How do find proof of service and an hornorable discharge or other than

How can you find out if someone has received an honorable or an dishonorable or even a less than honorable discharge from the military.

I know the Navy had a paper called a DD 214 form that list this information, but this young man doesn’t have one to produce.

Is this private information or public?

The DD214 is subject to the 1974 Privacy Act and access is restricted to the service member or an authorized agent of same.

What business is it of anyone else’s? (Which would be why it is under the privacy act protection.) I can’t see my co-worker’s employee evaluations from his previous job, I can’t find out if he was fired or quit. Generally, the employer won’t tell you either.

You take a person at his word, or don’t. If it’s to settle a coffee-shop argument, his word is all you have. If it’s an employment thing, either you require proof or you don’t. It would suck if you denied a veteran employment because he didn’t have the paperwork to prove it.

A lot of people who have moved around a lot presumably don’t carry a big file of papers with them.

Not being an American, I ask - is a dishonorable discharge equivalent to a felony conviction, or is it simply “you’re fired!”?

It’s not someone I would hire … they must have done something terrible to get kicked out of the US Navy.

In this case it is someone bragging that he has been honorably discharged for having a heart murmur and on top of that that he receives 80% of his service pay now for the rest of his life and he is only 25.

Sounds shady to me … I have heard of men getting blown up by roadside bombs in Afghanistan that don’t get 80% of their pay.

Sounds fishy to me…I’ve known people with some pretty bad disabilities that only got 10% rated. Also, why would a heart murmur not be caught on an induction physical? It’s not something that suddenly happens except in the presence of Rheumatic Fever, and that’s essentially an extinct disease.

A dishonorable discharge is usually tied to a court martial conviction for a serious offense that is the equivalent of a felony in the civilian world. It’s usually accompanied by a prison term, reduction in rank to E-1, and forfeiture of all pay and allowances.

A DD214 is a single sheet of paper that any military member with a brain (especially a veteran) keeps safe and accessible, particularly someone who is supposedly collecting medical or other benefits. You have to be able to prove that you are who you say you are.

There are a lot of fake vets out there, claiming service never served, for whatever reason. They’re lying scum, IMHO.

I have never been in the military, but it’s my understanding that that would be a medical discharge.

Based on my grandpa’s experiences, I rather doubt that a heart murmur would get anybody an 80% disabled rating.

So, if you were dishonorably discharged, but not actually convicted of a felony, does this mean you could apply for jobs and just check no if the application asks if you had ever been in the military?

What if you received a general discharge or something other than honorable but not a dishonorable? As I understand it, there’s a bunch of folks the military dumps every year who were “dirtbag” soldiers but they were never convicted of any serious crimes. (you know, they got caught for a bunch of petty stuff that mostly isn’t even illegal in the civilian world)

I bring this up because I recall that being the big stick the military holds over you. “Do what we say, or not only will we make your life hell right now, but when we kick you out you won’t be able to get a job because having a dishonorable is like being a convicted felon.”

If there’s no actual way for a company to find out via running a background check, then…

It’s usually called a medical discharge, but if there is a disability associated, it’s technically called a Disability Discharge. You can also be involuntarily separated for non-disability medical problems, in which case it has a long title such as Separation For Non-Disability Medical Problems or some such. Either way, it’s a discharge under honorable conditions, which means a person can still use benefits that are due. There’s also a Bad Conduct Discharge, a General Discharge and an Administrative Discharge Other Than Honorable (OTH).

Form DD214 applies to all US military branches, not just the Navy. A veteran can get a copy / replacement copy of his own DD214. Now whether the person in the OP really doesn’t have one, or simply doesn’t want to show it to the OP is a different question.

Chefguy covered Dishonorable. You can be discharged for less horrific things without it being characterized as Honorable. I served as the investigating officer on a case that I believe ended up as an Other Than Honorable discharge (that is what the command sought.) I clearly remember not having to testify at his admin separation board hearing so I didn’t pay much attention after that. It was for a morals charge that affected good order and discipline but had absolutely no counterpart in civilian criminal codes.

I had one of my troops with what should have been an easier to spot pre-existing condition that shouldn’t have suddenly happened. I ended up having to discharge him. As fishy as the rest of his story sounds I can see something slipping through.

A dishonorable discharge and a bad conduct discharge are always tied to a court-martial. The only way to receive such a discharge is to be found guilty at a court-martial and the judge awarding one of those discharges.


They’ve a right to be lying scum. What they don’t have a right to do is to scam people out of money based on those lies.

Don’t you mean the command sought a general discharge? Other than honorable is the characterization of service and is determined based on the rather extensive matrix in the DoD’s separation instruction.

If it were for a morals charge, I don’t understand why the command would not have disposed of his case via administrative punishment or court-martial. It’s irrelevant that “there’s no civilian counterpart”.

Yes. And there is a procedure for that, IIRC, for separating someone from the service who came into the military on a “faulty enlistment”.

I found this over at:
Advice to people with bad service records

So all I have to do is check out one of those ads for background checks, right?

To legally run a background check on him you must have his consent. Which he is unlikely to give you for the hell of it.

You might be able to find a scummy company which will run a check based on forged or no consent. But at that rate, how much trust do you have that their results are any more trustworthy than their shady illegal customer acquisition methods?

You could just turn to the ultimate universal snooping system: Google. Search on his name and read everything that comes up. You might find something which corroborates, or demolishes, some part of his story.

Yes, Veterans know to keep their DD-214 available. And they can also get another copy from the DoD, just takes a bit of time to arrive.

Also, here in Minnesota (and many other states) there is a Veterans Service Office in each County, they will store an official, certified copy of the DD-214, and provide a copy to the veteran if their copy is lost. When I worked at this office, we had many homeless, drug or alcohol troubled veterans who got a replacement copy of this document from us (often multiple times).

A medical discharge is considered an honorable discharge and it will mention both on the DD214, The DD214 will not mention disability percentage but the one that shows more information will show severance pay received by the military. I can say with 99% assurance that nobody is getting 80% for a heart murmur. You usually have to have multiple things wrong with you to get that high a rating or maybe one extremely fucked up thing wrong with you and a heart murmur just wouldn’t cut it.

If you medboard out of the military you are rated by the service for ex. the Army and the VA. The military only rates you for what will keep you from staying in service and makes you unable perform your duties. The VA rates you for everything from E.D. to skin disorders. I believe the military has to rate you over 30% to get medical retirement and you have to meet some other requirements. If you are rated less than 30% you usually get a severance separation pay and you’ll get the VA disability pay which is non-taxable and different than retirement pay. The VA seems to usually rate higher because they include all your medical problems.

Well “service-related” medical problems that is, at least that’s what its supposed to be.

I’m not sure about in other states, but here, a veteran can have a copy of his DD-214 put on file at the county courthouse. My husband did so recently, just in case something happened and he or I couldn’t retrieve the one here at the house. And it’s perfectly simple for a veteran to obtain a new or replacement DD-214. My mom nagged my dad for (literally) years to do so, and he kept procrastinating because he figured it would be some bureaucratic nightmare. Nope! It was simpler than filling out a change of address form at the post office, really! :smack:

I’m sure I have my Zeyde Herman’s HD around here somewhere. I can’t conceive of his being discharged in any way other than honorable. I also have my great uncle Max’s dog tags. Given that he was prone to leaving the base to visit his girlfriend or go into town to get drunk, I can see him receiving a OTHD or something.

I know next to nothing about all these kinds of discharge. Please, educate me.