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Military Records Search: Find Out How to Get Copies of Military Records

Man and woman who have served in different branches of the US military have personnel files about them that are stored by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). NARA maintains official records for military personnel who have been discharged from the Army, U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and the Coast Guard.

The information maintained by NARA is available, so if you need to find military records online or offline, here is what you need to know.

 

What Information is Available in Military Records?

NARA collects and holds military records about military personnel that contain the following information:

  • duty stations and assignments
  • enlistment/appointment
  • awards and medals
  • training, qualifications, performance
  • insurance
  • administrative remarks
  • disciplinary actions
  • emergency data
  • separation/discharge/retirement
Military Records

aside from the date mentioned above, military personnel records also contain health records of personnel and active duty health records. However, these records were no longer kept by NARA since 1992.

Records of former service members who no longer have a service obligation are maintained by The National Archives' National Personnel Records Center (NPRC).

Additional military records who are not available by NARA are military records of members who are still in the active or inactive reserves or in the National Guard. However, in its efforts to make military records, NARA developed the Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF) with the Department of Defense (DOD).

Using Military Records

Military records are used for several reasons; former military personnel and veterans are entitled to certain benefits from the government. Military records are also needed when applying to government jobs, and when researching history and ancestry.

Nowadays, military records are available online, and you may need them for the aforementioned reasons or for other reasons.

Military Records Search
Getting Health Benefits with Military Records

If you are entitled to health benefits as an army veteran, you will need to get copies of your military health records. Military health records contain valuable information, such as physical examinations, dental treatment, mental health treatment, and routine medical care during which the patient was not admitted to the hospital.

Health records that are not filed as military health records are hospital inpatient (clinical) records of active duty members who were hospitalized while still in service.

These days, military health records are maintained by different departments. The table below details where you can find such records to get the benefits you deserve or provide them when necessary.

Branch

Status

Date

Record Location

Army

Discharged, retired, or separated from any component

10/16/1992 to 12/31/2013

Department of VA, Records Management Center

on or after 01/01/2014

AMEDD Record Processing Center

Navy

Discharged, retired, or separated from any component

01/31/1994 to 12/31/2013

Department of VA, Records Management Center

on or after 01/01/2014

BUMED Navy Medicine Records Activity

Air Force

Discharged, retired, or separated from any component

05/01/1994 to 12/31/2013

Department of VA, Records Management Center

on or after 01/01/2014

AF STR Processing Center

Discharged or retired from Reserves or National Guard

06/01/1994 to 12/31/2013

Department of VA, Records Management Center

on or after 01/01/2014

AF STR Processing Center

Marine Corps

Discharged, retired, or separated from any component

05/01/1994 to 12/31/2013

Department of VA, Records Management Center

on or after 01/01/2014

BUMED Navy Medicine Records Activity

Coast Guard

Discharged, retired, or separated from Active Duty - Reservists with 90 days active duty for training

04/01/1998 to 09/30/2014

Department of VA, Records Management Center

   

How to Get Military Records?

If you need to get military records, for whatever reason it may be, you will need to do the following:

Important note: recent medical records and military service records are not available online. Online military records are available for veterans or their next of kin; you can obtain a DD Form 214 free of charge along with free copies of military service records.

What is a DD214? A DD214 is issued to every veteran and it describes the veteran's condition of discharge (general discharge, honorable discharge).

To get military records, you will first need to sign in to milConnect – the official government site for military records.

Veteran Records
Once are signed to milConnect, follow these steps to get access to military records:

  • Click on Correspondence/ Documentation
  • Select Defense Personnel Records Information (DPRIS) on the drop-down menu
  • Click on the Personnel File tab
  • Click on Request My Personnel File
  • Fill out the form with the necessary details. Check the necessary boxes next to the documents you want to get.
  • Click on Create and Send Request button

After you request military records, you will receive an email about the processing of your request. You will receive an additional email after your request is complete and the files are ready to download.

To check the status of your request, you do not have to wait for a second email; you can check your request on milConnect; go to the Personnel File tab on the Defense Personnel Records Information (DPRIS) page and check the progression of your request of military records.

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Search for anyone in the United States! 100% Confidential! Updated on June 5, 2020
Sensitive Information!