RecordHow Do I Get My Grandfather's Military Records

How Do I Get My Grandfather’s Military Records


Silver War Badge Rolls 19141920

Military Records on | Ancestry

Search the Silver War Badge rolls on Ancestry by recipients name, regimental number or by badge number. Alternatively you can search by regiment.

The badge was awarded to all of those military personnel who were discharged as a result of sickness or wounds contracted or received during the war, either at home or overseas.

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.

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.

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What Information Youll Get

Service records date from:

  • 1750 for Foot Guards
  • 1920 for the RAF
  • 1926 for Royal Navy including Royal Marines

Each service record may include:

  • surname, first name, service number, rank and regiment or corps
  • place and date of birth
  • date they joined and left the armed forces
  • date of death, if they died in service
  • good conduct medals
  • details about their career, for example the units they served in

You can only get details about their career 25 years after the date they died unless you have consent from their immediate next of kin.

In some cases little or no information is available about someones military service. For example, Home Guard records may only include their personal details from when they enlisted.

Your request might be refused if it could harm the security or operations of the armed forces.

Appearance Of The Records

William Charles Harding

The records are laid out in a table format with clear headers, and below these there are large spaces where details about the individuals are provided. Although the calligraphy can sometimes be hard to read, the documents are otherwise simple and easy to understand.

They tend to contain basic details rather than more in-depth information, so you should use these when you are searching for the basics.

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Military And Veterans Records At The National Archives

Military records can be valuable resources in personal and genealogical research. We are the official repository for records of the U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard and other government agencies. These records include:

Note that most military records, including veteran’s military service records, are not online. There are casualty reports, and other selected military records available in our collection of Online Documents for Veterans.

Tips On Obtaining Missing Military Records For You Or A Loved One

Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, its expected that about a half-million are alive in 2018.

Many veterans of this and other conflicts will take with them stories of service that cant be replaced. Some will have earned commendations they mentioned only in passing, or ignored out of modesty, or locked away alongside painful memories.

Family members who want to learn more about their relatives service, even those in service themselves, may have limited knowledge when it comes to navigating an archive process that, with a bit of persistence, can provide more than just a few dates and places.

Military Times sought advice from the National Personnel Records Center, as well as in-house expert Doug Sterner, curator of the Military Times Hall of Valor, to provide some basic steps on the path to piecing together a personal history.

1. First things first. Veterans or next of kin seeking records can visit this National Archives website to learn the basics. Many requests can be filed electronically be sure to have a Social Security number, service number, dates of service and other basic information at the ready.

Other requests averaged about 24 days. If youre seeking more than the separation documents, be sure to request specific records via the online submission process or SF-180. If youre after an entire Official Military Personnel File, make that request clear on the form.


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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.

Cost: Most Basic Requests Are Free But It Depends On The Discharge Date

Findmypast Expert Help – Military Records

Free if Discharge Date is LESS than 62 years ago:

Generally there is no charge for basic military personnel and medical record information provided to veterans, next of kin and authorized representatives from Federal records.

Some companies advertise DD Form 214 research services and will charge a fee for obtaining copies. This is provided as a free service by the National Archives and Records Administration.

Costs for Discharge Dates MORE than 62 years ago:

There is a fee for records that are considered “Archival,” which depends on the discharge date. If the request is made 62 years after the service member’s separation from the military, the records are now open to the public and subject to the public fee schedule . This is a rolling date, the current year minus 62 years. Learn more.

These archival requests require the purchase of the COMPLETE photocopy of the Official Military Personnel File :

If your request involves a service fee, you will be notified as soon as that determination is made.

Response times from NPRC vary depending on the complexity of your request, the availability of the records, and our workload.

We work actively to respond to each request in a timely fashion, keep in mind we receive approximately 4,000 – 5,000 requests per day.

You may request military service records if you are:

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Do I Qualify For The Armed Forces Service Medal

Forces of the United States who, after June 1, 1992 meet the following criteria: Participate, or have participated, as members of U.S. military units, in a U.S. military operation that is deemed to be a significant activity and Encounter no foreign armed opposition or imminent threat of hostile action.

How Do You Find Family Members Who Fought In Ww2 For Free

If you would like to obtain a copy of your ancestor’s IDPF, you can contact the National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri. IDPFs held there cover the years 19391975 and include records of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force. You may also find valuable information about your ancestor from the relative’s grave.

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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.

