FactsHow Can I Get My Deceased Father's Military Records

How Can I Get My Deceased Father’s Military Records

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Further Information About Service Records Held By Mod

How to Get Military Medical Records

Information held by MOD on Royal Navy , Royal Marines , British Army, Royal Air Force service records and Home Guard records.

Royal Navy and Royal Marine service records

The RN Disclosure Cell holds service records for commissioned and non-commissioned officers from 1926 onwards. Information from these records can be requested under the MOD Publication Scheme.

Records prior to 1926, including records for World War 1 service, are held by The National Archives.

British Army service records

The Army Personnel Centre Historical Disclosures Section holds army service records for officers whose service ended after April 1922 and soldiers whose service ended after January 1921. APC also holds some records for the Foot Guards back to 1750. Information from these records can be requested under the MOD Publication Scheme.

RAF service records

The RAF Disclosures section holds service records for non-commissioned and commissioned RAF personnel dating back to 1920. Information from these records can be requested under the MOD Publication Scheme.

  • 2 December 2021

    Added link to the RAF online portal.

  • 6 August 2021

    Added a note regarding delays caused by COVID.

  • 9 July 2021

    Added accessible and fillable PDF versions of all the forms.

  • 26 May 2020

    Removed the COVID-19 notice as it is no longer relevant.

  • 26 March 2020
  • 2 March 2020
  • 22 March 2019
  • 8 October 2018

    Added a slight amendment to the wording to clarify that a copy of a death certificate is acceptable for submission.

  • Once Ive Signed In To Milconnect How Do I Request My Dd214 Or Other Military Records

    Follow the steps below to submit a military records request.

  • From your signed-in homepage, click or tap on Correspondence/ Documentation. Then select Defense Personnel Records Information from the drop-down menu.
  • Choose the Personnel File tab.
  • Select Request My Personnel File.
  • Fill out the form. In the Document Index section, check the boxes next to the document you’d like to request.
  • Click or tap on the Create and Send Request button.
  • Apply Online Using Evetrecs

    The National Archives’ online eVetRecs program is the fastest method for requesting service information. Simply click the eVetRecs link on the National Archive’s website and provide the required information, including:

    • The veteran’s name
    • Date and place of birth
    • Approximate date the veteran left the service
    • The reason for your request, such as applying for or researching your father’s military history.

    Federal law requires a signature on all record requests. After completing the request, print out and sign the verification and mail this to NPRC.

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    Checking The Status Of Your Request:

    Once you have allowed sufficient time for us to receive and process your request , you may check the status of your request by using the Online Status Update Request form.

    You may also telephone the NPRC Customer Service Line :Telephone: 314-801-0800 Telephone : 1-866-272-6272

    Note: Our peak calling times are weekdays between 10:00 am CST and 3:00 pm CST. Staff is available to take your call as early as 7:00 am and as late as 5:00 pm cst.

    Special Note on Calling by Phone: If you have already submitted a request and need to know its status you may speak to a Customer Service Representative. Staff is available to take your call as early as 7:00 am CST and as late as 5:00 pm CST. Our peak calling times are weekdays between 10:00 am CST and 3:00 pm CST:

    How Do I Get Access / Copy Of Exempt Discharge Papers

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    A veteran, the veteran’s next of kin, a deceased veteran’s properly appointed personal representative or executor, a person holding the veteran’s general power of attorney, or individuals designated, may submit a “REQUEST FOR Access / Copy of Exempt DISCHARGE PAPERS” to the county auditor in order to obtain access / copy of exempt discharge papers.

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    Request Military Records And Service Files

    Library and Archives Canada is responsible for holding the service records of Regular Force members who released before January 1998 and Reserve Force members who released before January 2007. Theyre also responsible for the medical and dental records of Canadian Armed Forces members released more than 5 years ago or who died in service more than 5 years ago.

    To obtain these records, please contact LAC directly by:

    Mail

    The Department of National Defence is responsible for holding the following service records:

    • Regular Force members who are currently serving, were released from service, or who died in service as of January 1, 1998
    • Reserve Force members who are currently serving, were released from service, or who died in service as of March 1, 2008

    To obtain these records, please submit an Access to Information request online or by mail to:

    Director Access to Information and PrivacyNational Defence HeadquartersMajor-general George R. Pearkes Bldg101 Colonel By DrOttawa ON K1A 0K2

    Response Time And Checking The Status Of A Request:

    Response time varies and is dependent upon the complexity of your request, the availability of records and our workload. Please do not send a follow-up request before 90 days have elapsed, as it may cause further delays. While the NPRC works actively to respond to each request in a timely fashion, the Center receives approximately 4,000 – 5,000 requests per day. We are responding to requests for separation documents within 10 days about 92% of the time. However, requests that involve reconstruction efforts due to the 1973 Fire, or older records which require extensive search efforts, may take 6 months or more to complete.

