National Archives at St. Louis

Record Corrections

Correcting Clerical Mistakes

A clerical error made on a DD Form 214 (or predecessor form) at the time of the creation of the document may be corrected by NPRC, if evidence is found in the record or, in limited cases, if satisfactory evidence is provided.  Retroactive service type awards may also be corrected based on information contained in the record.  A correction is usually made by issuing DD Form 215, not by issuing a new DD Form 214 (there are exceptions).

EXAMPLES OF ITEMS NPRC MAY CORRECT USING DD FORM 215:

  • Misspelled name;
  • Wrong initial(s);
  • Reversed first and middle name;
  • Reversed first and last name;
  • Nickname cited rather than full legal name;
  • Name change (if not changed after separation);
  • Incorrect date of birth;
  • Transposed digits of social security number or service number; and
  • Information regarding medals.

Responsibility of Military Service Department

NPRC, as the physical custodian (but not the legal custodian) of military records, is not authorized to amend them.  Amending a military record (changing substantive information) is the responsibility of the military service department creating the record.

EXAMPLES OF ITEMS THAT NPRC IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO CORRECT USING DD FORM 215, CORRECTION TO DD FORM 214, CERTIFICATE OF RELEASE OR DISCHARGE FROM ACTIVE DUTY:

  • Character of service;
  • Reason for separation;
  • Separation authority;
  • Separation code;
  • Narrative reason for discharge;
  • Dates of time lost;
  • Reenlistment code;
  • Time-in-service;
  • Social security number if it differs from the one shown in the military record by other than transposed digits;
  • Significant name changes if it differs from the one shown in the military record;
  • Any correction that is not clearly documented in the record; and
  • Any correction that may be controversial in nature.

NOTE:  This information does not usually apply to “Archival” records.  (A record becomes “archival” 62 years after discharge, retirement, or death in service.

Back to NPRC Veterans Service Officer (VSO) Information Page

National Archives at St. Louis >

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272

.