How to request military records?
This question arises repeatedly at SBI. Although frequently recorded with the Clerk & Recorder (or similar) a DD214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) is considered confidential and available only to the veteran or the next of kin of a deceased, former member of the military.
However, the near equivalent information is available from the Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF) at the following address:
National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), 1 Archives Dr., St. Louis, MO. 63138
Customer Service: (314) 801-0800
Fax Number: (314) 801-9195
Veterans, and spouses of deceased veterans, can request these records online. The start page for all requests is http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel/foia-info.html. Requests cannot be emailed, only faxed or mailed. The required form is SF-180 and veterans can order directly online at: http://vetrecs.archives.gov.
Once you’ve sent your request, you can email email@example.com or call the customer service number.
What is the turnaround time for a request?
Requests now are expected in about 12 weeks / 3 months! If you have a deadline date, please send in a statement stating the dateline date and urgency and fax it to their emergency fax number (314) 801-0764 and they will try to send the records when you need them.
What information is available?
The public has access to certain military service information without the veteran’s authorization or that of the next-of-kin (the un-remarried widow or widower, son, daughter, father, mother, brother or sister) of deceased veterans. Examples of information which may be available from Federal (non-archival) Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF) without an unwarranted invasion of privacy include:
- Service Number
- Dates of Service
- Branch of Service
- Final Duty Status
- Final Rank
- Assignments and Geographical Locations
- Military Education Level
- Awards and decorations (eligibility only, not actual medals)
- Transcript of Courts-Martial Trials
- Place of entrance and separation
If the veteran is deceased:
- Place of birth
- Date and geographical location of death
- Place of burial
FOIA and Official Personnel Folders (OPF)
Most information in a Federal (non-archival) Official Personnel Folder (OPF) is not releasable to the general public without the written consent of the individual whose record is involved. The Freedom of Information Act does allow, however, for certain information to be released without the individual’s consent. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has determined that the following information can be released to the public:
- Past and present positions
- Past and present titles
- Past and present grades
- Past and present job locations
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