TrendingHow Do I Find Military Discharge Papers

How Do I Find Military Discharge Papers


Frequently Asked Questions Proof Of Military Service Online

Learn How to Fill the DD-214 Form Certificate of Release of Discharge from Active Duty

Here are your answers to some other questions frequently asked about free military background check and military lookup by name services:

Is there an online database of military members I can search?

Unfortunately, there is no specific database that exists on the web as a people search only for members of the military. It is actually a great idea for verification purposes, but as of now no such thing exists.

Im a veteran. How can I prove my military service to a potential employer?

There are many different ways that you can prove your military service to potential employers as well as to receive government benefits. The best way is to provide a DD-214 to the employer.

You may request additional documentation by contacting the National Archives. In certain cases, a military ID may be sufficient enough for an employer. In general though, a DD-214 is the most suitable.

Are there any free military background check services?

No, unfortunately there are no free military background check services. The best online background checks cost a fee and could help recover military records, if any show up in public record searches. However, there is no free service dedicated 100 percent to military checks.

Are military service records public?

Short answer, yes AND no. It all depends on when the service member served. For example, you can access the military records of anyone who served 62 years or more ago. However, you cannot access the military records of anyone prior to that.

Search For Claimed Commendation Medals

There are better ways to verify the authenticity of someone that claims they served in the U.S. Armed Forces, however, if you want a quick and easy way to conduct a free military background check it is worth a shot.

For those service members that claim they received commendation medals such as a Purple Heart or Silver Star, there are available databases online that can verify this information.

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.

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What If Im Not The Veteran Or Next

  • It depends on the date the service member separated from the military. Military personnel records are open to the public 62 years after they leave the military. Records of any veteran who separated from the military 62 years ago can be ordered by anyone for a copying fee . See Access to Military Records by the General Public for more details.

But what if it’s been less than 62 years?

  • Records of individuals who left service less than 62 years ago are subject to access restrictions and only limited information or copies 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.

Difference Between Member 4 Copy And Service 2 Copy

" DD214 is the Discharge Papers or Separation Documents to ...

None! Both these forms are identical long form copies and contain all of the necessary information to show proof of military service and honorable discharge. If a veteran needs to obtain a long form copy of their DD214, the Service 2 Copy is what will be provided. A Service 2 Copy should be equally acceptable when proof of service is required. It is not unheard of, even for the VA, to ask for a Member 4 Copy instead of a Service 2 Copy. The Service 2 Copy has the full legal force and effect as the original Member 4.

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Standard Form 180 And Replacing Military Records

Fortunately, the paperwork involved in requesting records replacement is relatively simple. The process is as follows:

  • First, get a copy of Standard Form 180, Request For Military Records. It is not necessary to request a duplicate copy of a veteran’s discharge or separation papers solely for the purpose of filing a claim for VA benefits.
  • Remember to either type or print on the form.
  • Fill in the individual’s name, social security number, and date and place of birth in section 1, blocks 1 through 4.
  • Provide the dates of service in the applicable spaces in section 1, block 5.
  • Indicate whether or not the individual is deceased in section 1, block 6.
  • Indicate whether or not the person retired from the military in section 1, block 7.
  • In section 2, indicate which medals need to be replaced.
  • Record a return address and then sign section 3. Only the service member, guardian, or next of kin may sign this form.
  • If possible, include a copy of the discharge or separation document, WDAGO Form 53-55 or DD Form 214.
  • Mail the completed form and supplementary documents to the appropriate address, as detailed on the back of SF 180.

Army, 314-538-4261Air Force, 314- 538-4243Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard, 314-538-4141.

How To Request Military Records From The Nprc

  • Step 2: Download and print a copy of the SF-180.
  • Step 3: Fill out the form SF-180.
  • Step 4: Mail the form SF-180 to the National Personnel Records Center.
  • Step 5: Wait for a response from the NPRC regarding the status of the request. After 10 days file an Online Status Update Request form.

An alternative to filling out and mailing a form SF-180 is to simply write a letter of request to the NPRC.

The letter does not need to be long, just simply outline as many specifics about the request you are seeking.

Try to include as much of the following info as possible:

  • Veterans complete name while he / she served
  • Social Security Number
  • Date of birth of the person whose information youre requesting
  • Place of birth of the person whose information youre requesting

Then, you need to sign and date the letter.

The mailing address for written request letters or form SF-180 is:

National Personnel Records CenterSt. Louis, Missouri63138

The NPRC asks individuals that make a request to the archives wait at least 10 days before following up with the center. It takes time for the NPRC to receive and process your request given their workload.

You may check the status of your request by using the Online Status Update Request form. You may also contact the NPRC directly through a toll free phone number: 1-866-272-6272.

The National Personnel Records Center is open Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4 pm, CST. The national archives are closed on weekends and Federal holidays.

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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.

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

How do I obtain a copy of my discharge/separation papers (DD 214)?

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.
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    The Royal Hospitals For British Army Pensioners

    Most of the pre-First World War British Army pension records held at The National Archives originate from the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London and the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Dublin. These were hospitals set up, in 1679 and 1681 respectively, to administer army pensions and look after army pensioners.

    The hospitals in Ireland and England reflected the separate army establishments for the two countries, which did not become joined until the Act of Union in 1800.

    From the late 17th century, soldiers who left the army with a disabling injury, as invalids or after completing an agreed term of service, were entitled to a pension from one of these two army veterans hospitals.

    In December 1822 the payment of Kilmainham out-pensions was taken over by Chelsea Hospital, whilst in-pensioners remained in Kilmainham until 1929, when the last transferred to Chelsea.

    Search The National Personnel Records Center

    The National Personnel Records Center is located in St. Louis, Missouri. For those that are not able to attend NPRC in-person, the national archives are also available to request online.

