DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty is a form issued by the Department of Defense (DoD) and provided to every veteran discharged, retired or separated from active duty in the Armed forces of the United States.
The form - sometimes incorrectly referred to as the DA Form 214 - was last revised in August 2009. A sample copy is available for download below.
The DD 214 contains all the information necessary to verify an individual's military career. The provided information includes the following:
A part of the retirement preparation process is completing a DD Form 214 Worksheet. This document is sent to the retiree, who has to complete and thoroughly check the form before submitting it to the person in charge. The document will not be given to the soldier until the actual separation date. A finalized DD Form 214 will be available on the day of discharge.
The form first appeared in 1950 as a replacement of the old WD AGO Forms and NAVPERS documents. The early version of the form was called the Report of Separation from Active Duty. The present name was given on July 1, 1979, and remained unchanged since.