The Department of Defense issues different forms to veterans to prove their service in a branch of the United States Military, and to verify different aspects of their service such as medals received, rank, and duration of service. These forms are important for veterans to obtain as they prove a veteran’s right to a variety of benefits. Specific forms of importance include the DD Form 214, the DD form 215, and the WD Form.
DD Form 214
The DD Form 214 includes all discharge papers and separation documents, and is considered a certificate of release or discharge from active duty for any service member. DD form 214 is only issued to those who have performed active duty or have completed at least 90 consecutive days of active duty training. Benefits that require a DD Form 214 include:
- Military medical benefits
- G.I. Bill
- Retirement benefits
- Veteran employment programs
- VA mortgage loans
- Veterans’ organizations membership
DD Form 215
The DD Form 215 is used to supplement the DD Form 214 if any errors or additions were realized regarding a service member’s service after the DD Form 214 was already released.
Prior to 1950, the WD Form was used instead of the DD Form 214, and verifies a World War II veteran, or those who served prior, for the same types of benefits that a DD form 214 does.
For veterans who are unable to find their DD Form 214, DD Form 215, or their WD Form, they should submit a request to the National Archives to obtain such documents. Before applying for any veteran benefits, programs, or organizations, a veteran needs to have the appropriate documents (DD Form 214, DD Form 215, or WD Form) in order.
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