National Personnel Records Center

Service Numbers and Social Security Numbers

Service numbers and social security numbers are used at National Personnel Records Center (Military Personnel Records) as part of the identifiers used to store and locate records.

Social Security Number (SSN).  Always include the veteran's social security number on a request.

Service Number (SN).  Also include the veteran's service number on a request if service was during the period when service numbers were assigned as personal identifiers.  The military services discontinued using the service number as an identifier and began using the social security number on the following dates:

Branch of Service Date of Changeover
Army and Air Force July 1, 1969
Navy and Marine Corps January 1, 1972
Coast Guard October 1, 1974