Friday, May 15, 2015

Requesting Military Records

How do I request military records?  What is the turnaround time and
what is available?


DD214, the official document issued to the servicemember at the time of discharge which shows branch of service, type of discharge, awards and decorations, is considered confidential and available only to the veteran. However, the near equivalent information is available from the Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF.) There is no charge and it normally takes 12 weeks to receive the information.

Contact Information

National Personnel Records Center
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138

Phone: (314) 801-0800
FAX:    (314) 801-9195

Veterans and spouses of deceased veterans can request these records online at http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel/foia-info.html . Requests cannot be emailed, only faxed or mailed. The form required to request military records is SF-180. Veterans or next-of-kin can order directly online at http://vetrecs.archives.gov

Once you have sent your request, you can check the status by going to http://www.archives.gov//st-louis/forms/index.html  or by phone
at  (314) 801-0800.  The best time to call is between 8 am and 10 am  central time.

The public can access certain military service information without the veteran's authorization or that of the next-of-kin (the un-married widow or widower, son, daughter, father, mother, brother, sister) of a deceased veteran.

Examples of information which may be available from Federal (non-archival) Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF) without an unwarranted invasion of privacy include:

  • Name
  • Service Number
  • Dates of Service
  • Branch of Service
  • Final Duty Status
  • Final Rank
  • Military Education Level
  • Awards and Decorations (eligibility only, not actual medals)
  • Photograph
  • Assignments and Geographical Locations
  • Transcript of Courts-Martial Trials
  • Place of entry into the military and location where separated

If the veteran is deceased:
  • Place of Birth
  • Date and Geographical Location of Death
  • Place of Burial

FOIA and Official Personnel Folders (OPF)

Most information in a Federal (non-archival) Official Personnel Folder (OPF) is not releasable to the general public without the written consent of the individual whose record is involved. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) does allow, however, for certain information to be released without the individual's consent.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has determined that the following information can be released to the public:

  • Name
  • Positions
  • Titles
  • Salaries
  • Rank
  • Job Locations

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