Correcting Military Service Records
For guidance on the review of discharges and military corrections boards, see NARA’s “Veterans’ Service Records: Correcting Military Service Records”.1For informationon the military service review boards , see “Boards for Correction of Military Records / Discharge Upgrades” site.2NARA’s site also provides the following BCMR guidance:
“Prior to submitting a request to a Board for Correction of Military Records, ALL administrative avenues must be used. Generally, that means a request to NPRC for a correction , then a request to the military service department , and finally if both these fail, then submit DD Form 149, with supporting evidence as instructed on the form.”3
Who Can Access Service Records
Ex-ADF members can request access to their service records held by Defence Archives by completing the request for service records form.
Third parties requesting access to service records will require the members authority. For more information see the request for service records form.
Should you be seeking access to a deceased members service records, please be aware that the applicant will be required to provide proof of relationship, such as marriage, birth and death certificates. For more information please see the request for service records form.
Access To Records Information For The General Public:
Without the consent of the veteran or next-of-kin, the National Personnel Records Center can only release limited information from the Official Military Personnel File to the general public. You are considered a member of the general public if you are not the veteran, asking about a veteran who is of no relation to you or seeking information about a veteran who is a relative but for whom you are not the next-of-kin. The next-of-kin is defined as any of the following: the un-remarried widow or widower, son, daughter, father, mother, brother or sister of the deceased veteran.
Such access is intended to strike a balance between the public’s right to obtain information from Federal records, as outlined in the Freedom of Information Act , and the veteran’s right to privacy as defined by the Privacy Act.
Different release procedures apply for records 62 years and older, see Archival Records.
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Final Thoughts: What Records Should You Download
Honestly, it all depends on your situation. If youre an injured veteran who needs your information to appeal a case, or more, go ahead and download everything. Of course, keep in mind the officer documentation we mentioned above. Dont lie about what you need to request, as this wont help your case. But its always a good general rule to have everything at your side, and of course, this will ensure that all of your documents are squared away.
Dont forget that as a veteran, you can also download your VA medical records online if youre set up on the myHealtheVet website, Get your benefits letter directly from the VA, or even get access to other records and letters on the VA.GOV website itself. Always be sure that you save everything in a handy binder, and store it neatly in a lock-box or a fireproof safe. Some veterans store this information digitally as well, and some have been known to even use a safety deposit box. This seems far-fetched, and youre not being paranoid youre being protective about your information.
Justin Williams is a certified Microsoft Specialist and U.S. Army Veteran. Serving in 2008, he was a Multichannel Transmission Systems Operator with the 15th Signal Brigade. After an Honorable Discharge, he struggled to get access to military benefits for service-related injuries. Justin has committed to helping other veterans navigate the system and get the most out of their hard-earned veteran status.
Archival Vs Federal Military Records
The opening of these records is part of the ongoing transfer of all OMPFs from the ownership of the military services to the legal custody of NARA, 62 years after the service member’s separation from the military. Separation from service is defined as discharge, retirement or death in service based on a rolling date. For example, if today’s date is January 1, 2016, then the discharge, retirement or date of death must be January 1, 1954 or before for the record to be considered archival. Archival records are no longer the property of the agencies that created them, in this case the Military Service Departments, but are records of the National Archives, open to the general public. See Archival Records to access these records.
Records of individuals who left service less than 62 years ago are non-archival and are maintained under the Federal Records Center program. Federal OMPFs are subject to access restrictions, and only limited information or copies of documents from these records may be released to the general public within the provisions of the law. The Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act provide balance between the right of the public to obtain information from military service records and the right of the former military service member to protect his/her privacy. See Federal Records Center Program to access these records.
Based on a rolling date of 62 years, all military personnel records will eventually become archival records, open to the general public.
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Where Are My Medical Records
Well, that depends on when you served and the branch of service you were in. They are stored in different places for different branches and at different places, depending on your end of service. This sounds confusing and difficult, but it isnt.
In the 1990s, the military discontinued the practice of filing health records with the personnel record portion at the NPRC. In the1990s, the Army began retiring most of its health records to the Department of Veterans Affairs . The other services started to file their records to the VA at around the same time. In 2014, the military services discontinued the practice of retiring the records to the Department of Veterans Affairs . To determine where a medical record is located, utilize the chart below:
If your tour of duty ended after the dates listed, the VA Records Management Center, in St. Louis, MO, is where your active duty health records have been stored.
