formation, or at other military gatherings or functions where dress uniforms with medals and ribbons are mandatory. If their uniforms arenu2019t u201csquared awayu201d and worn properly, theyu2019ll most certainly hear about it. So they are sensitized to seeing something out of place on the uniform of another service member or those who pretend to be one.For this reason, those guilty of attempts at u201cstolen valoru201d are often tripped up by their own hubris, callously wearing medals of heroism that are very difficult to attain, and which always catch the attention of those who actually served.You see, weu2019re awed by heroes too.So, here is a classic example of stolen valor:This guy was easy to spot and be called out for his ridiculous pretense. His uniform identifies him as an Air Force Master Sergeant, however, his uniform is just unbelievably not to standards. He is wearing SO many ribbons itu2019s impossible to take him seriously. His uniform says that heu2019s somehow earned accommodations that he could NEVER earn as an enlisted service member. Heu2019s wearing medals from services other than that of the branch heu2019s pretending to represent, such as the Army Expert Rifle Marksmanship badge being worn on an Air Force uniform. The Air Force does have their own marksmanship qualifications for both rifle and pistol, but those ribbons and badges look nothing like the ones heu2019s wearing. Also, there are a select FEW ribbons shared between services. Joint service awards exist, but can only be earned under specific conditions or situations working as part of inter-service operations. Heu2019s wearing almost a half-dozen of them in the picture.He would have you believe that he has earned ALL of the following:Silver StarBronze Star (with star for multiple awards)Distinguished Flying CrossAirmanu2019s Medal (for heroism)Meritorious Service MedalJoint Service Commendation MedalAir MedalPurple Heart (wounded in Combat)He would love for you to believe that he was awarded ALL of these medals for heroism or distinguished serviceu2026.PLUS an additional THIRTY-FIVE various ribbons for other superior or outstanding service.Compare this with GENERAL David Petraeus, who served for 37 years in the US Army and who actually EARNED the many medals and ribbons for valiant service seen in this picture (and who is wearing them all CORRECTLY):Now do you see why this faker had absolutely NO chance of convincing ANYONE with actual time in service that he was what he claimed to be? Why would someone do this? Donu2019t they understand that eventually they WILL be exposed? What makes doing this worth the shame of public humiliation theyu2019ll face when they are caught (and they are ALWAYS caughtu2023 eventually.)Look, Iu2019m no Psychiatrist, so I can only guess what motivates these guys to take such extreme chances just to pretend that they are something they are not. I would guess that to begin with, they have serious issues with self-esteem, or feel cheated because they either could not qualify for actual service (and there are many things which can disqualify you from service, both physically and mentally), or they u201cwashed outu201d during boot camp or were kicked out very early on for bad behavior, receiving a Bad Conduct Discharge (BCD). Some may just want the attention that comes with having served honorably. They want to be shown the appreciation they see being given to those who return from service overseas, and whom they envy for that service. Youu2019ll find many of these posers on Veteranu2019s Day, decked out in a military uniform with honors they never earned, trying to get a free meal or two, along with compliments from patrons of the establishment theyu2019re in, who blithely shake their hand and thank them for their service.The real problem is that, every time they do this, they steal something special which can only be earned with service. They take respect from those who actually deserve it, and rob those who have earned the thanks of their fellow citizens of their moment in the sun. They cheat those who have bled and died for their country, and who have sacrificed much when they take credit for having endured hardship they did not endure, unlike those who are separated from home and family for extended periods of time, often in conditions that would make the sturdiest of you shudder. They steal from those of us who actually serve to protect those we love at home and work to bring freedom to others far away. Even those who merely served, but served with honor, are marginalized by those who have never made the sacrifices of service, but ask to be treated in the same fashion as those who have.Lastly, there are those who having never served, and upon hearing these stories of stolen valor, just shrug and say u201c Whatu2019s the big deal? It doesnu2019t REALLY hurt you. Why get so upset?u201d They simply do not understand the depth of strength, integrity, dedication and resolve that it takes to serve a nation with honor, and they will never truly understand what it means to have that honor tarnished by those who are without honor.To them, I will say only this:u201cFor those who fight to protect it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.u201dUPDATE: Those who would like to get additional information on the issue of stolen valor should read the following book: u201cRestoring Valoru201d by Doug Sterner. It is an excellent book which recounts the story of the long and arduous journey to getting Senate bill S:1998, which would become the Stolen Valor Act, passed through Congress, along with stories of some of the most egregious incidents of stolen valor ever exposed.
