Monday, January 26, 2009

Military Monday - Form DD214 or Report of Separation

When a soldier leaves the military and has had active duty (or active duty training for more than 90 days), a DD214 is generated showing his military history. During WWII, this for was referred to as WD AGO 53 or a Report of Separation. For US military researchers these documents are available from the Archives. On their main page look under the "Most Requested" box and choose military record. The Archives site states that the DD214 can be obtained for free by a soldier or next-of-kin to the soldier. I was interested in getting another copy of my Grandfathers because as you can see, his appeared to have been carried around in his wallet for 30 years.

This Report shows the following information:

  • Name
  • Army Serial Number
  • Grade
  • Organization
  • Date of Separation
  • Place of Separation
  • Permanent Address
  • Date of Birth
  • Place of Birth
  • Color Eyes & Hair
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Number of Dependents
  • Date of Induction
  • Date of Entry into Active Service
  • Place of Entry
  • County and State
  • Home address at time of entry
  • Military Occupation
  • Spec Ser Number
  • Military Qualifications
  • Battles
  • Decorations and Citations
  • Wounds Received in Action & Date
  • Immunizations
  • Service Outside of the US - where stationed
  • Reason for separation
  • Pay Data
  • Insurance information
  • Right Thumb Print
  • Signature of Soldier
  • Signature of Officer
This form can be ordered on line using the archives vet rec system. One warning - there may be additional paperwork to fill out after your request has been received, get as much info as you can on that soldier before applying, some of which may be available right there on the archives site.

If you go to their AAD (Access Archival Databases) search area of the Archives site and enter your ancestor's name in the search box, all databases that the name appears in will come up. If you'd rather target a specific battle or time of duty, select the military campaign your ancestor fought in first (for instance, I chose WWII) and on the next screen there is a search terms box as well. On this second screen I entered BELLEW, WILLIAM. This gave me results for where his name appeared in their available electronic databases for WWII. In this case, I chose "View Records" for the Electronic Army Serial Number database, which brought up seven results:

My Grandfather being the last on this list, I chose his record and the following screen came up which gave me a bit more information necessary to complete the request for his documents.

Check all the available databases for your ancestors, you may just have a vet in there somewhere. Happy Hunting!

1 comment:

  1. This is a great post! What a good idea to blog about military documents. I have two Civil War fellows and I could use your idea to let people know about my research about them! Thanks for sharing!