Veterans Guide to VA Benefits →
Appendix II - Military Records →
Military Record- Understanding Character of Discharge
4. Military Record- Understanding Character of Discharge
Separation/Discharge information is important for eligibility of VA benefits. Your DD-214 contains the following information:
- type of separation,
- character of service,
- reason for separation and
- reenlistment eligibility codes
The "Character of your service" determines your eligibility for VA Benefits. There are 6 types of "discharge of character" listed on military discharges:
1"Honorable" or "Under honorable conditions" This type of discharge includes all VA Benefits and is Desired for Employment and security clearances.
2."General under Honorable Conditions":
- Check line 28 it could state "drug abuse" or "misconduct"
- Also check line 26 re-entry code (scale 1-4):
- Reenlistment codes: 1=acceptable for further service or preferred reenlistment, 2= ineligible for reenlistment / seperated at the convenience of the government, 3=Otherwise eligible for reenlistment except for disqualifying factor/will need a waiver to reenlist and 4= ineligible for future enlistment/nonvaiverable disqualification.
- This DD214 can be challenged for upgrade (attorney needed). No VA Benefits and Possible Hiring Employment Problems.
3."Other than Honorable" (OTH): Administrative Board decides discharge. No VA Benefits and Possible Hiring Employment Problems
4."Bad Conduct" (BCD): Given only after Court-Martial preceedings No VA Benefits and Possible Hiring Employment Problems
5."Dishonorable" (DD) : Given only after Court-Martial preceedings No VA Benefits and Possible Employment Hiring Problems
6."Entry Level (ELS) or Non-Characterized "
- This type of service is not characterized:
- Given within first 180 days of an intitial enlistment and
- Usually for failure to conform, participate, mental health issues, physical issues or other reasons.
- No VA Benefits and Possible Employment Hiring Problems