    Checking the Status of Your Request: Once you have allowed sufficient time for us to receive and process your request , you may check the status of your request by using the Online Status Update Request form.

    Special Note on Calling by Phone: If you have already submitted a request and need to know its status you may speak to a Customer Service Representative. Staff is available to take your call as early as 7:00 am CST and as late as 5:00 pm CST. Our peak calling times are weekdays between 10:00 am CST and 3:00 pm CST:

    Telephone: 314-801-0800

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    Seeking More Military Records Of My Deceased Father

    MicheleElizabeth- Smith

    Hello. I am looking for some assistance regarding finding Military Records for my father. NPRC sent me a letter explaining what separation documents were but there was nothing more in the letter. I have already emailed them regarding trying to get more information but I am wondering if there is a different way I can go. Thank you so much for any new direction.

    • Michele,

      What additional information are you seeking. Plus do you have any information on the individual that you are seeking? Name, DOB, place of birth.

    Research A Veteran Guide

    How to Get Medical Records

    Please note that the National Archives are currently closed to external researchers due to the pandemic, and they are currently only accepting emergency requests for records to assist veterans.

    More than 16 million American men and women served in the US Armed Forces during World War II, and another 3.5 million worked as federal civilian employees during the war. These men and women are our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or siblings. Many have shared their stories, but many others have not, and few details from their time in service are known.

    The purpose of this guide is to assist veterans and their families in obtaining copies of their military personnel files from the National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri.

    Details include the types of records available, where they are located, and how to obtain copies. The latter part of the guide details the information available on WWII units and ships. By researching the unit or ship to which a veteran was assigned, you can begin to piece together his or her unique wartime story, and better understand what the war means to your family.

    This free resource supports research initiatives of the Museums Institute for the Study of War and Democracy.

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    Are My Military Records Public

    Yes, your records are available to the public, but not in the way you may think. Your records are not readily available for everyone to scrutinize your pertinent personal information, unless youre next-of-kin to a veteran or a deceased veteran. The only people who can legally gain access to military service records are:

    • You, requesting them for yourself.
    • A military widow who hasnt remarried.
    • The father, mother, son, daughter, immediate sister, or immediate brother of a deceased veteran.

    Therefore, if youre just looking to get your records and are worried about others being able to access them, trust me, they have a lot of work to go through to illegally obtain those documents. Some people are worried that their employers can access their military records. The truth is, they cant. Any government request must be approved by the veteran or service member themselves in order for any employer to receive military records. If someone requests military records without your consent, they can only get extremely limited OMPF information, keeping your privacy secure, as mentioned in the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act.

    Search Records At The United States National Archives

    The National Archives and Records Administration in the United States has a collection of records for the German military. See Record Group 242, titled Collection of Foreign Records Seized for more details.

    Additionally, prisoner of war records of German servicemen also can be located at the National Archives. Here are just a few:

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    Apply Online For Raf Records

    You can apply online if any of the following are true:

    • youre the persons immediate next of kin
    • the person died more than 25 years ago
    • the person died less than 25 years ago but you only want basic information about them – for example, the date they joined and left the armed forces

    You cannot apply online if the person was in the Royal Navy , British Army or Home Guard.

    To apply online, youll need a:

    • digital copy of the death certificate of the person youre requesting the records of in the correct format
    • debit or credit card

    You will not get the record as soon as you have applied online. Your request will be sent to the relevant military service.

    You can apply by post if any of the following are true:

    • youre their immediate next of kin
    • the person died more than 25 years ago
    • you have the consent from the immediate next of kin
    • you do not have the consent from the immediate next of kin and would like limited information only

    Download and fill in a request for information form. If your request is for a Home Guards record, fill in the Home Guard form only. Otherwise, the form you need depends on whether youre the deceased persons next of kin or not.

    Download and fill in a search form. The form you need depends on which military service the person was in.

    Send both forms, with the £30 fee for each separate service record, and any supporting documents to the address on the search form.

    Request Your Military Service Records Online By Mail Or By Fax

    my brother, my dad, and my sister are all going to miss me ...

    Military personnel records can include DD 214s/Separation Documents, service personnel records found within the Official Military Personnel File , and medical records. Military personnel records can be used for proving military service or as a valuable tool in genealogical research.

    Please note that NPRC holds historical Military Personnel Records of nearly 100 million veterans. The vast majority of these records are paper-based and not available on-line.Learn More

    Review the Instructions Before you Begin!

