How Can You Obtain Military Service Records?

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There may be times when you wish to obtain the military records of a family member or friend. You may wish to obtain more information about how they contributed to their country and why they chose to serve. More importantly, these records may be able to help prove your eligibility for certain benefits if your loved one passed away. Here’s how you can obtain military service records. 

The National Personnel Records Center

The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is where the military houses the records of personnel from every branch of the U.S. military: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.  

Personnel records include:

  • Name and rank of the soldier;
  • Date of enlistment;
  • Date of discharge;
  • Military service number;
  • Dates of active-duty service (including locations and assignments);
  • Number of days served;
  • Type of discharge; and
  • Rank when discharged. 

Accessing Military Service Records

While you can make a request to obtain military service records by mail, by phone, or in person, the easiest way to do so is by submitting an online request. If you want to go in person, you’ll have to go to one of the designated facilities and fill out the required forms (either with the help of staff or at a self-service kiosk). The facilities can be located on NARA’s website under “Visit NARA Facilities.” If you want to submit an online request, you must also go to NARA’s website.

It’s important that you bring two forms of identification, such as a driver’s license, passport, or another government-issued ID card, to verify your identity.

Who Can Access Military Service Records?

While all military records become public 62 years after the service member has left the military, not everyone will have access to records that fall short of that timeline. There are limited individuals who may request military service records. These individuals include:

  • The military veteran themselves; or
  • Next of kin (if the former military member has passed away):
    • Surviving spouse (if not remarried);
    • Parent (mother/father);
    • Child (son/daughter); or
    • Sibling (brother/sister).

You must include certain information in order to receive the service records:

  • The complete name of the veteran that was used while in service;
  • Social security number
  • Service number
  • Branch of service
  • Dates of service
  • Date/place of birth (very important if the service number is unknown)

The request must be signed and dated by the veteran or his/her next of kin. If the next of kin is requesting these records, proof of death must also be included (e.g., death certificate).

The Court-Martial Law Division of Aviso Law LLC Helps Military Members in Colorado Who Have Been Charged with a Crime

If you are looking to obtain your military records, an attorney can help assist you with the process, ensuring that you have all of the necessary paperwork and identifying any injuries or medical issues suffered while serving that may be impacting your life. An attorney can also help you to determine what steps to take next. 

If you are a military service member and are interested in obtaining your records, the Court-Martial Law Division of Aviso Law LLC can help. We proudly serve our military members, who sacrifice so much for our country. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

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