September 22, 2004
False Rumor Regarding Destruction of Veterans Records Rumor Hinders National Personnel Records Centerís Ability to Answer Veteransí Reference Requests
Washington, DC…There is a false rumor circulating on the Internet, in e-mails, and among veteran service organizations that Official Military Personnel Files (OMPFs) at the National Personnel Records Center, operated by the National Archives and Records Administration, will be digitized and then destroyed. This rumor is NOT TRUE.
Neither the Department of Defense (DoD) nor the National Personnel Records Center intend to destroy any OMPFs stored at the Center. The purpose of any electronic scanning would be to help preserve the originals and increase efficiency in handling reference requests.
The National Archives and Records Administration preserves and protects OMPFs that were transferred from the military service departments because they are permanently valuable records that document the essential evidence of military service for the veterans of our nation. NPRC stores and services OMPFs for retired, discharged, or deceased military personnel.
The National Personnel Records Center responds to approximately 4,000 requests pertaining to military records each day, totaling more than one million requests each year. Many of those requests are for Separation Documents (usually DD Form 214) and the Center answers the majority of those inquiries in ten days or less.
Requests resulting from this false rumor will have a negative impact on NPRCís ability to respond to requests from veterans with real immediate needs, such as medical treatment, employment, retirement, etc.
* * *
For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.