To request your medical records, call 1-800-827-1000 VA claims number, and file a request with the VA to get them. If NPRC does not have the medical record you need, contact information will be provided for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Requests By Medical Units For Access To A Members Unit Medical Record
Defence Health Centres may request access to current members Medical Records held at Defence Archives under the following conditions:
- Where the UMR is in the custody of Defence Archives
- Where the original UMR cannot be located at the members losing or gaining unit and an investigation has taken place in order to locate UMR
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Log In To Your Secure Patient Portal
If your military hospital or clinic uses TOL, click here to log in: > > TRICARE Online
If your military hospital or clinic uses MHS GENESIS, click here to log in: > > MHS GENESIS
Not sure which portal your military hospital or clinic uses? Visit their website here:
Once there, click Patient Portal in the top right-hand corner of the homepage. Youll be directed to the correct portal, either TOL or MHS GENESIS.
International SOS offers translation services for active duty families overseas. Active duty service members and their families can get their entire medical records translated. Take advantage of this service when you move or change providers–especially in remote overseas areas!
Morning Reports And Rosters
- Morning reports and rosters may also be of interest.
- Unit morning reports created from 1917 to 1974 are in the custody of the National Personnel Records Center, Military Records Facility, 9700 Page Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63132-5100.
- Rosters created from 1917 until the present are also located at the National Personnel Records Center or at the Army Reserve Personnel Center, both of which may be contacted at the address above.
- Additional information may be found at the National Personnel Records Center Web site.
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What Happens After I Request My Military Records
Youll receive an email letting you know were processing your request. Youll receive a second email when your request is complete and your files are ready for you to view and download.
You can also check the status of your military records request by signing in to milConnect and going to the Personnel File tab within the Defense Personnel Records Information section. This is also where youll view and download your files once theyre ready.
Emergency Requests And Deadlines
If your request is truly urgent tell National Archives the nature of the emergency and your deadline in the “Comments” section of eVetRecs or in the “Purpose” section of the Standard Form 180, Request Pertaining to Military Records.
Fax your request to the Customer Service Team at 314-801-0764.
If your burial request involves interment at a Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery, contact the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 800-535-1117 or visit the National Cemetery Administration website. We work directly with the Veterans Affairs staff to obtain records to verify service for burial benefits. If the veteran is not going to be interred at a National Cemetery, the requester may fax the SF-180 or signature page from eVetRecs to the Customer Service Team at 314-801-0764.
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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.
Request Military Service Records
Recent military service and medical records are not online. However, most veterans and their next of kin can obtain free copies of their DD Form 214 and the following military service records any of the ways listed below.
Looking for records?
How can I check on the status of my request?
Allow about 10 days for us to receive and process your request before checking your request status.
Please indicate whether you know your request number using the buttons below:
You may also telephone the NPRC Customer Service Line : 314-801-0800. Note: Our peak calling times are weekdays between 10:00 a.m. CT and 3:00 p.m. CT. Staff is available to take your call as early as 7:00 a.m. and as late as 5:00 p.m. CT.
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Where To Send My Request
You can mail or fax your signed and dated request to the National Archives’ National Personnel Record Center . Be sure to use the address specified ” rel=”nofollow”> eVetRecs). Most, but not all records, are stored at the NPRC.
NPRC Fax Number :
See Other Methods to Obtain your Military Service Records for more details, or see more information on access to the general public.
Special Note on Contacting by Email: Requests for military personnel records or information from them cannot be accepted by email at this time. The Privacy Act of 1974 and Department of Defense directives require a written request, signed and dated, to access information from military personnel records. Our email address should only be used only to request general information or to submit compliments, complaints, or concerns.
NOTE: If you send messages using WebTV or a free-email service, you will not receive our response if your mailbox is full. Messages sent to full mailboxes are returned to us as “undeliverable.” You may wish to include your mailing address in your message so that we may respond via the U.S. Postal Service.
How Is A Designee Assigned
A veteran or a duly appointed representative may file a “REQUEST FOR DISCLOSURE OF DISCHARGE PAPERS” designating an individual to have access and/or obtain copies of exempted military discharge papers. This form may be recorded with the County Auditors office or may be maintained by the veteran.
