How To Obtain a Cold War Certificate

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If you served honorably on active duty, the Guard, Reserve, or as a DOD federal employee from Sept 2, 1945 to Dec 26, 1991, you are authorized the Cold War Recognition Certificate [as per section 1084 of the Fiscal Year 1998 National Defense Authorization Act].  There is the only official site on which to request Cold War Recognition Certificates, which is operated by the United States Army (the executive agency for the Cold War Recognition Program).

Here's how to obtain your copy free:

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 15 Minutes

Here's How:

  1. You will need proof of your service, such as a DD Form 214 (Record of Military Service), 

    WD AGO Form 53-55 (War Department Separation Document); or Oath of Office -- Military Personnel or Letter of Appointment.

    Qualifying civilian service also can be proved with a Standard Form 50 (Notification of Personnel Action); Standard Form 2809 (Health Benefit Registration Form); an award certificate with employee's name, name of service or agency, and dates; or retirement forms with the employee's name, service or agency and dates.

  2. Prepare, date, and sign a letter, requesting the award of the Cold War Recognition Certificate. You can also fill out an official request form at the Army's Cold War Recognition Certificate Website.
  3. Send the letter or request form, and a copy of your service proof to:

    Commander, USAHRC
    ATTN: AHRC-PDP-A, Dept 480
    1600 Spearhead Division Avenue
    Fort Knox, KY 40122-5408


    1. Your letter must contain the phrase "I certify that my service was honorable and faithful" whether as a member of the U.S. armed forces or as a federal civilian employee during the Cold War era, or it will be rejected.
    2. Do not send the original of your proof of service. Send a copy. Original documentation will not be returned.
    1. There is a large demand for this program. Individuals normally will receive a response within 60 days; however, the turnaround time will depend upon the amount of requests received.
    2. A telephone help line is available at (502)613-9126.