NewsHow To Get Father's Military Records

How To Get Father’s Military Records


Request Military Service Records

Author recounts steps to find father’s 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.

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.

How Do I Get Access / Copy Of Exempt Discharge Papers

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.

Don’t Miss: Can You Join The Military With Aspergers

How To Obtain Polish Wwii Military Records

Ive taken a small break during the Hunt for Golden Treasure.

Sometimes a genealogical break is needed, its a chance to recharge the batteries, take a few steps back and re-evaluate all the available information at hand.

However, a pause doesnt necessarily mean abandoning my search entirely. A giant white Polish eagle has landed on another branch of my family tree, and its been staring at me.

Military Records In Germany

My Dads Military Records

Military records identify individuals who served in the military or who were eligible to serve. Germany had a large army and a small navy. Since most German states had conscription laws, most young men were required to register for military service. A young man who had not yet served had to get special permission before he could emigrate.

Evidence that an ancestor actually served in the military can sometimes be found in family records, biographies, censuses, photographs, emigration papers, medals, probate records, civil registration records, and church records.

The crucial information needed to find military records is the soldier’s regiment or the sailor’s ship.

German church records usually indicate social standing. This included active military service. These records usually indicated the regiment in which the man was serving. Search the sources cited above to find your ancestor’s regiment, ship, or commanding officer. Commanding officers can be identified with their units relatively easily. Photographs sometimes show insignia that identify a regiment or ship.

You May Like: Sears Memorial Day Military Discount

Obtaining Current Active Duty & Reserve Records

The National Archives has a helpful page on the Location of Service Records. For active duty, youll need to contact the branch of the member, for reserves, the relevant reserve command, and for the National Guard, the applicable state Adjutant General.

Army. Active duty and reserve soldiers can access their records online at the U.S. Army Human Resources Command .

Air Force. Members may access their records online at the Air Force Personnel Center MyPers.

Members of the public have limited access to records, under the Freedom of Information Act , by submitting an SF-180, then waiting. Information available includes name, rank, branch of service, dates of service, salary, assignments, photo, and other information. More comprehensive information is protected by the Privacy Act, and only releasable to the members, next of kin, or pursuant to court order.

Worldwide Locators. The Air Force, Navy and have worldwide locators solely to obtain the current duty station of a member. The Army & Coast Guard do not, but for Army enlisted try contacting:

CommanderU.S. Army Enlisted Records & Evaluation CenterATTN: LocatorFt. Benjamin Harrison, IN 46249-5301Telephone: 1-866-771-6357

Foia And The Privacy Act

Most documents are kept at the National Personnel Records Center, a collection of over 70 million files in St. Louis, Missouri. NPRC stores service records from the Department of Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

As outlined on the NPRC website, the Freedom of Information Act typically grants anyone with the statutory right to view general information from executive branch agency records. These files do not require the veterans or next-of-kins permission.

The FOIAs purpose is to provide transparency to the public while also protecting the service members privacy through the Privacy Act. The Privacy Act limits the type of information accessible to the public and how they are used.

Any documents needed beyond public information are limited to the next-of-kin are permitted by the service member.

Information that may be viewed by the public:

  • Name
  • Transcript of Courts-Martial Trials
  • Place of entrance and separation

Items such as salary, source of commission, and promotion sequence number are rarely on file. Typically, deceased veterans have the place of birth, date, and location of death, and place of burial on public file.

Note: OFMPs, separation documents , replacement records, and medical records are not open to the public and must go through a verification process to obtain these items.

Read Also: Sears Military Discount Code

Why You Need Your Medical Records

When you are preparing your claim, you need all of the information you can get to prove your case. This includes medical records which can establish the beginning of your symptoms.

The injury you are applying for must have a clear service connection, and the simplest way to do that is through medical records.

Health records contain outpatient, dental, and mental health treatment to a service member. As long as your files were stored correctly, you will be able to submit these records to help your case.

How Do I Request Copies Of Records

Download your military medical records online

Federal law requires that all requests for records and information be submitted in writing. Each request must be signed and dated .

