The DA Form 638 is a standard United States army form for the recommendation of an award. It is not, however, used to for recommendations for awards for valor, heroism or for other types of wartime awards. Those types of awards call for different forms and procedures.
The DA Form 638 is available on the United States Army documentation website and from other sources online, and it is, of course available through the Army chain of command.
How to Fill Out Form DA 638
In boxes 1 to 3, the soldier is named and the form is dated. Part I of Form DA 638 includes boxes 4 through 13, and identifies the soldier, his or her rank and his or her organization. The soldier’s previous awards are listed, the proposed award is named, and the reason for the nomination is specified. The proposed award date is listed, and it is noted as to whether this is to be a posthumous award.
Part II of Form DA 638 specifies information about the individual recommending the award, and spans boxes 14 through 19. What’s called for here is the name, address, position, rank, and the signature of the person making the recommendation. Also to be noted is the relationship between the person being proposed for the award and the individual recommending it.
Part III is where the achievements that have lead to the recommendation for this award are listed. This is in box 20, and there are 4 spaces to enumerate up to 4 different achievements.
On Page 2 of Form DA 638, the soldier’s name and social security number are again listed. Then begins Part IV of the form, which includes all the approvals of Intermediate Authorities needed throughout the chain of command for this award to be given. All the Intermediate Authorities must provide their name, rank and signature. In addition to their recommendations for approval, disapproval, upgrade or downgrade, the form includes sufficient space for comments.
In the event that the input of additional individuals is required, Form DA 638 has an addendum to it available on page 3, with enough space available for all necessary recommendations to be listed. The final section of Part 4 is the input from the Approval Authority, which is similar to the input required from the Intermediate Authorities.
At this point, the almost complete Form DA 638 is forwarded to the correct HQ, the Approval Authority, for final processing. In Part 5, the award will either be approved of not. If it is denied, an explanation will be provided. The distribution of the award, if approved, will also be detailed.
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