Hiring veterans to support the defense industry is crucial to the national security mission. From leadership skills to an understanding of teamwork to an ability to adapt and learn, veterans have a lot to offer. Companies not only benefit on paper with the addition of veterans to their employee ranks, but they also benefit by the experience and critical thinking skills that a veteran can bring to the table. In some fields, veterans already show up with certifications and translatable skills. Which is great news for organizations and federal agencies focused on national security because approximately 200,000 service members transition to civilian life each year. So, how do you know if that patriotic service member is a case of stolen valor, or a real hero?

How to Verify Military Service

Options for Checking Records

Military personnel records are open to the public 62 years after a service member leaves the military. You can find veterans’ military service records from World War I to the present in the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC). Simply call NPRC or submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by mail.

Recruiters looking to verify military service can ask candidates or employees directly for their service records to determine if a candidate meets the requirements of a contract or for employee veteran percentage records. The report of separation form is the DD Form 214. Or you can also consider researching online databases for claimed commendation medals. That will only apply to individuals who have received commendation medals in service.

Verifying Service is and Important Recruiting Step

There are many ways to check to see if an individual has served in the military. Veterans are an asset to your team, and it’s perfectly reasonable to make sure that someone isn’t trying to make false claims. Verifying service is important, so be sure you do the diligence of checking – verification options are there. 

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Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.