Request Your Military Service Records Online, by Mail, or by Fax (Includes DD 214/Separation Documents, Personnel Records, and/or Medical Records)
Military personnel records can include DD 214s/Separation Documents, service personnel records found within the Official Military Personnel File (OMPF), and medical records. Military personnel records can be used for proving military service or as a valuable tool in genealogical research.
Please note that NPRC holds historical Military Personnel Records of nearly 100 million veterans. The vast majority of these records are paper-based and not available on-line. Learn More
Review the Instructions Before you Begin!
Online Requests Using eVetRecs
Our online eVetRecs system creates a customized order form to request information from your, or your relative's, military personnel records.
You may use this system if you are:
- A military veteran, or
- Next of kin of a deceased, former member of the military. The next of kin can be any of the following:
- Surviving spouse that has not remarried
Who Can Request Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF)
Access depends on the discharge date:
- OMPF Archival record - discharge date of 1960 or prior*These records are archival and are open to the public.
- Any archival OMPF can be ordered online for a copying fee.
- See Access to Military Records by the General Public for more details.
- OMPF Federal (non-archival) record - discharge date of 1961 or after* These records are non-archival and are maintained under the Federal Records Center program. Non-archival records are subject to access restrictions.
- the military veteran, or
- the next-of-kin (un-remarried widow or widower, son, daughter, father, mother, brother or sister)
- Use the link at the top of this page to get started using eVetRecs or Standard Form 180 (SF 180).
* Please note: Military personnel records are open to the public 62 years after they leave the military. (To calculate this, take the current year and subtract 62.) Records of any veteran who separated from the military 62 (or more) years ago can be ordered by anyone for a copying fee (detailed below under “cost”). Learn more
Visit eVetRecs Help and FAQ to learn more about how to use eVetRecs.
Your request must contain certain basic information for us to locate your service records. This information includes:
- The veteran's complete name used while in service
- Service number
- Social security number
- Branch of service
- Dates of service
- Date and place of birth (especially if the service number is not known).
- If you suspect your records may have been involved in the 1973 fire, also include:
- Place of discharge
- Last unit of assignment
- Place of entry into the service, if known.
- All requests must be signed and dated by the veteran or next-of-kin.
- If you are the next of kin of a deceased veteran, you must provide proof of death of the veteran such as a copy of death certificate, letter from funeral home, or published obituary.
Recommended Information (optional)
While this information is not required, it is extremely helpful to NPRC staff in understanding and fulfilling your request:
- The purpose or reason for your request, such as applying for veterans benefits, preparing to retire, or researching your personal military history.
- Any other specific information, documents or records you require from your Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) besides your Report of Separation (DD Form 214).
- For additional details on what information may or may not be included, please see the Special Notice to Veterans and Family Members regarding requests for copies of military personnel and/or medical files.
If your request is urgent (e.g. upcoming surgery, funeral, etc.) please provide this information in the "Comments" section of eVetrecs or in the "Purpose" section of the SF-180 and fax it to our Customer Service Team at (314) 801-0764.
Please contact our customer service staff at (314) 801-0800 if you have questions. Due to the large number of calls we receive at this number, hold times are often long. However, once you reach a technician they will be happy to assist you with emergency service.
Additional information for Natural Disaster-related requests
If your burial request involves interment at a Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery, contact the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at (800) 535-1117 or visit their website http://www.cem.va.gov/cem/burial_benefits/. We work directly with the Veterans Affairs staff to obtain records to verify service for burial benefits. If the veteran is not going to be interned at a National Cemetery, the requester may fax the SF-180 or signature page from eVetRecs (including signature of the next of kin and proof of death) to the Customer Service Team at (314) 801-0764.
NOTE: The 1973 Fire at the National Personnel Records Center damaged or destroyed 16-18 million Army and Air Force records that documented the service history of former military personnel discharged from 1912-1964. Although the information in many of these primary source records was either badly damaged or completely destroyed, often alternate record sources can be used to reconstruct the service of the veterans impacted by the fire. Sometimes we are able to reconstruct the service promptly using alternate records that are in our holdings, but other times we must request information from other external agencies for use in records reconstruction. In some instances, therefore, requests that involve reconstruction efforts may take longer to complete.
Where to send my request
You can mail or fax your signed and dated request to the National Archives's National Personnel Record Center (NPRC). Most, but not all records, are stored at the NPRC. Be sure to use the address specified by eVetRecs or the instructions on the SF-180. Locations of Military Service Records.
- NPRC Fax Number: 314-801-9195
- NPRC Mailing Address:
National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138
Please note that requests which are sent by Priority Mail, FedEx, UPS, or other "express" services will only arrive at the NPRC sooner. They will not be processed any faster than standard requests. See the section above on emergency requests and deadlines.
Generally there is no charge for basic military personnel and medical 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, Archival OMPFs are subject to the NARA fee schedule that authorizes the Agency to collect fees from the public for copies of archival records (44 USC 2116c and 44 USC 2307).
Checking the Status of Your Request:
Once you have allowed sufficient time for us to receive and process your request, you may check the status of your request by email through our NPRC Customer Service Center at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide the request number if you have one, the name, address and phone number of the requester, and the veteran's branch of service to aid us to finding your request in our system. You will receive a return email from us with a projected completion date for your request.
You may also telephone us.
Other Methods to Obtain your Military Service Records
Other potential methods to obtain your records include writing a letter or contacting your state or county. See Other Methods to Obtain your Military Service Records for more details.
NOTE: Some companies advertise DD Form 214 research services and will charge a fee for obtaining copies. This is provided as a free service by the National Archives and Records Administration.
Special Note on Contacting by Email: Requests for military personnel records or information from them cannot be accepted by email at this time. The Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a) and Department of Defense directives require a written request, signed and dated, to access information from military personnel records. Our email address should only be used only to request general information (hours of operations, procedures and forms) or to submit compliments, complaints or concerns.
NOTE: If you send messages using WebTV or a free-email service, you will not receive our response if your mailbox is full. Messages sent to full mailboxes are returned to us as "undeliverable." You may wish to include your mailing address in your message so that we may respond via the U.S. Postal Service.
Access to Military Records by the General Public
Limited information from Official Military Personnel Files is releasable to the general public without the consent of the veteran or the next-of-kin. You are considered a member of the general public if you are asking about a veteran who is no relation to you, or a veteran who is a relative but you are not the next-of-kin. Next-of-kin is defined as the unremarried widow or widower, son or daughter, father or mother, brother or sister of the deceased veteran.
See Access to Military Records by the General Public and Researchers for details on how to request service records.