Most Veteran’s benefits require that applicants provide a copy of their Form DD 214 or discharge record, which is evidence of their veteran status. This is an important document and must be safeguarded. In the State of North Dakota separation documents are considered confidential and privileged NDCC 37-18-11 (13). National Guard members may receive a NGB22 and /or NGB23 upon obtaining 20 years of satisfactory service (20 year letter).
Upon discharge from military service the service member’s discharges are sent to their state of residence, usually as indicated by the veteran. The North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs maintains these records but not all states do.
It is recommended that you file a copy of your DD 214 with your county court house and maintain a copy in a safe place. It is important that your family members or trusted individual know where your DD214 is located.
There are several places where your DD214 may have been stored, including your county (or county Veteran returned to upon discharge), North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs (NDDVA), the North Dakota National Guard, Other State Department of Veteran Affairs Offices (if the veteran resided in another state after being discharged from the military), and the National Record Center.
When requesting copies it is helpful to include the following information:
- Veteran’s full name.
- Dates of service (as close as possible)
- Service number and/or Social Security Number
- Veterans Date of Birth
- Branch of Service
- Complete “REQUEST FOR RELEASE OF PRIVATE DATA” SFN 54412 (pdf). Mail, fax or deliver signed SFN 54412 as directed.
Requests for copies of discharge papers may be made by the Veteran or the next of kin of a deceased Veteran which include a surviving spouse that has not remarried, father, mother, son, daughter, sister, or brother.
How to Find a Copy
The North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs maintains discharges from 1941 to present. This includes National Guard federalized service time and active duty training time. Information pre-1941 is very limited.
Contact the North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs to determine if the discharge is on record.
Complete and sign "The Authorization For Release Of Information Form" and send to:
NORTH DAKOTA NATIONAL GUARD
P.O. Box 5511
Bismarck, ND 58506-5511
Other State Departments of Veterans Affairs
If the Veteran resided in a state other than North Dakota after being discharged, the Veteran may have selected that state’s Department of Veterans Affairs to have their DD214 sent to. Please note that not all states store discharges.
Visit the US VA website for information on other states veterans affairs offices.