Do Reservists Need a DD214?

Active duty members of the military are aware of how vital the DD Form 214 is. This form is essential to receiving veterans’ benefits. But does a reserve member need this official document?

Entering military service is considered an honor. Reserve members are deemed vital to the entire US military operations. However, there’s a common misconception that military records are only issued to active duty service personnel. This article will clarify whether reserve component members receive a DD Form 214.

Understanding DD Form 214

Also known as the Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, the DD Form 214 is an official military document issued to a service member after their retirement, separation, or discharge from military service. All military branches, including Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy, National Guard, and Reserve members, are issued the same document.

This document is crucial to military veterans as they must present documentation that they were in active duty status. The DD 214 serves as proof so veterans can claim their benefits. Thus, veterans should have a copy of this official document to maximize their veteran status.

This form contains vital information, such as the service member’s military department and branch, social security number, and details about their time in service, including initial training.

Do Reservists Get a DD214?

Reserve members are only issued a DD Form 214 if they were on active duty. This document is usually given after initial training and separating from active duty after serving at least 90 consecutive days. If a person was a reserve member but was never activated, they won’t get a DD Form 214. In short, not all reservists are given this document. Hence, you should keep track of your history in the military should you want to take advantage of the Guard Reserve benefits.

Benefits of Having a DD Form 214 for Reservists

If you were a reserve member once in active service, you may be entitled to several benefits. These include comprehensive dental and medical care at no cost, educational assistance, and skills training.

You need to present proof of your active duty service to maximize these benefits, and that’s why you need to get a copy of your DD 214. Aside from the perks mentioned above, the DD 214 can also be helpful to reserve members as they need proof of service for employment, loans, and other opportunities.

While you can request the DD Form 214 from official government offices, like the Air Force Personnel Center or National Guard Association, we at SCRACVS can also assist you in providing proof of military service through our resources.

Ways to Obtain a DD214 as a Reservist

So how can National Guard and Reserve members that were on active duty obtain a DD Form 214? There are various ways you can explore to get this official document. You don’t even have to go to an office physically to submit a request.

Requesting via the VetRecs website

A screenshot of the VetRecs website where you can get a DD214 form

Reserve members can submit a request through the VetRecs website. You don’t need to pay to request service records from this website. Here are the proper steps to make a request:

  1. Choose the Make a New Request option on the website’s first page.
  2. Specify that you are a Veteran on the next page. Indicate that you’re former personnel.
  3. Share your branch of service and service component. The website will ask you the purpose of the request.
  4. Indicate which document you need in the Documents Requested tab.
  5. Give your complete name and contact details in the Requester Information tab.
  6. Review all the information shared carefully and click submit.

Requesting via the milConnect website

A screenshot of the milConnect website

Alternatively, you may also access the milConnect website to submit your request. Here’s how you can facilitate your request through this platform:

  1. Create a new account if you haven’t registered yet. You can sign in if you already have an account.
  2. Choose the Correspondence/Documentation option once you’re signed in. Select Defense Personnel Infomation (DPPI) in the menu.
  3. Choose the Personnel File tab and the Request My Personnel File option.
  4. Detail all the necessary information as indicated. Specify that you need a DD Form 214 in the Document Index section.
  5. Select the Create and Send Request button to process your request.

Besides creating an account, you can also fill up a Standard Form 180 or write a letter to request this document. Regardless of your chosen method, you should be able to provide all the information required to facilitate your request.

Reserve members can also get help from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC). You can submit the request in person, via mail, or by fax (314-801-9195). Here’s the official address for your reference:

National Personnel Records Center
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138

Another option reserve members can explore is seeking help from veteran service organizations and state and county veterans affairs offices. In short, there are various ways to secure a DD Form 214.

What Is the Alternative to a DD214?

If reserve components cannot get a hand on a DD Form 214 for whatever reason, there are other ways to prove that you were once on active duty. For example, the NPRC can issue NA Form 13038, a Certification of Military Service. It is an acceptable substitute for DD214 if the original discharge document was lost or damaged.

But what if you need proof of active duty service on short notice? This is where we at SCRACVS can be of service. We can help you obtain proof of military service within 24 hours.


Given the veterans benefits you can enjoy through your military records as a reserve member, you should learn about your rights and know which resources can help you get everything you need. If you have a history of qualifying service, you should maximize your rights and obtain a DD Form 214.

Explore our website further if you want to learn more about DD 214 and military life. We can also help you with your military verification needs should you need it for documentation and other legal purposes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are reservists considered soldiers?

Technically, yes, reserve members are considered soldiers. Reservists are military personnel not serving in the regular military but can be called to serve the country whenever they are needed.

What is equivalent to a DD214?

There are several other documents you can use as proof of military service. This includes the NA Form 13038, which is a Certification of Military Service. You can also utilize SCRACVS to prove you were part of the Armed Forces.

Do you get your DD214 before terminal leave?

Yes, the first copy of your DD Form 214 should be issued to you upon your release from active duty service. If you choose to go on terminal leave, you should receive this document beforehand.

Attorney Roy Kaufmann serves as the Director of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Centralized Verification Service, located in Washington, D.C. As a recognized authority on the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, Mr. Kaufmann has published hundreds of articles and hosted many webinars. His teachings help law firms and businesses to remain compliant with the SCRA rules and regulations so as to avoid costly fines.