Veterans Still On Active Duty
Proof of service for veterans on active duty is 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 unique form used 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:
- the veteran's full name,
- Social Security Number (SSN,
- date of birth,
- the entry date on active duty,
- the duration of lost time, if any, and
- the name of the command providing the information
Discharged Veterans (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 persons 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 copy of DD Form 214 that includes the character of service and the narrative reason for separation. 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.
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
- the veteran’s full name,
- 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).
Discharged Reserve/Guard Members
There is no one form used by the Reserves or National Guard that 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 retirement 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.
Assistance in Obtaining Required Proof of Service
If veterans cannot locate proof of service, they can request military documents by completing SF-180 Request Pertaining to Military Records. The completed form should be submitted to the appropriate address shown. It should NOT be sent to VA.
Lenders and veterans should not delay requesting a COE pending receipt of requested military documents. In most cases, VA internal systems will have sufficient information to make the eligibility determination.