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    About Military Service Records And Official Military Personnel Files

    If you’ve been discharged from military service, your personnel files are stored here at the National Archives and Records Administration . We are the official repository for records of military personnel who have been discharged from the U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard.

    If you are a recently separated veteran, records can be found online via the VA eBenefits portal. However, most veterans and their next-of-kin can obtain free copies of their DD Form 214 and other records several ways:

    Military personnel records are primarily administrative records and can contain information such as:

    • enlistment/appointment
    • and other personnel actions.

    Detailed information about the veteran’s participation in military battles and engagements is NOT contained in the record.

    Most Official Military Personnel Files contain both personnel and active duty health records, but this practice was discontinued by the service branches beginning in 1992. See Military Medical and Health Records for more details.

    In an effort to expand access to and ensure the preservation of the records, the National Archives and Records Administration together with the Department of Defense developed a schedule, signed July 8, 2004, making the Official Military Personnel Files permanent records of the United States. This schedule mandates the legal transfer of these files from DOD ownership to NARA ownership 62 years after the service member’s separation from the military.

    Obtaining Service Records Using Sf

    Military personnel records are requested using the SF-180 form. SF-180 is used by the NPRC to obtain public files from a service member and outlines several ways to send in your request:

    • The PDF is available online for download. Fill out the form with accurate information to the best of your ability.
    • NPRC explains how to return the document: Review the tables on page 3 of SF-180 to identify the correct location of the record you need and send the completed form to the address identified on the table.
    • Fill out an inquiry form on NPRC to have the SF-180 mailed to you directly.
    • Return the documents to:

    St. Louis, Missouri 63138

    • Visit a Veterans Administration office, VA organization, or Federal Information Center.

    The SF-180 can be mailed directly or faxed to 801-9195. NPRC responds in the order in which the request was received. Separation documents typically take about 10 business days, whereas older records may take up to six months to retrieve.

    Next-of-kin of deceased veterans may fill out a SF-180 form or have the option of filling out an online order form.

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    Social Security Death Index

    Veterans who died since 1962 may be in an index on FamilySearch at United States Social Security Death Index. The index provides the deceased person’s birth date, social security number, state where the social security card was issued, month and year of death, and sometimes the residence and zip code where the death benefit was sent.

    What Type Of Information Is Releasable To The General Public

    Obtaining Military Records

    The type of information releasable to the general public from Federal records is dependent upon whether or not a person is requesting information under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act or has access authorization from the veteran or next-of-kin.

    With the Veteran or Next-of-Kin’s authorization: The veteran must authorize the release of any information not available to the public under the Freedom of Information Act . In some cases, the veteran may already possess military documents that contain the information you are seeking. The authorization must:

  • be in writing
  • specify what additional information or copies that the NPRC may release to you and
  • include the signature of the veteran or next-of-kin. A sample authorization is included for your review.
  • Please note: Next-of-kin must also provide proof of death of the veteran, such as a copy of the death certificate, a letter from the funeral home or a published obituary.

    Without the Veteran or Next-of-Kin’s authorization: Without the consent of the veteran or next-of-kin, the NPRC can only release limited information from non-archival Official Military Personnel Files to the general public. Click here for a list of information available under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. Greater access is granted for records 62 years and older, see Archival Records.

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    Find Canadian Military Records And Service History With Forces War Records Canada

    Search over 8 million records including Canadian Military Records exclusive to Forces War Records Canada, to search for your family members military history. With customer support from military experts, Forces War Records Canada is one of the most comprehensive, and constantly expanding search facilities in the world

    Using our easy to use search you can find Canadian and Commonwealth military service records enabling you to search for family members to complete your family tree. Our records have been transcribed and enciphered by handwriting experts, and we also offer expert help and knowledge through our customer support team.

    What Do You Need As Proof

    During the time spent in the service, the names of ships changed as often as the names of the cities where Dad was stationed. Brooklyn Naval Yard, Key West Naval Station, Charleston, SC, and Norfolk, VA were ports in the short span of a couple of years.

    Remembering these along with the names of the corresponding ships became hard after years had passed along with my father.

    The information needed to request the Official Military Personnel Files includes the following:

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    Who Can Obtain Veterans Health Records

    For a deceased Veteran, their un-remarried widow or widower, son, daughter, father, father, mother, brother or sister are eligible to access their health records.

    In order to be granted access, the next of kin must provide death their certificate. The process can either be done online or by mailing a letter to:

    National Personnel Records Center

    St. Louis, MO 63138

    If you decide to mail in the application, print out and send in this form. Through it, the VA will be able to gather all their necessary information needed to locate the records you need.

    If you are not able to submit form SF-180, you will need to provide the VA with the following information:

  • The veterans complete name used while in service
  • Place of entry into the service, if known.
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