What made your military career unexpectedly short?
Can I comment for my son, please?Kennyu2019s dream was to become a helicopter pilot for the US Army. So after 4 years of JROTC in high school it was off to Fort Jackson for basic combat training. He then completed AIT as an AH-64 Apache mechanic. He had told me, u201cDad, if I'm going to fly the silly things I figure I ought to know how they work!u201dThankfully, Kenny was assigned to Fort Hood, only a 2 hour drive from home, where he perfected his abilities as an Apache wrench.He was deployed to Iraq with the 4th ID in November 2023 to one of Saddamu2019s big helicopter bases, Camp Taji. (I was in theater teaching Iraqi Police Service cadets in Baghdad, but took a position at the Iraqi Highway Patrol Academy at Camp Taji about a week after the 4th Infantry arrived, but that's a story for another posting.). He did his year, and came home to Fort Hood.4 months after his redeployment Kenny started working on a helicopter that everyone had told him was all set to go, and that the batteries had been turned off. Unfortunately, he trusted his coworkers and didn't double check. He managed to touch a metal tool to a positive connection. It was only about 24 volts, but was around 1,500 amps, and the electric shock blew him across the hangar. When he woke up in the hospital the electric conduction system of his heart was screwed up, causing him to have upwards of 14,000 extra heartbeats a day. Needless to say, he was removed from deployable status, and was sent to a medical rehab unit.The Army futzed around with him for two years, sending him to civilian cardiologists and the Brooke Medical Center in San Antonio. But they never did anything to correct his malady. Personally, I haven't been an active paramedic since 1990, but even I knew that a 23 year old US Army soldier with no other resident health problems presenting with 14,000 extra heartbeats a day means you have an injury to the Purkinje conduction system of the heart, which can be easily corrected.Finally the Army called him in. u201cSpecialist Rogers, we have good news and bad news for you. The good news is that you are being promoted to E-5. Congratulations, Sergeant Rogers! The bad news is that we are done here. You're being medically discharged. We're going to let the VA Hospital fix you. Have a nice life.u201dKenny was crushed. He had all his paperwork ready to enter the Warrant Officer program and begin his pilot training at Fort Rucker, Alabama. He was going to spend the next 30 years flying for the Army, and now they didn't want him.About 6 months after first contacting the Dallas VA Hospital they called him up. u201cSergeant Rogers, we don't know why the Army didn't correct your issues, but if you'll show up at oh-dark:thirty on Monday next we'll fix your little problem.u201dAnd they did! Kenny had about 3 extra heartbeats since they did the cardiophoresis procedure, and it happened while he was in recovery at the VA.He eventually found a civilian helicopter training school, and is currently about two weeks from receiving his commercial rating as a private helicopter pilot. The next step will be completion of the certified flight instructor school, where he can log enough hours as pilot in command to find work. He will probably end up flying for a large cityu2019s police department, or maybe the DEA or Border Patrol.The fun thing is, because of his Army training and experience, he is able to spot problems with the Robinson R44 he trains in well before even his flight instructor does. His school gets frustrated at him when he u201cRed Tagsu201d (takes out of service) any of their birds, but they know he's always been proven to be right. Safety first, you know!But he would have been much, much happier flying for his beloved Army Aviation.Here's a shot of me helping promote Kenny to Specialist in his hangar at Camp Taji:How many fathers get to help promote their Army kid in the middle of a war zone? Made my year there totally worth it!1/8/2023 Addendum: Just got the word, Kenny passed his check ride, and is now a certified commercial rotor wing pilot!11/26/18 Addendum: Kenny has made wonderful progress this year, and now has his rotor wing instrument and commercial ratings, is now a certified flight instructor, and is only a few hours away from getting a CFI-Instrument instructor rating (a rating very few instructors reach).
How can I find out which US Naval ship my grandfather served on during WWII?
As a family member of a deceased Veteran (If your grandfather has passed on), you can request a Copy of his DD-214 (Discharge papers) which will list his assignments during his service along with his awards and other data.If he is still living, he must do this himself.There was a major fire at the national Military records center in St. Louis in 1973. 17u201318 million military personnel files were destroyed. Most from the World War 2 era and up into the 1960s.But thankfully for you, these were not Naval personnel records, Only Army and Air Force records were affected.ArmyPersonnel discharged November 1, 1912 to January 1, 196080% destroyedAir ForcePersonnel discharged September 25, 1947 to January 1, 1964(with names alphabetically after Hubbard, James E.)75% DestroyedYou can find out what can be gotten and how to get it, here:Request Your Military Service Records
How do I get a copy of my bankruptcy discharge?