NOTE: An organization cannot be assigned as a designee
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Amendments And Annotations To Service Records
If you wish to make an amendment to your personnel records that contain incorrect, out of date or misleading information you may do so by either of the following:
Privacy Act 1988
Australian Privacy Principle 13 correction of personal information provides that an APP entity must take reasonable steps to correct personal information it holds, to ensure it is accurate, up-to-date, complete, relevant and not misleading, having regard to the purposes for which it is held.
The requirement to take reasonable steps applies in two circumstances
- Where an APP entity is satisfied, independently of any request, that personal information it holds is incorrect or
- Where an individual requests an APP entity to correct their personal information.
Further information on APP 13 is available from: OAIC Website.
Please forward your request for amendments to
Freedom of Information Act 1982
You may apply, under the FOI Act, for amendment or annotation of a record of your personal information that you consider to be incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading.
However, several conditions must be met to make a valid request for amendment or annotation which is outlined in the document provided below.
Selected Federal Government Web Resources
American Battle Monuments Commission at
The website contains databases of veterans interred or memorialized at overseas American military cemeteries and memorials.
The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, National Park Service
This website contains a database of the men who served in the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War, as well as information on regiment histories, significant battles, and some prisoner-of-war records and cemetery records.
Confederate States of America Records at the Library of Congress
The records of the CSA span the years 1854-1889, with the bulk of the material concentrated in the period 1861-1865, during the Civil War. Provides links to Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies External Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies External and War Department Collection of Confederate Records.
Military Resources: Veterans at the National Archives Library Information Center
This site provides links to veterans’information, military casualties, Prisoners of War/Missing in Action, and medals & honors.
Philippine Army and Guerilla Records at the National Archives
Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress at
VHP collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American veterans.
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What If I Got Out Before 1992
In this situation, your request is best made using a Standard Form 180. This is a three-page form that includes the complete instructions for preparing and submitting requests. It is a written, signed request that you must mail to the address on the form. This request will take some time to get results, so request your medical records as soon as possible!
There is good news about requesting your military records.
If you are a veteran or family member, you may now use vetrecs.archives.gov to order a copy of your military records. This site will verify all of your service information, and file a request for your records. The information you will need is explained on the website. It entails entering basic information about your service.
Important: You will be required to print, sign, and fax or mail a signature page to complete the request.
All of the previous methods are viable options to request your medical records. If you still cannot find where your medical records are kept or get frustrated trying to find them, you can file a Freedom of Information Act . This is a formal request for ALL your military and VA information. Including the information on all previous claims made with the Veterans Benefits Administration .
This request is filed with the VA, just like a claim. You can learn about How to file an FOIA here: https://www.foia.gov
Please note: Doing an FAOI request will take several months to get your records.
Become an Insider
Personnel Files: Military Service And Pension Records At The National Archives
The Military Personnel Records division of the National Personnel Records Center , a component of the National Archives and Records Administration located in St. Louis, Missouri, holds most existing U.S. military personnel, health, and medical records of discharged and deceased veterans of all services from World War I to the present. Neither the NPRC nor the Department of Defense intends to destroy the physical records of U.S. servicemembers. Some older records have been electronically scanned to reduce the handling of fragile records. See NARA’s site “Access to Military Service and Pension Records” at .
Official Military Personnel File records may be requested online at , by using the Standard Form 180 and submitting by mail , or fax .
Veterans and their next-of-kin may request these records. According to the NPRC, for the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, the NOK is defined as the unremarried widow or widower, son, daughter, father, mother, brother or sister for the Army, the NOK is defined as the surviving spouse, eldest child, father or mother, eldest sibling or eldest grandchild.
In 1973, a fire at NPRC destroyed approximately 16 million to 18 million Army and Air Force official military personnel files. In such cases where files were lost, NPRC uses alternate sources of information to respond to requests.
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What Information Is Needed To Request Records
Your request must contain certain basic information to locate your service records. This information includes:
- The veteran’s complete name used while in service
- Service number
- Date and place of birth .
- If you suspect the records may have been involved in the 1973 fire, also include:
- Place of discharge
- Place of entry into the service, if known.