The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), Military Personnel Records (MPR) is the repository of millions of military personnel, health, and medical records of discharged and deceased veterans of all services during the 20th century.
NPRC (MPR) also stores medical treatment records of retirees from all services, as well as records for dependent and other persons treated at Naval medical facilities. Information from the records is made available upon written request (with signature and date) to the extent allowed by law.
Copies of most military and medical records on file at NPRC(MPR), including the DD Form 214, Report of Separation (or equivalent), can be made available upon request. Veterans and next-of-kin of deceased veterans have the same rights to full access to the record. Next-of-kin are the unremarried widow or widower, son or daughter, father or mother, brother or sister of the deceased veteran.
Authorized third party requesters, e.g., lawyers, doctors, historians, etc., may submit requests for information from individual records with the veteran's (or next of kin's) signed and dated authorization. All authorizations should specify exactly what the veteran (or next-of-kin) is allowing to be released to a third party. Authorizations are valid one year from date of signature.
Information or copies of documents may be released from Official Military Personnel Files within the provisions of the law. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Privacy Act provide balance between the right of the public to obtain information from military service records, and the right of the former military service member to protect his/her privacy. Please review these items for additional information. In all cases, you must sufficiently identify the person whose record is requested, so that the records can be located with reasonable effort.
The Standard Form (SF) 180, Request Pertaining to Military Records, is the recommended way to obtain copies of documents contained in your military records. If you have access to a printer, and the FREE Adobe Acrobat Reader Software is installed on your computer, you may download the SF Form 180 here.
Please download both sides of the form as the back of the form contains important mailing addresses and instructions.
The Standard Form 180 is formatted for legal size paper (8.5" X 14"), please print that way if your printer can accomodate. If your printer can only print on letter size paper (8.5" X 11"), select "shrink to fit" when the Adobe Acrobat Reader "Print" dialog box appears.
If you don't have access to a printer, SF 180's can be requested by calling: (314) 538-4261 (Army); (314) 538-4243 (Air Force); (314) 538-4141 (Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard).
Requests for documents contained in military records may also be accomplished by written letter. Requests must contain enough information to identify the record among the more than 70 million on file at NPRC(MPR). Certain basic information is needed to locate military service records. This information includes the veteran's complete name used while in service, service number or social security number, branch of service, and dates of service. Date and place of birth may also be helpful, especially if the service number is not known. If the request pertains to a record that may have been involved in the 1973 fire at NPRC(MPR), also include place of discharge, last unit of assignment, and place of entry into the service, if known. Federal law [5 USC 552a(b)] requires that all requests for records and information be submitted in writing. Each request must be signed and dated.
Mail the SF 180 to the appropriate address listed on the back of the Form. Written letters may be mailed to:
The National Personnel Records Center
(Military Personnel Records)
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100
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.
Response time varies dependent upon the complexity of your request, the availability of records, and our workload. Over the past several years, the NPRC has had its funding and staff levels severely cut by Congress. It is not ususual for records request to take over 180 days. Please do not send a follow-up request before 180 days have elapsed as it may cause further delays.
Information Courtesy of NPRC