The DD Form 256 or the Honorable Discharge Certificate is a certificate issued by the Department of Defense (DoD) and other branches of military service to service members with satisfactory military records. Honorable discharge applies to all soldiers whose service has been honest and faithful, with the positive aspects of service and conduct outweighing the negative ones.
The form in and of itself is a memorable certificate with all discharge information recorded in the DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, issued to service members when they separated from active duty service.
You will receive a DD Form 256 (Honorable Discharge Certificate) or a DD Form 257 (General Discharge Certificate) when you separate from active duty.
Each branch of the service maintains personnel records for about 5-10 years before sending them to the National Archives. Contact the headquarters of your service branch to request your DD 256 or place an order through the eVetRecs System at the National Archives website.
When you create and file an online SF Form 180, Request Pertaining to Military Records you will be given a list of forms to choose from. The DD Form 256 is not on that list. You will need to describe your particular case in the comments section and submit the form as usual.