Normally, anyone who has enlisted in any branch of military service can only receive
an Honorable Discharge upon completion of his/her full term of enlistment. There are
exceptions at times, but they are very rare.
A General Discharge (Under Honorable Conditions) is routinely given to anyone who
does not complete their full term of enlistment ----- and the reasons vary quite a bit.
If someone gets a General Discharge, that usually means that the service member
in question was unable to meet service standards, was unwanted, etc. and release
was "in the best interest" of the service branch. First, be honest with yourself, OK?
If you received a General Discharge, you did something wrong. You KNOW that!
Your DD-214 is the key document for military service, and a "certificate" saying you
were "honorably discharged" is meaningless ... there is no comparison at all since
the DD Form 214 is the ONLY meaningful and legal reference for military service.
The other 3 types of discharges are also noteworthy: Undesirable -- for misfits who
are constantly in trouble and unwanted by the military; Bad Conduct -- for misfits
who commited crimes and were found guilty by a court-martial; Dishonorable --
for misfits committing major crimes and found guilty by a general court-martial.
As to what benefits you might receive with a General Discharge, call your local VA
office or check it online. Overall, you might not be a bad person, my friend. But you
were simply not good enough to finish your enlistment and get an Honorable type
of discharge. Forget the "certificate" -- it means nothing! The DD 214 says it all.
Good luck to you.