Unknown to most soldiers, sailors, marines or airmen, is that the DD 214 is not an 8 1/2 by 11 inch pieces of paper. The DD 214 is actually 8 1/2 by 14 inches. That extra 3 inches of paper on the DD 214 contains critical information regarding how and why you were discharged. On the DD 214 is an section entitled “Special Additional Information.” Blocks 23 through 30 are found here.
Re-entry codes or “RE codes” are found in block 27.
The RE Code determines whether you can reenlist or not. But, it is more important than that. Prospective employers see the DD 214 with blocks 23 through 30. Even if you don’t want to reenlist an employer will see the RE codes. If you have an RE 4 code – which means do not allow to reenlist, then the employer will believe that you committed some offense and not hire you. Therefore, an adverse RE code could ruin your chances of getting a civilian job.