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Eligible retiring DOD civilian employees and military members may request a Presidential Congratulatory Retirement Letter and/or Secretary of Defense Congratulatory Retirement Letter.

For a Presidential letter, requesters must have at least 30 years of combined military and federal service. For a Secretary of Defense letter, requesters must have at least 25 years of combined military and federal service.

The process and package templates for requesting these letters are found on Executive Services Directorate Correspondence Division website, in the Downloadable Template section. 

Request packages should be submitted electronically.  Instructions for submitting Presidential Appreciation Letters can be found at https://www.esd.whs.mil/CMD/ploa/

Completed Secretary of Defense letter requests are emailed to whs.pentagon.esd.mbx.white-house-suspense-desk@mail.mil.


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The Department of Defense does not verify employment for active-duty military members or for civilian employees by telephone. If you represent an organization that is seeking employment verification of a military member or if DOD civilian employee is applying to your organization for a service or job, please use the contact phone numbers on the person's application or resume to reach the DOD office or military organization at which they work or have worked.

Employment verification at the DOD level is managed through websites or through the military services.

For Current DOD Civilian Employees:
The Defense Civilian Employment Verification is an online self-service tool allowing current DOD employees to send employment and/ or salary information to an external organization (business, bank, credit union) or person directly from the Defense Civilian Personnel Data System in a password-protected document via email.

For DOD Civilian Retirees and Military Retirees:
Your Retiree Account Statement contains information on your pay and deductions that many potential creditors require, and your latest RAS is always available on myPay. You may also request a hard copy RAS be mailed to you by calling the Retired and Annuitant Pay Customer Care Center at 1-800-321-1080. Learn more at http://www.dfas.mil/retiredmilitary/manage/payverification.html and https://www.dcpas.osd.mil/Content/Documents/DCPDS-EV-FormerEmployees-FactSheet-LO.pdf.

For Currently Serving Military Members:
There are times when you may need to verify your status as a military member. Whether you are renting an apartment, purchasing a car or other reason, your Leave and Earning Statement (available via myPay) provides details on your pay grade, pay and entitlements, and deductions. There may be times when the business you are dealing with desires more than your LES or ID card as proof of your current military status. In these cases, we recommend you contact your personnel or finance office for assistance.

For Military Service Verification Under the Civil Relief Act:
SCRA is a program that provides certain protections in lending for service members who are called to Active Duty. Lenders seeking to verify active-duty status for military members, as authorized under the SCRA may do so using the Defense Manpower Data Center SCRA website.


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All retired military members are permitted to use their military titles socially and in connection with commercial enterprises. Such military titles must never be used in any manner which may bring discredit to the uniformed services.

The use of military titles is prohibited in connection with commercial enterprises when such use, with or without the intent to mislead, gives rise to any appearance of sponsorship or approval by the uniformed services or the Department of Defense.

Military titles will not be a part of the signature block of a retired service member when signing official correspondence as a civil service employee.

Retirees not on active duty will not use their military titles in connection with public appearances outside the United States unless such use is authorized by the appropriate overseas commander.

When military titles are used by members to sign their names to documents that pertain to them personally, they must show that they are in a retired status after the grade. Social and business calling cards must reflect the retired status.

In a military office, retirees using military titles on the telephone could lead to confusion and unwitting misrepresentation, conveying the impression of active-duty status. In any case, common sense is the guide when a retired service member works for the Government. No reasonable retired officer would invite awkwardness when employed in a military office by insisting on being called by a military title if such title outranks the retired service member's active-duty chief.

The retired service member's use of his rightful title in government employment is guided by his acceptance of his civilian status and loyal conformance to the established channels of command. Local customs, practices and conditions of employment are the primary influencing factors.


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The process for requesting replacement military medals varies depending on the service branch and when the veteran served. The National Personnel Records Center's website provides helpful information on submitting requests for the replacement of lost military service medals, decorations, and awards.


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Please accept our condolences. The VA offers many benefits to offset the cost of burial. The VA website has information on eligibility and how to apply.

Other information regarding VA burial benefits such as flags, headstones and markers is provided by the National Cemetery Administration.


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Please accept our condolences on the loss of your loved one. Rendering military funeral honors is one way to show the deep gratitude to those who, in times of war and peace, have faithfully defended our country. This ceremonial paying of respect is the final demonstration a grateful Nation can provide and it is our commitment to recognize the sacrifice and contributions of our Nation's veterans. By law, an honor guard detail for the burial of an eligible veteran consists of at least two members of the U.S. Armed Forces, and at least one member of the detail must be a representative from the deceased veteran's service branch. The honor detail performs a ceremony that includes the playing of taps and the folding and presentation of the American flag to the next of kin. Your funeral director can help you request military funeral honors. 

Link: https://www.militaryonesource.mil/leaders-service-providers/casualty-assistance/funeral-directory-and-planner-resources/

Link: National Cemetery Administration: https://www.cem.va.gov/


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The Office of Survivors Assistance was established by Public Law 110-389, Title II, Section 222, in October 2008, to serve as a resource regarding all benefits and services furnished by the Department to Survivors and Dependents of deceased Veterans and members of the Armed Forces.


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Many VSOs advocate for the well-being of the veteran community and will assist with applications for veterans benefits and appeals. The Department of Veterans Affairs maintains a directory of veterans' service organizations on its website at https://www.va.gov/vso/.

Some VSOs are additional recognized or approved by the VA Secretary for purposes of preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims under laws administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Individuals seeking such representation should only rely on information found in the VA Office of General Counsel Search for Accredited Attorneys, Claims Agents, or Veterans Service Organizations Representatives. Learn more at https://www.va.gov/ogc/apps/accreditation/index.asp.


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