If you can afford to wait for your DD214, use the direct source provided by the NPRC that we describe in detail on the previous page. If you require your DD214 in a day, or within a week, use a private research company. We've identified three on the previous page that specialize in this service.
However, there are about half-a-dozen companies that regularly advertise on the Net, on the major search engines, and are listed in related DD214 searches. Each site should be read very carefully to determine precisely the service that they offer, and the value you'll get for your hard earned dollar. Here they are (in alphabetical order)...
1. "It [Aardvark] was founded in January 2007." FALSE. Aardvark has no official business filing to support this claim. Aardvark was formed 8/2/2010: Bizapedia, its domain registered 2/17/2009: Network Tools, and its first website capture 5/5/2009: Internet Wayback Machine . Aardvark's misrepresentations are designed to place it in a preferred business status, longevity, vis-à-vis its competitors.
2. "Since 2007 we have provided expedited DD214’s to over 50,000 customers." FALSE. Obviously, since they were not open in 2007, their claim of 50,000 is also dubious.
3. "We are the ONLY online Military Research Company based in St. Louis." FALSE. Aardvark merely uses a St. Louis PO Box, 11001 Dunklin Rd, #38814, for its St. Louis address. Also, there are scores of independent researchers who are both online and work at St. Louis. See: NARA Researchers for Hire.
And on their homepage:
1. "The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), in St. Louis, is the primary repository for the military personnel files of veterans of ALL branches of the military who served between 1900 and the present." FALSE/Misleading. For records after 1995, the military branches and as well as the State Adjutant Generals Offices, themselves, are the primary repositories for their respective branch military service records.
2. "We are the ONLY Online Military Research Company based in St. Louis, Missouri. Our proximity to the NPRC, and our familiarity with the process and chain-of-command, gives us unrivaled access to the records, and the ability to deliver the records you need as quickly as possible." FALSE There are dozens of online military researchers who are St. Louis based, and, again, after 1995 - records are NOT held in St. Louis. The word "unrivaled" is certainly misleading.
3. "we can get them for you faster, and less expensively than anyone." FALSE. Maybe as fast but NOT faster for records that are actually located in St. Louis, not less expensively than anyone else.
Aardvark Research Group (2009) appears to be mimicking Touchstone Research Group LLC (see previous page) in all respects, even in its selection of a company name which includes "Research Group": Touchstone was indeed founded in 2007 with over 50,000 fufilled and verifiable military record requests. Imitation is indeed the highest form of flattery.
Conclusion: We wouldn't use a service who blatantly misrepresents in an attempt to acquire customers.
This company uses bait and switch tactics. They promote their $79 service, but if you want your DD214 delivered by email, they up the process a whopping forty dollars ($40) to $119!! Aardvark includes email delivery in their $79 fee. However, both Aardvark and DD214 Direct are seriously flawed as far as the security of your information with their "expedited email delivery" method. Just ask Hillary Clinton about how insecure email can be when sent over the Net unencrypted. Your DD214 contains your most sensitive information, just ripe for identity theft. Only Touchstone (Reviewed on Previous Page) provides you with your DD214 via a secure encrypted download link.
Now, let's look at DD214 Direct's "expedited" service, specifically: Notice the asterisk on their delivery times on their main page, 3-10 business days days "for most requests." However, when you visit their FAQ page at https://dd214direct.com/faqs/, in almost all cases, for almost all branches, they quote a 2-4 week delivery timeframe! This is the timeframe to which you must agree as contained within their Terms of Service, bottom of page at: https://dd214direct.com/order-your-dd214/. These are only the fairly typical delivery times provided by the service branches themselves for the Government's "free" service. You might as well save your $70-$119!!, and order from the Government your DD214, ah hum, direct..ly. (Information captured May 4, 2019.)
A private company (Click HERE), puts a new electronic spin on the processing of your SF 180. Not all records are at NPRC, and if you use the Government's standard submission procedure, above, you may simply receive a letter from the NPRC indicating that they've forwarded your request to some other records facility. This will add at least days to the process, if not weeks or longer. For just $10, ezDD214.com guarantees to submit your SF 180 to the correct facility the first time. And, better yet, with their eSign service, if you don't have a printer or fax, no printer or fax is required. There's nothing to printout, mail or fax to anyone anywhere. Their entire submission process is conducted purely electronically, entirely and completely Net based.
This company sells "Authentic Military Replacement Certificates," and provides only a link to the NPRC website (the same link that we provide HERE).
(This company apparently is no longer in business.)
They state "For only $99.50, Right-To-Know will perform a one-on-one telephone consultation with you to focus our background search and find your files. In some circumstances an additional agency search determined by you may be necessary with the original request at a charge of $49.50. Usually a single agency background search is all that will be needed."
NOTE: Despite the fact that this company's BBB Membership had been revoked in October, 2009, for failures to comply to BBB Membership standards, as of today (March 29, 2010) they continue to misrepresent their membership status. They are now rated an "F" for scores of complaints. See: http://www.bbb.org/dallas/business-reviews/searchers-of-records/right-to-know-in-dallas-tx-90003982#revoked.
They will assist you in filling out the SF180 and determine where your DD214 may be located, but they don't actually secure your DD214 for you. If you can read the SF180, it has all the necessary directions you'll need to do this for free. For the same price, you could use Touchstone or Lyon to get you your DD214 in person (see HERE).
Touchstone is the oldest and largest DD214 research firm and has researchers at the records facilities nationwide. They will retrieve your records and deliver your DD214 to you securely. (See Best Methods Here.)
If you're not in a rush, follow the instructions on the Best Methods Page to acquire your DD214 for free. If you need it within a week, use a private research company (also described on the Best Methods Page) that has researchers at the facilities where your DD214 may be located and who physically retrieve and ship your records to you.