If you’re a servicemember who is returning to civilian life, one of the critical administrative jobs you need to complete is obtaining a copy of your DD-214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge). What you probably don’t know, however, is how difficult it can be to access this document.
Most DD-214s are kept at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, where almost 100 million veterans’ records are stored. However, your file could be held at one of more than 100 other depositories.
This form is proof of your military service. You’ll need it for various civilian activities, including getting a job or a government-backed loan.