Re-Enlistment: The Basics

Here’s what you need to know if you’re thinking of re-enlisting.


Your Re-Enlistment Entry code—your RE code—tells you whether you’re eligible to rejoin the military.

You probably know your RE code already. It appears on your DD-214 discharge certificate.

If you need to order a copy of your DD-214, you can complete Standard Form 180 and mail it in. You’ll find it at The form comes with detailed instructions and a list of mailing addresses. Be sure to use the correct address.

You may also be able to order your DD-214 online. Visit to launch the eVetRecs system. Some veterans have reported problems using the eVetRecs system. If you encounter problems, you can always order the form by mail, as discussed above.

There are four possible RE codes: RE-1, RE-2, RE-3, and RE-4. Code RE-1 permits immediate re-enlistment. Code RE-4 bars re-enlistment; it has to be changed before you can re-enlist. Codes RE-2 and RE-3 are either waivable or non-waivable—that is, they can be disregarded in some circumstances, but not in others.

If your code is RE-2 or RE-3, the quickest way to learn whether it’s a waivable or non-waivable code is to ask a recruiter. Bring a copy of your DD-214. Even if your code is waivable, it won’t be waived automatically; the recruiter will have to submit a request.

It may pay to shop around. It’s possible that one military branch can waive a code that another branch can’t.

To change your RE code, you may need to apply to the Board for Correction of Military Records (BCMR) or Board for Correction of Naval Records (BCNR). Your recruiter may be able to help you (or refer you to someone who can help). For information about applying to the BCMR and BCNR, review our memorandum about discharge upgrades at

Except for providing the information above, Swords to Plowshares does not offer counseling or other assistance to veterans seeking to re-enlist. For additional information, please check with a recruiter.

This memorandum provides general information only. It does not constitute legal advice, nor does it substitute for the advice of an expert representative or attorney who knows the particulars of your case. Any use you make of the information in this memorandum is at your own risk. We have made every effort to provide reliable, up-to-date information, but we do not guarantee its accuracy. The information in this memorandum is current as of December 2012.

© Copyright Swords to Plowshares 2016. These materials are the property of Swords to Plowshares and are made available at no charge. For parties interested in using or distributing these materials, please note that no alterations are permitted and proper attribution must be given to Swords to Plowshares.

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