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Getting a Copy of Your Military Records

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The SF 180, although not mandatory, is the recommended method to send a request for military service information. This form captures all the necessary information to locate a record. Provide as much information on the form as possible and send copies of any service documents that you may have. Requests may also be submitted as a letter, containing the basic information listed above.

Mail the completed SF 180, or the signed written request to:

The National Personnel Records Center
(Military Personnel Records)
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100

Completing a Records Request On-line

Veterans and "Next-of-Kin" can now complete a records request on-line. One must still print out and sign a sign a sigature verification, and mail or fax the verification, because Federal Law requires a signature on all records request. However, completing the application online can be easier and faster than completing the SF Form 180.

Those who are not veterans or next-of-kin, cannot use the on-line system. They must complete the SF 180.

Requesting Copies of Military Medical Records

Clinical and medical treatment records are filed at the National Personnel Records Center by the name of the facility which last had responsibility for the records. Therefore, in order to request information from medical records, you must provide the following information:

  • NAME OF THE LAST FACILITY WHICH HAD RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE TREATMENT RECORD. Usually this is the last facility at which treatment was provided.
  • The YEAR and the TYPE OF TREATMENT (inpatient, outpatient, dental, mental health, etc.) If you need copies of specific records, please be sure to state the type of illness, injury, or treatment involved.
  • The patient's FULL NAME used during treatment
  • The patient's SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER and STATUS during treatment [military, retiree, dependent of military, federal employee, dependent, or other (specify)].
  • BRANCH OF SERVICE and SPONSOR'S SERVICE NUMBER or SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER (if the former patient is/was a dependent).
You should provide as much information as possible. It may not be possible to locate a record if important identifying information is missing. For medical records of separated/retired military personnel and NAVY/Marine Corps dependents, send your request to :

National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100

For medical records of Air Force, Coast Guard, or Army Dependents, send requests to:

National Personnel Records Center
Civilian Personnel Records
111 Winnebago Street
St. Louis, MO 63118-4126

Veterans who plan to file a claim for medical benefits with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) do not need to request a copy of their military health record from the National Personnel Records Center. When you file a VA claim, the Department of Veterans Affairs will request the record automatically, as part of the claims process.

Generally there is no charge for military personnel and health record information provided to veterans, next-of-kin, and authorized representatives. If your request involves a service fee, you will be notified as soon as that determination is made.

How Long Does it Take?

It wasn't all that long ago when turnaround time for military records was miserable. It was not unusual for a simple DD Form 214/215 request to take up to 180 days.

NPRC has transformed the way it responds to inquiries, to provide dramatically improved customer service. This Business Process Reengineering project has changed structures and systems that in some cases have been in place since the center was formed 40 years ago. As a test, I requested a copy of my DD Form 214 in December 2003, using the on-line system. I was pleasantly surprised to receive my DD Form 214 copy in just 18 days from the date of my request.

However, the folks at NPRC are still busy animals. They process nearly 20,000 requests per week. Turnaround times for records requested from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) vary greatly depending on the nature of the request. For example, requests that involve reconstruction efforts due to the 1973 fire may take much longer.

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