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VA Proof Of Service

Discharged Regular Military

DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty will generally contain all the information needed for VA to make an eligibility determination for people who served in a regular component of the Armed Forces.

VA will accept originals or legible copies of the DD Form 214.  Persons separated from military service after January 1, 1950 should have received DD Form 214.  

Persons separated after October 1, 1979 should furnish Member 4 of DD Form 214 which includes character of service and separation reason .  Persons separated from active duty before January 1, 1950 received documentation other than DD Form 214. To be acceptable it should indicate: Length of service, and Character of service. 

Veterans Still on Active Duty

Veterans still on active duty must provide a current statement of service signed by, or by the direction of, the adjutant, personnel office, or commander of the unit or higher headquarters they are attached to.  There is no one form used uniformly by the military for a statement of service. While statements of service are typically on military letterhead, some may be computer generated. 

The statement of service must clearly show: 

  • Veteran’s full name. 
  • Social Security Number (SSN) 
  • Date of birth. 
  • The entry date on active duty. 
  • The duration of lost time 
  • The name of the command providing the information. 

Discharged Reserve/Guard Members

There is no one form used by the Reserves or National Guard which is similar to DD Form 214.  Discharged members of the Army or Air National Guard may submit NGB Form 22, Report of Separation and Record of Service, or a points statement. 

Typically, all members of the Reserves and/or Guard receive an annual retirement points summary which indicates the level and length of participation. 
The applicant should submit the latest such statement received along with evidence of honorable service.  VA will accept originals or legible copies. 

Current Reserve/Guard Members

Individuals who are still members of the Reserves/Guard must provide a statement of service signed by, or by the direction of, the adjutant, personnel office, or commander of the unit or higher headquarters they are attached to. 
There is no one form used uniformly by the military for a statement of service. While statements of service are typically on military letterhead, some may be computer-generated. 

The statement of service must clearly show: 

  • Veteran’s full name. 
  • Social Security Number (SSN). 
  • Entry date of applicant’s Reserve/Guard duty, and 
  • The name of the command providing the information. 

Note: The statement must clearly indicate that the applicant is an “active” reservist and not just in a control group (inactive status).

Obtaining Required Proof of Service

If the veteran has been discharged from regular active duty, submission of VA Form 26-1880 to the appropriate Eligibility Center should not be delayed while the veteran attempts to obtain evidence of service since VA may be able to make a determination by referring to internal records.  Otherwise, discharged reservists and other discharged vets for whom VA has no internal records should obtain an SF 180, Request Pertaining to Military Records from the nearest Eligibility Center, other VA Office. An SF 180 can be used by the veteran to request a copy of his or her DD Form 214 or equivalent. 

 

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