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General Military Questions

Honorable Discharge

Most service members receive an Honorable Discharge after serving in the military at the end of their service contract.

This discharge category is tangible evidence that you did everything expected of you during your time of service.

Having a discharge with an honorable characterization means you have full access to every benefit available to veterans, such as medical coverage, educational benefits, and a host of others.

Related ArticleBad Conduct Discharge (BCD): 8 Things You (probably) Didn’t Know

1. What is an Honorable Discharge?

Honorable Discharge from the Navy

An Honorable Discharge is an official release from the military.

In the case of this type of discharge, it happens at the end of a service member’s military service.

It is also proof that you served faithfully and with integrity while holding up the military’s values.

2. Reasons for an Honorable Discharge

The vast majority of service members who leave the military to rejoin civilian life do so after successfully completing their service obligation.

Those who leave the service with an Honorable Discharge do so with ratings from good to excellent.

By meeting or even exceeding the expectations of the standards of duty for your service, you will receive an Honorable Discharge recognizing your service.

3. Honorable Discharge Benefits

After receiving an Honorable Discharge, you are eligible for the full range of available benefits through the VA.

Benefits include disability compensation during peace and wartime.

Also, the GI bill is available for educational benefits for continuing your education.

The VA also has other benefits such as burial, vocational rehabilitation, and benefits for survivors.

Furthermore, veterans with this character of discharge have access to VA loans.

Related ArticleGeneral Discharge: 10 Things You (probably) Didn’t Know 

4. How to Get an Honorable Discharge

To earn this level of discharge, all you have to do is perform your job well and uphold the values belonging to the military branch you serve.

Also, conduct yourself with integrity during your duty performance to earn a good rating on performance reviews.

Also, conduct your personal life in such a way it reflects positively on your military service.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

We address the various commonly asked questions below.

5. Can You Get out of the Military Early with an Honorable Discharge?

It is nearly impossible to receive a discharge from the military before fulfilling your service contract.

Because of the contract, it is not like leaving other jobs.

However, there are situations where a branch of the military allows an early release.

For instance, the Navy allows sailors to request a discharge for educational reasoning.

Also, the Air Force allows members to apply for a request after two years of service to attend specific medical training programs.

Lastly, in some extreme cases, the military allows hardship discharges where the only way to relieve a burden is with a discharge.

In these cases, an Honorable Discharge is still appropriate because it is a voluntary separation rather than an involuntary discharge.

6. How Do I Get My Honorable Discharge Certificate?

Military Discharge

You will receive your discharge certificate by mail along with your DD 214.

However, if you lose this certificate and wish for a replacement, you may submit your request at

7. How to Change a General Discharge to Honorable?

There are two separate boards to determine eligibility to upgrade the character of discharge.

The board reviews the application and the reason for the request for an upgrade.

If the current discharge character is determined to be improper or inequitable, the board will upgrade the discharge.

8. Where Is My Honorable Discharge Located on My DD-214?

Line 24 of your DD 214 is the Character of Service section.

If your discharge were honorable, it would say so on this line.

Related ArticleOther Than Honorable Discharge


The majority of service members successfully complete their service obligation without running into trouble.

Because of their service, those who complete their service with a good to excellent rating receive the highest level of character on their discharge paperwork.

Also, these veterans have access to all the benefits awarded through Veterans Affairs.

In some cases, service members who fall short of an Honorable Discharge can ask a review board to upgrade their character of separation. 

If the review board agrees, the upgrade means access to more benefits.


See Also:

8 Types Of Military Discharge

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An Honorable Discharge in the military is the highest form of discharge you can receive. Learn more about how to get one here.
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