Getting Past Service Records for Veterans

Veterans Administration Issues

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Getting Past Service Records for Veterans

Postby JohnAllen » Thu Jun 07, 2007 11:57 pm

I received this note from a veterans relative

"I’m interested in doing a military search on my grandfather’s military service; can you help me get started? I’m looking for his records, certificates, awards, anything that he may have been given or may have done during his service to the Medical Corp division of the Army. Any help that you give me would be greatly appreciated."

Okay, here's what I found.
To get a copy of your military record or that of a relative you will need a Standard Form 180 (SF 180). There is usually no fee for obtaining records. Once you receive the SF 180 you will need to fill it out completely to get the records requested. The form will contain the appropriate addresses to return the form for processing.

To have a Standard From 180 sent to you call the appropriate phone number. You will leave your name and address on a recording and a form will be mailed to you.

In Section II, Item 1 of the form you need to be very specific. If you do not exactly what you want from the record, you will not receive it. An example might be; "please send all information including assignments, reassignments, promotions, demotions, efficiency reports and ratings, special training, unit orders, commendations and awards, photographs, qualification records, and any derogatory information." If you are applying for your own records, make sure to include any items you remember being in your record.

If you are requesting medical records you need to state you need them for your doctor to review. If you need information about a particular injury or illness relating to your current care, list that specifically. If you received inpatient care for this, provide approximate dates of your hospitalization and the name and number of the hospital from which you received care.

If you or your relative received medical care through the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, you may search there as well. Requests should be made to your Regional VA Offices.

The National Archives maintains records for the following groups and are available on disc or as a printout -

Repatriated Korean Conflict Prisoners of War File
Repatriated American Prisoners of War (VA), WWII, Korea and Vietnam File
Korean Conflict Casualty File
Southeast Asia Combat Area Casualties Database
US Army Korean War Casualty File
Casualty Information System, 1961 to 1981

These requests usually require a fee.
All requests for files and requests for a list of fees should be sent to:

Center for Electronic Records (NNR2)
National Archives II
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001
(301)713-6630, (301)713-6911 FAX

Army (314)538-4261
Air Force (314)538-4243
Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard (314)538-4141
VA Regional Offices 800-827-1000
John P. Allen

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