What Information Do I Need To Find Military Records
To start researching you need to know the name of the person who served in the Australian armed forces.
Its also helpful to know:
- the persons date and place of birth
- when the person served Boer War, First World War, Second World War, Vietnam and so on.
However, you can still search with just a name and the conflict in which your family member served. Sometimes researchers use a military record to find a persons date and place of birth.
To take your research further you might need to know information such as the persons service number and unit name. You can find this information in their service record.
National Archives Of Australia
The National Archives of Australia holds personal service records of people who served in the Australian defence forces in conflicts since 1901. These records usually include information like place of enlistment, address, age, next of kin and the persons service history including dates and places of service and medical information. Some files have physical descriptions and/or photographs.
Some files note that the person was Indigenous but others dont some people didnt identify themselves as Indigenous when they joined up.
The National Archives also holds other records relating to military service, including courts-martial, civilian service, munitions workers and soldier settlement.
Records in the National Archives are available to the public if the records are more than 20 years old, called the open period. Many are available online. For more information see:
- Finding defence service records read an overview from the National Archives Tracking Family guide
- Service records learn more about military service records
- Discovering Anzacs search this website for records about your service person
- RecordSearch search the National Archives collection database for records about your service person
Where Do I Find Military Records
Two national government agencies, located in Canberra, hold most of the records about Australian service men and women:
- National Archives of Australia
- Australian War Memorial
State archives also have records from before Federation relating to the Boer War.
See this overview of service records from the Department of Defence for a quick guide to where records are held for both current and ex-serving members.
You may also find military records on family history websites like Ancestry and Find My Past but generally all of these can be accessed directly through the National Archives, Australian War Memorial or state archives.
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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.
Use A Paid Locator Service
If a free search isn’t turning up the information you’re looking for, try plugging in to a paid service. Together We Served claims to reconnect more veterans every year than any other locator service, so it may be worth the membership fee. VetFriends has a similar locator service that lets you browse the military unit by service dates. Type in your service details to pull up a list of old service buddies then use the private messaging service to reconnect. Packages typically start at around $10 per month.
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How To Request Service Information
The National Archives online program eVetRecs is the fastest method for requesting service information. Provide as much information as possible in the comments field. Should you prefer to submit your request using a SF180 then provide as much information as possible and send the form to:
|National Personnel Records Center|
Requesting Military Personnel Records
Have you lost your military service records, medical records, personnel records, or records of awards and medals earned? Are you a family member seeking information about the military service of a next-of-kin? Find out how to request information and what forms you will need to fill out.
Remember: your military records are normally free to request from the Federal Government, companies that advertise copies of your DD-214 or military records for a fee are scams.
Normally only the veteran or the next-of-kin may request copies of military records.
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Frequently Asked Questions Proof Of Military Service Online
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.
What Are Military Records
Military records were created by the Australian Army, Navy, Air Force and Department of Defence. They were created for management and administration purposes.
The most useful military record for family history is the personal service record or file. These files document an individuals military career. Often this is the only official documentation about a person who served in the armed forces. The content of service records and the amount of detail varies with each conflict.
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
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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Q: Why Is The Coast Guard Not Listed As A Branch Of The Service On Military Onesource
A: Although the Coast Guard is considered a branch of the U.S. military services, only service branches with unconditional eligibility to receive Military OneSources services are listed under Branch of Service on Military OneSource. As a Department of Defense-funded program, Military OneSources services are only available to members of the Coast Guard when activated as part of the Department of the Navy under Title 10 authority, or after separation or retirement, from their separation date until 365 days past end of tour of service. During the Title 10 activation period and after separation or retirement, Coast Guard service members and their families become eligible for all Military OneSource services. When not activated as part of the Department of the Navy, Coast Guard service members and their families can receive similar services to those offered by Military OneSource through CG SUPRT, a program offered by the Coast Guard. Visit the CG SUPRT website or call 855-CGSPRT toll free. All information and available resources on the Military OneSource website can be accessed by Coast Guard service members and their spouses.