    The repository contains millions of military personnel, health, and medical records of discharged as well as deceased veterans of all services during the 20th century.

    According to the website, records that were prior to WWI are located in Washington, D.C.

    NPRC also hosts medical treatment records related to retirees from all services, and records for dependent and other persons treated at naval medical facilities. The site is provided to anyone that would like more information regarding military personnel, medical, or health records.

    The information is made available upon written request to the National Personnel Records Center.

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    What Happens After I Make My Request

    After submitting a request, the FOIA will traditionally send you a letter acknowledging they received the request. They may also provide a tracking number for the public records military request.

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    The U.S. Military generally processes your request, searches for public records, then determines what information they are able to disclose. A simple name verification is usually no trouble at all.

    However, it does take some time to do a military lookup by name which makes FOIA requests not the fastest means for proof of military service online.

    There is no initial fee required to submit an FOIA request. However, charges may apply in particular circumstances. In general, an FOIA request will cost nothing if the search takes less than two hours, and less than 100 pages need to get duplicated. You may include in your request letter how much you are willing to pay in fees, if anything.

    The U.S. Military processes requests in the order they were received. A simple request, that is one of only a few pages of requested documents, usually takes a shorter amount of response time compared to detailed requests.

    All in all, youre looking at about 4 8 weeks to receive a response to your FOIA request.

    For more information regarding the Freedom of Information Act , please visit this frequently asked questions page.

    Types Of Military Records

    Document Detective: DD

    World War I – Present

    You can find veterans military service records from World War I to the present from the National Personnel Records Center . The NPRC houses many types of records, including Official Military Personnel Files . These files can include the Report of Separation and show a veterans service history, which may include:

    • Enlistment or appointment and separation dates

    • Duty stations and assignments

    • Awards

    • Disciplinary actions

    Veterans health and medical records are located in various places, depending on their branch and date of separation. See this chart of locations of veterans medical and health records.

    Before World War I

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    Soldiers And Militiamen Discharged Due To Disability 1715

    Download, free of charge, digital microfilm copies of Royal Hospital Chelsea admissions books for soldier with disabilities 1715-1873. These registers list men awarded out-pensions following their discharge from the regular army or the militia on grounds of disability . See our guide to free online records for advice on how to use digital microfilm.

    More records of disability pensions are available in series PIN 71 but these records are not available online see section 4 for more details.

    Difference Between Long Vs Short Dd214 Discharge Forms

    There are two versions of the DD214 issued by the government

    • Short form
    • Long form

    The long form contains information about the service members character of discharge which could include information regarding the circumstances surrounding a discharge in a positive or negative light. Government Agencies and employers often ask for the long form because discharge status is relevant.

    Quick Tip: If you only have a long form DD214 but need the short form, simply copy the the undeleted long form without the bottom 1.5 inches .

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    What If The Dd 214 Is Not Accurate

    The information on the DD 214 will be used to decide eligibility for benefits and legal protections tied to military service. A chart of some important federal benefits is provided here.

    Always keep the original copy of your DD 214 in a safe place. Make copies for employers or other purposes.

    The Department of Defense has clear policies on how the DD 214 should be completed. You can read more about the DD 214 policies here.

    It is very important to make sure that the information listed on the DD 214 is correct.

    If you disagree with the reason or the character of your discharge listed on your DD 214 and were separated from military service within the past 15 years, you must request review of that decision by the appropriate military review board. Read more details about requesting a review here.

    If you disagree with other information on your DD-214 , you need to submit a DD-149 “Application for Correction of Military Records” to the correct review board for your branch of service:

    Request Recent Military Records


    If You Are a Veteran or Next-of-Kin

    To get a copy of the vets military records, you can:

    Most requests are free.

    If You Are Not the Veteran or Next-of-Kin

    You can only get limited information about non-archival records without the consent of the veteran or next-of-kin. Non-archival records are those from 62 years ago to the present. Learn about access to non-archival military records by the general public and researchers.

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    Fax The Completed Form Or Signature Verification

    Mail or fax the completed form or signature verification to the appropriate agency as shown on Form SF-180. The current status of the service member determines the address where the form should be sent. Most requests will be processed in 10 business days or less, particularly for service records of members who served after 1973.


    About the Author

    Leigh Anthony has provided ghostwritten content for a variety of small-business sites since 2004. Her work appears on eHow and Her areas of expertise include marketing, human resources, finance and leadership. She holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Georgia.

    Use An Online Military Background Check Service

    The good news about online military background check services is that they provide very detailed, quick, and accurate information. The biggest flaw is that they cost money to use the service.

    So you need to decide if finding proof of military service online is that important to you or not.

    Online military background checks can get you near instant results which is great in certain situations, such as a blind date where someone needs to find out quickly if the person they are seeing is being genuine or already lying to their face.

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    How To Get A Dd 214 Copy

    How to get a copy of the DD-214: Basic Options Option 1: Request your copy online by visiting the National Archives Website Option 2: Mail the DD Form 214 request with Standard Form 180 to National Personnel Records Center, 1 Archives Drive, St. Request a copy from your losing units orderly room or command support staff Get an electronic copy via the VA eBenefits site

    Monthly And Quarterly Regimental Muster Rolls And Pay Lists 1732

    Bath County, Kentucky USGenWeb Genealogy Archive Military ...

    Though the appearance of individuals on muster rolls and pay lists are not determiners of whether or not they received a pension, they are particularly useful records for men who were not discharged to pension as they provide the enlistment date, movements and discharge date of all soldiers in the British Army.

    Refer to the British Army muster rolls and pay lists c.1730-1898 research guide to find out which series to consult for the period 1732 to 1878. For 1878 to 1898, browse WO 16 to find the relevant regiment or regimental district.

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