Deciphering DD214`s

Armed Forces Member/Veteran
- Serving/served on AD (including basic training) in the Army, Navy, Air
Force, Marines, or Coast Guard.
- National Guard or Reserve only considered veterans if called to active
federal duty by presidential order for a purpose other than training.
- Any service characterization except dishonorable. Includes
fraudulent entry provided entire period of service was not voided.
- Service academy/preparatory school students for at least 1 day are
veterans if service characterization was not dishonorable.
- The possession of a DD214 does not mean the person is a veteran.
DD Form 214
- Block 2: Department, Component and Branch
- Army/RA = Regular
- Army/USAR = Reserve
- Army/ARNGUS = National Guard
- Navy – USN = Regular
- Navy – USNR = Reserve
- USMC – 11 = Regular
- USMC – K1 = Reserve
- Air Force – REGAF = Regular
- Air Force – AFRC = Reserve
- Air Force – ANGUS = Air National Guard
- Homeland Security – USCG = Regular
- Homeland Security – USCGR = Reserve
DD Form 214
- Block 12.c.: Record of Serve - Net Active Service This Period
- Determine length of active service for DD 214 period. Note: Guard/Reserve personnel can have more
than one DD 214.
- If the member was AD, served 1 or more days, and did not receive a dishonorable discharge (Block 24)
they are considered a veteran even if they committed a military crime or were discharged for
conduct/performance (Block 28). Fraudulent entry is acceptable permitted their entire period of
service was not voided.
Block 18: Remarks
- If the member was Guard/Reserve they must have been called to AD by presidential orders for
purposes other than training.
- If the member served for purposes other than training it will be identified stating where they served
and the dates.
- If service was anything other than dishonorable and meets the criteria list above then the member is a
- Title 32 v. Title 10 is typically specific here.
- If the Guard/Reserve member was on active duty for training only then they are not considered a
veteran for financial aid purposes. This can be determined by looking at blocks 2, 11, 12.c, 18, 23, 24, &
DD Form 214
- Block 23: Type of Separation
- This entry depends on the Character of Service (24). If block 24 is anything other than
Honorable you will typically see “Discharge” or “Discharged”.
- If member was Guard/Reserve and on AD for training you will see “Release from active duty
training” or “Release from IADT” or “Released from active duty”.
- AD members will have “Released from active duty”.
- Block 24: Character of Service
- DD 214 must have a Service Characterization of anything other than dishonorable to be
considered a veteran.
- Block 28: Narrative Reason for Separation
- “Completion of Required Active Service” “Fraudulent Entry” “Misconduct (Serious Offense)” “Completion of Initial
Active Duty Training”

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