Requesting Military Service Records

If you are a veteran or a next-of-kin and need documentation to prove military service, you need to obtain copies of your or your veteran’s DD Form 214 Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.

Military personnel records are stored with the National Archives and can be requested through the eVetRecs online system order form. Any requests for military personnel records must be done by the veteran or the next-of-kin of a deceased veteran. The next-of-kin needs to provide an official proof of death. Anyone who is not the veteran themselves or the next-of-kin needs to complete a Standard Form 180 (SF 180).

Records are added into the National Archives library 62 years after the service member's separation from the military. Records with a discharge date 62 years ago or prior are archived and open to the public. For example, 2012 records are available from 1950 and earlier. Records with a discharge date after 1950 are non-archival and are maintained under the Federal Records Center program. Non-archival records are subject to access restrictions and need to be accessed through the eVetRecs online system order form.

The 1973 fire at the National Personnel Records Center damaged or destroyed 16-18 million Army and Air Force records for military personnel discharged between 1912-1964. Alternate record sources can often be used to reconstruct these records.

(Source: National Archives Veteran Service Records, http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/index.html)

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