10 U.S. Code § 1168 - Discharge or release from active duty: limitations

A member of an armed force may not be discharged or released from active duty until his discharge certificate or certificate of release from active duty, respectively, and his final pay or a substantial part of that pay, are ready for delivery to him or his next of kin or legal representative.
This section does not prevent the immediate transfer of a member to a facility of the Department of Veterans Affairs for necessary hospital care.
(Added Pub. L. 87–651, title I, § 106(b), Sept. 7, 1962, 76 Stat. 508; amended Pub. L. 101–189, div. A, title XVI, § 1621(a)(4), Nov. 29, 1989, 103 Stat. 1603.)
Historical and Revision Notes

The new section 1168 of title 10 is transferred from section 1218(a) and (c) of title 10 as being more appropriate in the chapter on separation.


1989—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 101–189 substituted “facility of the Department of Veterans Affairs” for “Veterans’ Administration facility”.

Modification of Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty (DD Form 214)

Pub. L. 110–181, div. A, title V, § 596, Jan. 28, 2008, 122 Stat. 139, provided that:

“The Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, shall modify the Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD Form 214) in order to permit a member of the Armed Forces, upon discharge or release from active duty in the Armed Forces, to elect that the DD–214 issued with regard to the member be forwarded to the following:
The Central Office of the Department of Veterans Affairs in the District of Columbia.
The appropriate office of the Department of Veterans Affairs for the State or other locality in which the member will first reside after such discharge or release.”