How to Request Personal Military Records
Veterans or next-of-kin of deceased veterans can go to the Archives.gov website or use Standard Form 180 to request records. The form is available on the Website or from the Department of Defense, Federal Information Centers, local Veterans Affairs and from veterans service organizations.
How to Request Archival Military Records of Others
If records are not yours or a family member's, then you must fill out a Standard Form 180 or write a letter to request records. The form or letter should be sent to:
The National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
9700 Page Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63123-5100
If you are writing a letter, you must include the veteran's complete name used while in the service, service number or Social Security number, branch of service and dates of service. Date and place of birth may be helpful if the service number is not known. Requests for archived records of others must be signed and dated and can only be received by fax or mail. The fax number is 314-801-9195. Mailed requests should be sent to the Center's Page Avenue address. Requests from veterans or next-of-kin for personal records also can be faxed or mailed.
Response times depend on the nature of the request. The average turnaround time on requests for personal records not made in person is about 12 weeks.
The service is free for personal military records, but photocopies of archival records cost 50 cents per page. You can look at archival records in person for free at the Center.
Call (314) 801.0850 for questions about the newly released records; (314) 801.0800 questions about other military records at the Center.
If you want to request archival records in person, you may be able to view those records on the same day. The Center's archival research room is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Cutoff times for requests for retrieval of records on the same days are 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., and the goal is to retrieve those records in one hour. Visitors must display a government-issued ID with photo, such as a driver's license, to enter the center and to obtain a researcher ID card. Appointments for research are suggested. Call (314) 801.0850.
The Center will not sort through records for you to copy only certain pages, but you can hire a researcher to do it for you. To get information about hiring a researcher, go to www.archives.gov and click on Research Room, then Veteran's Service Records, then Hire a Researcher.