‘what Did You Do In The War Grandad’

Find My Grandfathers Dd214

As the numbers of those who fought in the two world wars diminish, there is a danger that the answer to this question may not be forthcoming. It is all too easy, especially for young people who may not have a direct connection to the history of those events, to become bogged down in textbook statistics and forget that the names remembered by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission on headstones and memorials, or the faces that stare out at us from sepia-tinted photographs, relate to real people, called upon to do a difficult and sometimes terrible job.

…never forget the price paid for the freedoms we enjoy…

Gaining an insight into the lives of those who served and died in the two world wars, or those who survived, is a tangible way to ensure that we never forget the price paid for the freedoms we enjoy. But how does one go about such research in what can be, no pun intended, an information minefield?

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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.

Did You Have To Serve In Vietnam To Be A Vietnam Veteran

In association with above, the Commemoration uses the term “Vietnam veteran” to describe those who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time during the period of November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975, regardless of duty location. We do NOT use the phrase “Vietnam-era veteran.”

Apply online using the Defence Medals Application Form, select Member is Deceased as the Claimant Status, and Replacement Medals as the Application Type. You can apply for a list of the previously issued awards of deceased relatives who served with Australian forces since World War One.

  • To claim a medal from WWII onwards, write to: Veterans UK, MOD Medal Office, G36, Innsworth House, Imjin Barracks, Gloucester, GL3 1HW.
  • For more information, contact JPAC:
  • Lost medals.
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    How To Search For Records

    Before you begin a search you should see if there is a guide to the records you are looking for this guide is designed to help you to do that. Each guide listed below contains the links and advice you will need to search a specific set of records.

    Each guide will indicate whether records have been made available online . The online copies are accessed either directly from our website or from the websites of our licensed partners, including Ancestry and Findmypast.

    Some records have no online version and to see these you will need to consult them at our building in Kew or pay for copies to be made and sent to you. The search for records held at Kew begins by using keywords and dates to search our online catalogue. The catalogue contains short descriptions of the records and a document reference for each you will need the document reference to see the record itself or to request copies.

    For more guidance on searching or browsing our catalogue, visit our Discovery help pages.

    How Do You Find Soldiers Records

    Researching WW1 Military & Naval Records of Irish Soldiers and Sailors:â? â Gerard White

    The National Archives National Personnel Records Center maintains the countrys official database of military records. It is open to the public, although some records are restricted to service members, veterans or next-of-kin. Open the National Personnel Records Center website. Click on Access to Records under the For the Public Section..

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    How To Order Military Records From The Personnel Records Unit

    The Personnel Records Unit at Library and Archives Canada manages all Canadian military service files from 19191998 for Regular members, and until 2007 for Reserve members. These files have some access restrictions, which means that not everyone can view them because they are protected by the provisions of privacy legislation. Each file contains an individuals personal information and details of employment history.

    If you are interested in receiving your own or another individuals record, please read and follow the steps in the Application for Military Service Information form. You must submit this form only if you wish to receive a military service file from 19191997, including those files of soldiers from the Second World War .

    You can also request a Genealogy Package to receive military records of soldiers from the Second World War . The package includes copies of selected documents from the file that highlight and summarize an individuals service, including enlistment, units served, family details, etc. Your request must include the name, service number, archival reference and volume number, which you can find by searching the Second World War Service Files: Canadian Armed Forces War Dead database.

    Requests for a Genealogy Package can be submitted online via the Genealogy Inquiry Form or by mail or fax to:

    ATIP and Personnel Records DivisionLibrary and Archives CanadaK1A 0N4Fax: 613-947-8456

    Forces War Service Records

    You stand a good chance of finding what you are looking for right here on our website where you will find a huge number of individual service records. We have worked very hard to gather millions of these records to help you with your research, and we hope that this makes it easier for you to find the information you are looking for. Just start with the search bar that has been designed for easy searching, enter a name and see what you can find.

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    What Is A Dd214

    The DD Form 214 is a complete and thorough document that verifies a service member’s proof of military service. This Certificate of Release or Discharge form is issued through the Department of Defense and is typically issued at the final out processing appointment prior to retirement or separation.

    How Do I Find Military Pictures Of Family Members

    Need Help

    Typically, this may be found by interviewing family members or consulting local, state and federal service records for the person who served in the military. Follow up with the branch of service to determine if it has photos available. Contact a re-enactment group that depicts your family member’s military unit.

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    Is It Illegal To Wear Medals You Haven’t Earned

    While it is not an offence to own medals which have not been awarded to you, it is illegal under section 197 of the Army Act 1955 to use these to pretend to be a member of the armed forces. The act makes wearing any military decoration, badge, wound stripe or emblem without authority a criminal offence.

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