Native American Heritage

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Military Service Records

Discharge Papers, Official Military Personnel Files, and Pension Files

From the earliest years of United States history, American Indians have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Ever since General George Washington noted American Indians' skills as scouts and light troops during the Revolutionary War, they have participated in every major conflict, including both sides of the American Civil War. American Indians have also served with distinction in unique roles, including as U.S. Army Indian Scouts and U.S. Army and Marine Corps code talkers in both World Wars.

The National Archives holds Federal military service and pension records from the Revolutionary War to the present, including records of American Indian veterans.

Military Service and Pension Records

Requests for these records must be submitted in writing or online.

For more information, please see National Archives Veterans Service Records.

NOTE: Some older military records are digitized, indexed, and fully searchable on and/or

Additional Military Records

The National Archives also houses military records detailing the general activities of the U.S. Armed Forces in both times of peace and war. See Research in Military Records for more information.

Prologue Articles about American Indians' Service in the Military

A Note About Privacy Restrictions

Military documents that are less than 75 years old may contain personal information about individuals who are still living. These records are restricted under Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Exemption (b)(6), and must be screened by National Archives staff before being released to researchers. Personal information may be redacted. Learn more about FOIA.