Separation Codes in the ArmyAugust 16, 2021
Separation Codes in the Army
A separation code is the code that is contained in block 26 of a Veteran's DD214. The Separation Code should be correlated with the Narrative Reason for Separation, which is contained in block 28 of a Veteran's DD214. Separation Codes in the Army are regulated by AR 635-5-1, which is a restricted regulation and no longer available to the public.
Separation Codes basically indicate to anyone looking at a Veteran's DD214 why and how they left the military. For example, was it voluntary? Was there misconduct involved? Was it for medical reasons? The Separation Code can be just as important to a civilian employer as the Characterization of Service (i.e. Honorable, General under Honorable Conditions, Other than Honorable etc.). One has to wonder why the Army has restricted access to the public. There are likely civilian employers who are trying to understand Separation Codes in the Army and are left to guess, possibly to the detriment of the Veteran attempting to get a job.
If a Veteran has a question about their separation code, he/she should contact a lawyer who practices military law.
Any Veteran who understands their separation code, but wishes to challenge it, has options available to them. The Discharge Review Board of each service has the authority to change the separation code on a DD214. Applications can be submitted to each board using a DD Form 253. Furthermore, if certain conditions are met, the Board of Corrections for each service can also change the separation code on a DD214. Applications can be submitted to each of these boards using a DD Form 149.
Anyone with additional questions about Separation Codes in the Army should contact a lawyer who practices military law.
This Article was written by Attorney Matthew Barry