What You Need to Know About the DA Forms
The DA forms carry so many purposes. For example, these forms are often required when a service member wants to conduct certain actions, such as recommending another military member for an award or tracking possessing an army unit’s property. In the following article, you’re going to read what these forms are, where you can acquire them, how to complete them, and other information you may need to know related to the documents.
What are DA Forms?
DA forms are used for a wide range of purposes related to the military life of a military personnel member. However, there is no single accurate definition of these forms because of how extensive the documents are available under the category. Each serves a different function, intent, or mission.
The DA abbreviation stands for Department of the Army, the military Department that issues them. Department of the Army operates under the United States Department of Defense (DoD), the Air Force Department, and the Department of the Navy.
The forms and publications by the Department of the Army are organized through the APD (Army Publishing Directorate). As you may have already known, more than a thousand documents are under this directory. However, some of them are accessed and used by the US Army personnel more often than others. Here are three examples of the most frequently obtained Department of the Army forms:
DA Form 4856 (Developmental Counseling Form)
A service member uses the DA 4856 form when they attend counseling sessions held by a military counselor. This confidential document is used to document the details of the sessions.
DA Form 638 (Recommendation For Award)
The purpose of the DA 638 Form is to make a recommendation for the army personnel to receive an award due to their acknowledged achievement or action by their fellow military member. Note that this document cannot be used by a member to recommend themselves, as the action is considered self-recognition.
DA Form 31 (Request and Authority for Leave)
The main purpose of the DA 31 form is to request leave by an army member. However, this form can be applied for various leaving request situations, such as those caused by emergency reasons or wish to use the given vacation leave.
Where Can I Get Army DA Forms?
The US Army personnel can access around 1,817 records of DA publications and forms online. The digital documents are available on the Army Publishing Directory (APD) page.
In the APD official source, you can find a complete set of the forms and publications. However, there is a chance that you may find it difficult to find a certain document or be unsure if it’s still available. In that event, you may want to consider using the ‘Search’ box feature by typing out the acronym of the forms or the publication into the provided search box.
How Can I Complete Electronic DA Forms?
There are DA forms designed to be fillable digitally. As the documents are made in PDF format, you must use PDF software to view and complete them. It is preferable if you use the most updated Adobe Acrobat Reader version.
Another option to complete the forms electronically is by using your browser. That being said, you have to consider that your browser may not support some interactive features of PDF. For example, if you can’t use verification or e-signature features from your browser, you need to download the form into your device and use desktop software to open the file.
How Do I Obtain Printed DA Forms?
Most departmental forms can be obtained in printed form and stocked for purpose. However, to acquire a hard copy version of the DA forms, you must make an online order using a Logistics Services Washington account and log in as an Army user.