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In the realm of VA loans and military benefits, one term you'll often encounter is "proof of military service." This proof is essentially your key to unlock a variety of benefits offered to military personnel, veterans, and eligible family members. But what does proving your military service mean, and how can it be done?
In this blog post, we're going to simplify the process, breaking it down so that anyone, regardless of their familiarity with military terminologies, can understand it. Whether you're an active-duty service member, a veteran, or part of the Selected Reserves or the National Guard, this guide is meant to help you navigate this critical step.
Active Duty? Here's What to Do
Active duty members need to provide an original statement of service. Think of this as a letter from your boss that confirms you are currently employed. This statement should be signed by someone in authority in your unit or a higher headquarters, like the adjutant, personnel officer, or commander. This document should have your name, social security number, the date you started your current active duty period, and any time lost during this period.
If you're a veteran who was discharged after January 1, 1950, you'll need to provide a copy of DD Form 214. This document is like your report card from the military, showing when you were discharged or released from active duty. If you were discharged after October 1, 1979, you should include DD Form 214 copy 4 with your VA Form 26-1880. Remember, you can use a photocopy of DD214, so keep your original document safe!
Selected Reserves or National Guard Members
If you're part of the Selected Reserves or the National Guard, there isn't a one-size-fits-all document like the DD Form 214. Instead, you'll need to show documentation that proves at least 6 years of honorable service.
If you were discharged from the Army or Air Force National Guard, you can submit NGB Form 22 or NGB Form 23 (or their equivalents). If you were discharged from the Selected Reserve, you should provide a copy of your latest annual points statement along with evidence of honorable service.
If you're still serving in the Selected Reserves or the National Guard, you need an original statement of service, similar to active-duty service members. This statement should show the length of time you've been a member of the Selected Reserves and must document at least 6 years of honorable service.
Proving your military service might seem like a daunting task with all the different forms and documents. However, remember that this process is essentially about showing your relationship with the military, whether past or present. Once you understand what each document represents, it becomes less of a hurdle and more of a step towards unlocking your well-deserved benefits.
Just as a doctor cares about your health, we at The Financial Suit care about your wealth. If you need assistance with your VA loan application or have questions about proving your military service, don't hesitate to contact us. Our team of financial experts is ready to guide you towards a brighter financial future.