National Archives at St. Louis

Military Personnel Records Locations

Military Personnel Records Locations are determined by when the military service ended.  It is important to know the differences in Date of Discharge from Reserve, Date of Retirement, and Date of Death in Service.  Many veterans will say there were discharged, but are really stating their Release From Active Duty (REFRAD) date.  For example, the current Military Service Obligation (MSO) is 8 years, in the 1960s it was 6 years, during wartime for draftees it was for the duration plus 6 months unless released sooner.  So if the veterans says “I was discharged in 1983”, most likely what is meant is he/she was released from active duty in 1993 (most likely after 3 years of service), and transferred to the inactive reserve for the rest of the 8 year MSO.  He/she was actually separated in 1998 – which may make a difference as to the record location.

  • Review the tables on page 3 of the Standard Form 180 to identify the correct location of the record you need (based on branch of service, dates of separation, and type of record).

  • Send the completed form to the address identified on the table

Back to NPRC Veterans Service Officer (VSO) Information Page

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