When the Bankruptcy Court completes it's work (supervising the disbursement of assets to pay creditors), and is satisfied that the requirements of a bankruptcy restructuring have been met, under whatever chapter of the bankruptcy code was used, a legal judgement saying so is issued.The bankrupt party will receive one automatically.u00a0 It is a public record, so anyone else can get it from the Courthouse (via whatever process that Court uses).
How can I get a copy of my hospital discharge papers?
I would call the hospital or you could call you dr. Never leave the hospital without them.I have because I wanted to go home. I was getting worse in the hospital.
What do you need to know and do when your husband dies?
If your husband dies at home, youu2019ll need to call the authorities and have his body transported to the morgue or a funeral home.He may have to have an autopsy. This depends on local law.If he dies in a hospital, the hospital will transport his body where you instruct them to transport it.FuneralIf you have made funeral arrangements in advance, contact the funeral home.If you have not made advance arrangements, you )or someone that is helping you) will need to make some calls to check prices for funerals and burial plots.If you are in the US and your husband is a veteran you may be able to get a free plot for him. You may also be able to get a free spot for him and you if youu2019ll both be cremated.BurialIf you will bury your husband, youu2019ll need a coffin and a piece of ground to bury the coffin in.If he was a veteran, contact the VA as they may send someone to do a 21-gun salute and they will pra flag to cover his coffin.CremationCremation is the less expensive option. The urn can be placed in a crypt, in a grave with other family members, solo, or taken home.Phone CallsSomeone should call people who are likely to care about your husbandu2019s death including family and friends.If he was working, youu2019ll want to contact his boss.Contact his doctor, dentist, and eye doctor. You donu2019t want to receive follow-up or reminder calls for appointments scheduled ahead of time.ObituaryThe funeral home will generally post a temporary obituary online. If you want one in the newspaper, youu2019ll have to write it and pay for it to be printed in the paper.Death CertificateThe death certificate should be filed with the county. After about a week you should receive several copies. The funeral director may ask you how many copies you need. Depending on the assets your husband had, you may want between 10 - 20 certified copies.Locate important papersWillTrustMilitary discharge papersSocial SecurityRetirement accountsLife insuranceHealth insuranceCar insuranceCredit cardsBank statementsIf the estate will be probated, contact a lawyer.Do not make any big decisions for at least a year.Self-CareBe very nice to yourself.FamilyIf you have children, remember that they are also mourning. Be there for them as much as you are able to be.Take action on important papersWillContact a lawyer to probate unless it is only a pour over will and you are the trustee of the living trustTrustIf you are the trustee, contact asset holders (i.e. bank and investment accounts) to let them know your spouse is deceased.Military discharge papersIf your spouse is being buried in a veterans cemetery you will need these.Social SecurityContact them to let them know your spouse is deceased.When you receive the paperwork, complete it and return it.Retirement accountsChange names on accountsIf your spouse had an IRA, roll it over to yours if that is how it will be disposed of. Remember to stay on top of self-managed investments.Life insuranceContact company(ies) for claim forms. It will probably be online.Once you have a certified death certificate, submit the claim by following their instructions.Health insuranceCancel health insurance on your spouse.Keep track of any bills.Car insuranceRemove your spouseu2019s name from the automobile insurance policy.Credit cardsClose any separate accounts.Notify the company that your spouse is deceased.Bank statementsContact the bank and change title to the accounts based on the trust or to administrator of the will if the estate is being probated.If the estate will be probated, contact a lawyer.Bequests/Gifts:If your spouse left instructions for anyone to receive specific assets, give them the asset but be sure to work with your attorney if the estate is being probated. If everything is in a trust and you are the trustee, you may go ahead unless the assets might involve gift taxes. If over $14,000 contact an attorney.ClothingCheck all the pockets before you donate or sell clothing.If youu2019re not up to this, ask family or friends to help or hire a service to assist you.I cannot enforce enough not to make big decisions for at least a year. This includes advice from investment and insurance sales people. If the circumstances are such that you have to make decisions, ask for help from a friend or attorney.
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