Getting Records of Military Personnel or Others
Have you lost or need to replace an individual's service record? Know what information you are entitled to and how to go about receiving it.
An individual's complete service record is available to the former service member or, if deceased, to his/her next of kin (parents, spouse, or children). Limited information (such as dates of service, awards, and training) is available to anyone. Not available to the general public is information which would invade an individual's privacy; for example, medical records, Social Security number, or present address.
The St. Louis Center receives many requests for service records each week, so a request will be processed with greater speed and accuracy if the requester uses a Standard Form 180, "Request Pertaining to Military Records". If requesting the records of a relative, a requester should mention the relationship to the former member (brother, uncle, or other). There is no charge for this service to former service members or their next of kin. For others, a nominal fee is charged for research and reproduction costs.
You may submit more than one request per envelope or fax, but submit a separate request (either SF 180 or letter) for each individual whose records are being requested.
* Send by Mail:
National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100
* Send by Fax: 314-801-9195.
The Center will respond in writing by U.S. Mail.
You may also check out the this official NARA web page for more information about form SF 180.
Order Processing Time
Response times for records requested from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) vary greatly depending on the nature of the request. For example, the NPRC Military Records Facility currently has a backlog of 180,000 requests and receives approximately 5,000 requests per day. Routine requests for separation documents currently require only 2-4 weeks for servicing. However, requests that involve reconstruction efforts due to the 1973 fire or older records which require extensive search efforts may take much longer. The average turnaround time on all requests is currently running at approximately 12 weeks.
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