The Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, or DD Form 214, is a document Airmen may receive at certain points in their careers such as separating from an active duty unit, completing job training, or returning home from a deployment.
Air Force Reservists and Air National Guard members may expect to receive a DD 214 when retiring from their respective Air Reserve Component, but this not a qualifying event by itself. Only regular Air Force, or active duty members, will receive a DD Form 214 prior to separating.
The important distinction between RegAF and ARC members is that RegAF members remain in an active-duty status their entire careers and thus this period of consecutive service is captured in one DD Form 214. An ARC member may serve in active and inactive statuses throughout their careers, qualifying for multiple DD Form 214's.
The DD Form 214 captures certain qualifying periods of continuous active-duty service accomplished by a Guard or Reserve member, from the start date of an active-duty order through the release date. School tours or deployments that took place during this time period will be included in any individual DD Form 214 covering this specific period.
All ARC members will receive DD Form 214's, created by their unit’s Military Personnel Section, which captures their initial skills training such as basic military training, technical training or officer training school. A combination of initial training, extended duty tours, deployments, and additional schools and training means most ARC members will receive more than one DD Form 214 throughout their career.
What qualifies for the issuance of a DD Form 214?
DD Form 214's from Initial Skills Training
The first DD Form 214 a member will receive is the one that covers their initial skills training for example basic military training, officer training school and technical training. Members’ Military Personnel Section’s will generate these forms upon their return from training.
DD Form 214's Generated by Qualifying Service Periods
Members are eligible to receive a DD Form 214 based on consecutive active duty periods of 90 days or more. Performing in drill status during a 90-day period would break this up and restart the day count.
Active duty service in support of a named contingency operation or an involuntary mobilization reduces this requirement to only 30 days to meet the criteria.
Note: Prior to January 2019 any amount of time in support of a contingency or activation was considered qualifying service, but DoDI 1336.01 (dated 23 Jan 2019) changed this requirement. If you need a DD Form 214 for service either before or after January 2019, contact your MPS as soon as possible for assistance. This may not be a fast process as members will be required to records of service, such as orders, school certificates, decorations and travel vouchers to validate their requests.
DD Form 214's Generated by Retirement
Retirement DD Form 214's are created at HQ ARPC for members who will immediately draw retirement annuity pay based on 20 years of active service and remain on active duty until their last day of service.
Retirement-eligible members who end orders prior to their retirement date may still qualify for a DD Form 214 based on 90 days or more of consecutive active duty service, but will not receive a Retirement DD Form 214.
This also applies to Airmen on Temporary or Permanent Disability Retired Lists provided they meet the requirement of 90 days or more of consecutive service leading into their final day. The Service Verification team at HQ ARPC is the office of primary responsibility for these documents.
Statutory Tour, Active Guard Reserve, or Headquarters-level (or higher) members will need to contact the Air Force Personnel Center for the creation of their retirement DD Form 214's. One exception to this is if members are AFR Individual Mobilization Augmentees; Headquarters Air Reserve Personnel Center will process these requests, even if these members were previously on a stat tour, AGR or work at a HHQ level.
Note: A statute of limitation applies in these circumstances however, as your record is not available to them once members are no longer on an extended active duty order. It is important to remember to fill out a DD Form 214 request in VMPF while outprocessing.
Current members of the Guard and Reserve can find available DD Form 214's by accessing your vMP PRDA file via the Air Force Portal. Retired or separated members that are unable use their former unit’s MPS for assistance, may contact the Total Force Service Center at 800-525-0102 or create a myPers ticket by clicking on Contact Us once logged in. DD Form 214's may also be available through the VA eBenefits site or by contacting the National Personnel Records Center.
Current Reserve Component members seeking a DD Form 214 for service completed while assigned to the regular Air Force will need to contact the Air Force Personnel Center in San Antonio, Texas.
HQ ARPC provides DD Form 214's for the following:
- ALL Individual Mobilization Augmentees
- ALL separated or retired ANG or AFR members
- ALL unit-assigned AFR or ANG members receiving an active-duty retirement
- ALL AFR or ANG members retiring due to a PDRL or TDRL
- ALL Congressional and Board for Correction of Military Records requests for AFR and ANG members