Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Reserve Soldier Certificate of Service


In what military establishment can you serve as a soldier for 20 years, required to be prepared for deployment and active duty and not be issued a record of your service at your departure? How about a list of your awards accrued after completing your 8 year contracted service? Answer – In the Army Reserve.

You see dear reader – if you do not have an extended active duty period in the Army Reserves you do not receive a DD Form 214 which is a Certificate of release or discharge from Active Duty. Seems logical – the form applies to active duty service. As a Reserve Soldier I received one after 22 Years Reserve service only because I was mobilized…but what if I had not had the active duty… what then? Well the answer is not good…I could not produce a document that detailed my years of Reserve service, my awards, badges, specialty information, grade or character of service. In fact the awards and Reserve service after my last active duty tour, including a subsequent short active duty assignment are not documented in a single source certificate from the Army Reserve.

I’m not alone – every year thousands of Reserve soldiers finish their Reserve commitment and do not receive any certificate or official document that provides the information contained on the Active Duty release document. Soldiers retire after 20 years and cannot provide an accepted document that details the Reserve Career they held. A soldier serving a typical 8 year commitment to the Army Reserve today will receive a DD214 after Basic training and no other document for their service… 7 years of service is not certified, registered, noted except in a personnel file in a file cabinet somewhere. Reserve soldiers cannot provide veteran’s organizations, employers or family a certificate that lists their service both active and reserve that is completed at the end of their tour.

It is about time that we consider a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Reserve Duty for Reserve soldier service. A single certificate that acknowledges a soldier’s achievement over the course of their service. The existing DD214 format would be a great start. The worth of the acknowledgement that the Reserve soldier has a document that provides evidence of their service is significant… especially to that retired soldier …required to be always ready… that didn’t have the opportunity to deploy late in their career to get such a document.

5 comments:

Alan Moll said...

I agree that there is a need for a reserve/guard version of a DD214. For my 27 years of Navy service, all I have is a letter transferring me to the Retired Reserve. I recently tried to take advantage of Hyundai's $500 new car discount offered to military personnel in a "Retired Status", but the only documentation they accept is a DD214!

Anonymous said...

I served over 7 years in the Army Reserves i spent all those years serving my country to be told by Letterkenny Army depot for employment that i had no proof because there isnt a dd-214 for Reserves. So the years i spent didnt count at all including when i had active duty services.

Anonymous said...

FYI

There is a form you can and should recieve you can request your records from the state branch where you served or you may contact the National Records center to get a copy of your NGB 22 which is the sum of all your service includes your awards, the NGB 22 is usually mailed out when you discharge, however address are not always updated therefore if returned usually you can just fill out an SF 180 which a request for records and recieve the needed documentation.

Anonymous said...

And many places dont understand that an DD 214 is ONLY for active duty service.....if an offer is only extended for AD an you were a reservist and only recieve an NGB 22 you actually never had any "Active" time thus do not qualify for AD discounts,unless you were Full time NG or Reserves. An NGB 22 is avliable for any SM regardless of time serviced at the National Record Center in St. Louis or The records Branch of the branch and state of military component you served.

Anonymous said...

The Guard does have a version of the DD 214 it is known as the NGB 22. I have yet to learn what the reserves version of this is however.