Tracing Former Military Personnel
The American Embassy, London keeps no records of former members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
All Official Military Personnel Files of discharged or deceased personnel are maintained in the United States at the National Personnel Records Center . Requests for information on former service members must be directed, in writing, to that agency. Written requests for record searches must be made on the Standard Form SF180 . Alternatively, the form will be mailed to you. When completing the form, you should provide the full name, details of military service, and the former service members serial number, if known. Please note that certain restrictions imposed on the NPRC by the 1974 Privacy Act may make your search more difficult. The Act limits the disclosure of data from U.S. government files to the individual themselves or to those who can provide clear evidence of direct kinship to the individual being sought. In the case of children trying to locate their fathers, the NPRC is required to provide only the last known town and state ie, not a full street address. In all instances only written requests, signed and dated, on the appropriate forms will be accepted. The address of the NPRC is:
National Personnel Records Center Attn: Military Personnel Records1 Archives DriveSt. Louis, MO 63138-1002
|Army/Navy/Air Force Times|
|201 N. Washington AvenueAlexandria, VA 22314-2539|
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Correct A Military Service Record Or Discharge
You can request changes to your military record or discharge. You can also request changes to a member’s military record or discharge if you are the:
Legal representative of deceased or incompetent veteran
To request changes, contact the review or correction board for the member’s service branch.
For more information, contact:
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.
Verifying Military Service Of An Active Service Member
The Department of Defense Service Members Civil Relief Act website provides information relating to active-duty status for military members.
The site is free to the public, provided that you have some basic information regarding the individual. In order to search the site, you must provide the individuals Social Security number or the date of birth and last name of the service member. If you do not have the Social Security number, however, you will get a response that says that you can not rely on the response because you did not supply a SSN.
Once the request has been processed, the website will provide an SCRA certificate reporting the active-duty status for the individual. The report will give the active-duty start date, the active-duty end date and the service position.
The website will only provide information on active-duty military members or members who have left active duty within the past 367 days. All other requests must be submitted to the National Personnel Records Center.
Tracing Active Military Personnel
|Air Force Worldwide Locator|
|2100 2nd Street SWWashington, DC 20593|
The above locator offices may be able to forward correspondence to the individuals base or unit. Correspondence for the missing service member should be passed together with a brief letter of explanation to the appropriate service locator. The letter to be forwarded should contain nothing of value and be in an unsealed, unstamped envelope bearing only the individuals rank, full name, and, if possible, military serial number. You should note that a nominal fee, payable by credit card or International Money order, may be charged for this service. All of the above locator services operate websites on the internet, usually accessed via links with the Department of Defense DEFENSELINK web site, or relevant services homepage.
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Where To Find Army Service Records
Many records are only available online, sometimes on more than one site. We have listed the main sources but there may be others. Some records are free to view but others are available on either a subscription or pay per view basis .
The individuals rank, regiment and dates of service determine which set of records you need. If an individual was commissioned from the ranks, moved from the Household Cavalry or Guards to another regiment or served more than once, you may find service records in more than one set of files.
Verifying Military Service Of A Veteran
There are more than 70 million former military records for veterans stored at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri. The records are available to the public through the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act.
The general public can access military personnel records by completing Standard Form 180. Some of the information that must be given includes the name of the veteran, the service number or Social Security number, the branch of service, the date of service and the date of birth. It has been our experience that the dates of service are helpful but not necessary.
The completed form can be sent via mail or fax to the records center. Although more detailed information is available to next of kin and other authorized parties, only a limited amount of information can be released to the general public. Typically, the information released includes rank, dates of services and where the individual in question was stationed.
Response time varies, but it has been our experience that requests are typically returned within 10 business days.
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Va Benefits For Service Members
If you’re serving on active duty in the United States uniformed services, including active National Guard and Reserve with federal pay, you may be eligible for VA benefits both during service and after separation or retirement. If you’re a traditional or technical member of the National Guard and Reserve, you may also be eligible for some VA benefits. Find out which benefits you may qualify forand when to apply. You’ll also learn about these benefits in your required Transition Assistance Program briefing.
How To Find Someone In The Coast Guard
To locate an Active Duty Member at the U.S. Coast Guard:
The Coast Guard World Wide Locator has duty stations for active-duty personnel. To locate Active Duty Personnel Only, call the telephone number is 493-1697 or send an e-mail with the persons full name to . The Coast Guard Personnel Command does not have custody of crew lists or current addresses for former Coast Guard service members.
To locate Coast Guard separatees:The Military Reference Branch, National Archives, Washington, D. C. 20408, holds copies of most deck logs. The Suitland Reference Branch, National Archives, Washington D. C. 20409 has custody of muster rolls. The National Personal Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri has a repository of records for retired and separate military members. You will need to fill-in Standard Form 180 to request military records information.
The address is:9700 Page AveSt. Louis, Missouri 63132
Other Locator Sources from the Coast Guard:Freds Place offers an online E-Mail Directory of Active Duty, Reserve, Retired, Auxiliary, and Civilian co-workers of the U. S. Coast Guard. This Directory is a listing of individuals that have voluntarily registered at Freds Place and is not a complete listing of Coast Guard Personnel.
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