Who’s Entitled to a Copy of a Veteran’s DD214?
The Privacy Act of 1974 limits access to a veteran’s DD214 to only the service member (either past or present) or the member's legal guardian; only these persons will have access to almost any information contained in that member's own record. Others requesting information from military personnel/health records must have the signed authorization of the service member or legal guardian. If you’re using a private DD214 research service to acquire your DD214, they must have your written permission to do so. Only scam services don’t require you to sign an authorization form.
If the former service member is deceased, the surviving next of kin may, under certain circumstances, be entitled to greater access to a deceased veteran's records than a unrelated member of the general public. The next of kin may be any of the following: un-remarried surviving spouse, father, mother, son, daughter, sister, or brother.
Limited information from Official Military Personnel Files is releasable to the general public without the consent of the veteran or the next-of-kin. You are considered a member of the general public if you are asking about a veteran who is no relation to you, or a veteran who is a relative but you are not the next-of-kin.
The public has access to certain military service information without the veteran's authorization (or that of the next-of-kin of deceased veterans). Examples of information which may be available from Official Military Personnel Files without an unwarranted invasion of privacy include:
- Service Number
- Dates of Service
- Branch of Service
- Rank and Date of Rank
- Source of Commission
- Military Education
- Promotion Sequence Number
- Duty Status
- Transcript of Court-Martial Trial
- Place of entrance and separation
- Assignments and Geographical Locations
- Awards and decorations (Eligibility only, not actual medals)
If the veteran is deceased:
- Place of birth
- Date and geographical location of death
- Place of burial