Other Methods to Obtain Military Service Records
- Recently separated veterans may be able to find their records through the joint
Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense eBenefits Portal.
- Write a letter to request records: If you are not able to obtain form SF-180, you may still submit a request for military records. Please see
Military Records Requests: Standard Form SF-180 for details on what information is required in your letter.
- Visit the National Archives in person: Individuals who wish to visit the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), in St. Louis, MO, because they have a strong interest in viewing records in person may do so by scheduling an appointment in the NPRC's Research Rooms. Please see
Visitors and On-Site Researchers for more information on how to schedule you visit.
- Contact your State or County: Some veterans may be able to obtain copies of certain military records from their state, county or municipality. Contact your
state or county veterans agency for more information.
- Hire an independent researcher: Patrons in locations remote to St. Louis may consider hiring an independent researcher to conduct research on their behalf. Please consult our list of
independent researchers for additional information.
NOTE: Some companies advertise "DD Form 214 research services" and will charge a fee for obtaining copies. Generally there is no charge for basic military personnel and health record information provided to veterans, next-of-kin and authorized representatives from Federal (non-archival) records. If your request involves a service fee, you will be notified as soon as that determination is made. However, the NARA fee schedule authorizes the Agency to collect fees from the public for copies of archival records (44 USC 2116c and 44 USC 2307). See Archival Records for information on archival holdings and associated copy fees.
- Alternate Record Sources: If your records were damaged or destroyed, such as in the
1973 Fire, the NPRC may use alternate sources to reconstruct service data and document your military service. See Alternate Record Sources for more information on the types of records used.
- What Records are Not Available? Frequently Requested Records Which Are NOT at the National Personnel Records Center.