Certain basic information needed to locate military service records, includes: the veteran’s complete name as used in service service number Social Security Number branch of service dates of service date and place of birth. For records affected by the 1973 Fire, additional information, such as place of discharge last assigned unit and place of entry into service may be useful.

To request military service records: veterans, the next-of-kin or authorized representatives may:

  • Fax a letter or Standard Form 180 to: 314-801-9195

If you prefer to send your request via postal mail or fax, please use the Standard Form 180, Request Pertaining to Military Records. Although not mandatory, using the SF-180 is the recommended method to send a request for military service information. This form captures all the necessary information to locate a record. Provide as much information on the form as possible and send copies of any service documents that you may have.

Follow the instructions for preparing the SF-180. Check the Records Location Table and submit your request to the appropriate address.

Note: For the issuance and replacement of medals and awards, do not use the addresses on the SF-180. See Military Awards and Decorations for additional information on how and where to submit correspondence for issuance or replacement.

You May Like: Can You Serve In The Military With Autism

How Do I Find Someone’s Army Record

Best answer

How To Request Military Records From The NPRCStep 1: Visit the National Personnel Records Center official website.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. (More items…Feb 8, 2021

sourav pandit

Similar Questions

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

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:

Read Also: Joining The Military At 30

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.

Request Recent Military Records

A River Runs Through Us: Dad

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.

Recommended Reading: Does Sears Give Military Discount

Dd Form 214 Discharge Papers And Separation Documents

A Report of Separation is generally issued when a service member performs active duty or at least 90 consecutive days of active duty training. The Report of Separation contains information normally needed to verify military service for benefits, retirement, employment, and membership in veterans’ organizations. Information shown on the Report of Separation may include the service member’s:

  • Date and place of entry into active duty
  • Home address at time of entry
  • Date and place of release from active duty
  • Home address after separation

Want To Request Family Members’ Military Records Here’s How It Works

Posted March 18, 2015 5:00 a.m. EDTUpdated July 13, 2018 2:03 p.m. EDT

Raleigh, N.C. When Miranda Dotson wanted to learn more about her late grandfather’s military service, she turned to the U.S. National Archives for help.

Dotson, a producer at WRAL-TV, filed a records request to see what medals her grandfather had received. What she found led to a sweet surprise for her family, especially her father.

The National Personnel Records Center holds the historical records of nearly 100 million veterans and responds to more than 1.4 million records requests each year, according to the National Archives.

The vast majority of those records are on paper and not available online. They can be used for things such as proving military service or as a tool in genealogical research.

Dotson wanted to find out more about her late grandfather, Jack, who served in the Army in World War II, Korea and North Africa. He retired as a sergeant major and died in 1998.

She learned that her grandfather was in the military police and was awarded more than a dozen medals, including a Purple Heart and two bronze stars. She was able to order the medals and surprise her father with them last year as a belated Fathers Day gift.

Requesting military records can be time-consuming but is worth the wait, according to Dotson, who said she started researching how to get her grandfathers records in August 2013.

How to request military records, awards and decorations

Recommended Reading: Aspergers Military Enlistment

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.

Types Of Military Records

How to Get WWII Military Records

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

Recommended Reading: Sears Exercise Equipment Coupon

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.


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:

Don’t Miss: Does Sears Give Military Discounts

Popular Articles

Do It Yourself Move Army

Save Every Receipt And Preferably Keep Them All Together In A Binder...

Does Spectrum Offer A Military Discount

Veterans Guide To Getting The Cheapest Price From Spectrum ...

How To Go To Medical School Through The Military

Live And Practice In California What...

Can I Go Into The Military With A Ged

Army Ged Plus Enlistment Program Should...

Does Apple Music Have Military Discount

Music Lockers: Your Mp3s In The Cloud ...

How To Join Army Nurse Corps

How To Join Us How to...

Must read

Do It Yourself Move Army

Save Every...

Does Spectrum Offer A Military Discount

Veterans Guide...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you