Requesting Military Personnel Records

Honorable Discharge Certificate With Dogtags
Honorable Discharge Certificate With Dogtags

Have you lost your military service records, medical records, personnel records, or records of awards and medals earned? Are you a family member seeking information about the military service of a next-of-kin? Find out how to request information and what forms you will need to fill out.

Remember: your military records are normally free to request from the Federal Government, companies that advertise copies of your DD-214 or military records for a fee are scams.

Normally only the veteran or the next-of-kin may request copies of military records.

What Information Is Needed to Request Records

Your request must contain certain basic information to locate your service records. This information includes:

  • The veteran's complete name used while in service
  • Service number
  • Social security number
  • Branch of service
  • Dates of service
  • Date and place of birth (especially if the service number is not known).
  • If you suspect your records may have been involved in the 1973 fire, also include:
    • Place of discharge
    • Last unit of assignment
    • Place of entry into the service, if known.
  • All requests must be signed and dated by the veteran or next-of-kin.
  • If you are the next of kin of a deceased veteran, you must provide proof of death of the veteran such as a copy of death certificate, letter from funeral home, or published obituary.

How to Request Service Information

The National Archives online program eVetRecs is the preferred and fastest method for requesting service information. Provide as much information as possible in the comments field. Should you prefer to submit your request using a SF180 then provide as much information as possible and send the form to:

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

Or Fax to:


How Long Does It Take To Receive Copies of Records?

According to the National Personnel Records Center 92% of separation record requests are processed within 10 days of receipt. However, health records may take longer. The eVetRecs website has instructions for emergency requests needing faster processing.

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