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Are you missing any of your military records? I got replacements for no cost!

Are you missing any of your military records? I got replacements for no cost!

Honorable Discharge Pocket Square Heroes


Are you missing any of your military records? 

I got replacements for no cost, yes for FREE!

When I got out of the Marine Corps in 1997, I was issued my DD-214.  But I never received my Honorable Discharge Certificate the DD-256.

The other day, I decided to request one.  I figured this would require moving mountains.  I assumed a copy would not be archived in my service record book.

In the end, I was surprised how easy it was.  

Below are the instructions I followed to get a copy of my DD-256 for no cost from the National Records Archive.

I visited this page: Request Your Military Service Records Online, by Mail, or by Fax on

You can request a replacement DD 214/Separation Documents, Personnel Records, Replacement Medals, and/or Medical Records.

I filled my request using the eVetRecs system.  The online eVetRecs system creates the SF-180, Request Pertaining to Military Records to request information from your, or your relative's, military personnel records.

You may use this system if you are: a military veteran, or next of kin of a deceased, former member of the military.

The next of kin can be any of the following: a surviving spouse that has not remarried, and/or the members Father, Mother, Son, Daughter, Sister, Brother.

Your request must contain certain basic information for us to locate your service records.

This information includes:

  • Complete name used while in service
  • Service number
  • Social security number
  • Branch of service
  • Dates of service
  • Date and place of birth)
  • All requests must be signed and dated by the veteran or next-of-kin.
  • If you are the next of kin of a deceased veteran, you must provide proof of death of the veteran such as a copy of death certificate, letter from funeral home, or published obituary.

The website also addresses “Emergency Requests” like a Veteran’s Funeral which could require military records.

Below is the excerpt from

  • If your request is urgent (for example, upcoming surgery, a funeral, etc.) tell us the nature of the emergency and your deadline in the "Comments" section of eVetRecs or in the "Purpose" section of the Standard Form (SF) 180, Request Pertaining to Military Records.
  • Fax your request to our Customer Service Team at 314- 801-0764.
  • Call our customer service staff at 314-801-0800 if you have questions or require same-day service. 
  • Due to the large number of calls we receive at this number, hold times are often long. However, once you reach a technician, he or she will be happy to assist you with emergency service.

In the eVetRecs system was a drop-down menu listing the documents types you could be ordering and of course the DD-256 was not listed as an option.  

No worries, I explained in the comments section that I was requesting my DD-256.

When completed, I was issued a receipt number.  I printed the form, signed it and faxed the copy to the National Archive Records office.

The request was ultimately submitted online but required a hard signature.

DO NOT forget to fax/mail the hard signature, as archives will NOT complete the request without it.

In approximately 6 weeks, my “Honorable Discharge” certificate arrived in the mail.  I will be putting it in a frame and hang it in the man cave.

To start the process and for more details click here. 

Other stories you may like:

Who has received the title "Honorary Marine?

10 Things You May Not Know About The Vietnam Service Medal.

What do you REALLY know about the Southwest Asia Service Medal?


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