Military Records Overview

Are you a Veteran and wondering how to replace your lost military records? Do you disagree with your records and wish to see them changed? Perhaps you are doing historical research, and wondering how to obtain the military records of a Veteran? Or perhaps for business or legal reasons, you would like to know more about a Veteran.

Copies of most military and medical records on file can be made available upon request. Information or copies of documents may be released from Official Military Personnel Files within the provisions of the law. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Privacy Act provide balance between the right of the public to obtain information from military service records, and the right of the former military service member to protect his/her privacy. Please review these items for additional information. In all cases, you must sufficiently identify the person whose record is requested, so that the records can be located with reasonable effort.

More information about replacing awards and medals can also be found in this section.

Access to Military Records

Veterans and next-of-kin of deceased veterans have the same rights to full access to the record. Next-of-kin are the unremarried widow or widower, son or daughter, father or mother, brother or sister of the deceased veteran.

Authorized third party requesters, e.g., lawyers, doctors, historians, etc., may submit requests for information from individual records with the veteran's (or next of kin's) signed and dated authorization. All authorizations should specify exactly what the veteran (or next-of-kin) is allowing to be released to a third party. Authorizations are valid one year from date of signature.

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