Q. How do I request military service records?

Answer

US Military Service records can be requested through the National Personnel Records Center. Service records can include DD 214/Separation Documents, Personnel Records, Replacement Medals, and/or Medical Records.

The level of detail provided for service records depends on who is asking for them and how long ago the servicemember was discharged. Records of servicemembers who were discharged more than 62 years ago are public records and can be viewed in full by anyone. 

For servicemembers discharged more recently than 62 years ago (1956 in 2018), full records may only be requested by the military veteran or the next-of-kin (un-remarried widow or widower, son, daughter, father, mother, brother or sister) OR by someone who has the written authorization of the veteran or next of kin. People without authorization have access to a subset of a servicemember's record.

Response to military records requests can be slow. The National Personnel Records Center received 4,000-5,000 requests a day and recommend that you wait at least 90 days before following up on a request. 

 

References: 

Request Your Military Service Records Online, by Mail, or by Fax (US National Archives) - For veterans and family. 

Access to Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF) for the General Public (US National Archives)  - For public and researchers seeking records for servicemembers discharged after less than 62 years ago (1956 in 2018). 

Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests (US National Archives) - For public and researchers seeking records for servicemember discharged 62 years ago or longer. 

  • Last Updated Apr 19, 2018
  • Views 13
  • Answered By Gwen Sinclair

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