Harrisburg, PA – One of the most important documents for transitioning servicemembers and veterans is their DD-214. Safeguarding this important military document should be a top priority, the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs said.

The DD-214 is a document of the United States Department of Defense, issued upon a military servicemember’s retirement, separation, or discharge from active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States. It contains information needed to verify military service for benefits, retirement, employment, and membership in veterans’ organizations. Without this key document, there could be a big delay when veterans seek benefits earned through their service to our nation.

For veterans who have lost their DD-214, or family members who cannot locate it on a veteran’s behalf, the DMVA is always ready to assist in retrieving an official copy.

“We field thousands of requests for information from veterans each year, and the majority of those requests are for help to find their DD-214,” said Brig. Gen. (PA) Maureen Weigl, deputy adjutant general for Veterans Affairs. “Helping veterans find their military paperwork is a priority for DMVA and not even the pandemic stopped us from processing the large volume of requests we received this past year.”

The DMVA can also assist with locating the DD-215, which is used to correct errors or make additions to a DD-214, helping to assure that veterans have accurate discharge documentation.

Weigl said that the easiest way to manage military documents and avoid having to frantically search for them is to make sure they are filed in a safe place upon leaving the military.

“One of the first stops for a servicemember leaving the military should be the Prothonotary’s Office at their county courthouse to file their DD-214/15,” said Weigl. “This will allow veterans and their family members to always have access to an official copy of their paperwork and avoid a frustrating search if they ever lose their original. No matter what, the DMVA is always ready to assist veterans looking for their documents, so they should never hesitate to reach out to us for help.”

Anyone needing assistance from the DMVA to locate their DD-214/215, or other military documentation, can call toll-free 1-800-547-2838 or e-mail [email protected] More information about locating military documents can be found by visiting the Records Request Program.

Another way to stay in touch is for veterans, family members and people who work with veterans to sign up for the DMVA’s Veterans Registry by visiting www.register.dmva.pa.gov.