DD214 – Member 4 Copy
I Need My DD214 – Member 4 Copy?
Many veterans contact us specifically requesting the Member 4 copy of the DD214. They believe, or have been told, that the DD214-Member 4 copy is the only valid copy for post-service benefit applications and entitlements. This common belief is not accurate. All of the copies of a DD214 are identical and equally valid, except the so-called, short, or deleted copy, which is the copy 1.
About the Different Copies of a DD214
Because the DD Form 214 is such an important record, the military service branch produces multiple copies of the document at the time it is created. The several DD214 copies are retired to various state and federal agencies, so that in the event that one is lost, several other copies will remain. The copies are as follows:
DD214 – Member Copy 1
This is the so-called DD214 “short copy.” At Expiration of Term of Service (ETS), it is mailed to the service member at their Home of Record. It is commonly called the short, or deleted copy, because the portion of the document containing the Character of Service and Narrative Reason for Separation has been removed or “deleted.” Because this copy of the DD214 doesn’t reveal what type of discharge the service member received, it is essentially useless for post-service benefit applications (a Bad Conduct Discharge may bar the service-member from post-service entitlements).
DD214 – Member Copy 4
The “Member Copy 4” is the undeleted copy of the DD214 provided to the “Service Member” at ETS. It is typically mailed to the service member at their Home of Record several weeks after separation (along with the short-copy, Member 1). The copies 1 and 4 are called “Member” copies because they are provided to the service “Member.” The other copies are called “service” copies because they are kept by the branch of service.
DD214 – Service Copy 2
The Service 2 copy is the copy retained by the “service branch” and placed inside the Official Military Personnel File. It is identical in every way to the DD214–Member 4 copy. If the service member loses, damages, or misplaces the Member 4 copy, official copies of the service copy 2 are acceptable for post-service benefit applications.
DD214 – Copies 3 Through 8
The remaining copies of the DD214 are distributed among the VA, and various state and federal agencies (Department of Labor, State Department of Military and Veteran’s Affairs etc.). These are all long-copy DD214’s acceptable for post-service entitlement applications.