How to request Military Records for free

Dean Beers

*How to request military records, turn-around time and what is available?*


This question comes up frequently, and A few things have improved – one area that 
hasn’t is their response. Although frequently recorded with the Clerk & 
Recorder (or similar) DD214s are considered confidential and available only 
to the veteran – spouse or other next-of-kin cannot receive a DD214.

However, the near equivalent information is available from the Official 
Military Personnel Files (OMPF); see below.

The address is – National Personnel Records Center, 1 Archives Dr., St. 
Louis, MO. 63138
The main customer service number is – (314) 801-0800
The request fax number is (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. Note – 
requests cannot be emailed, only faxed or mailed.

The form required is SF-180 and veterans can order online at 
http://vetrecs.archives.gov.

Once you have sent your request, you can email mprstatus@nara.gov or call 
the customer service number.

How long might this request take? Requests now are expected in Feb 2015 – 
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 our emergency 
fax number (314) 801-0764 and they will try to send the records when you 
need them.

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:

– Name
– Service Number
– Dates of Service 
– Branch of Service 
– Final Duty Status 
– Final Rank 
– Salary *
– Assignments and Geographical Locations 
– Source of Commission * 
– Military Education Level
– Promotion Sequence Number * 
– Awards and decorations (eligibility only, not actual medals) 
– Photograph 
– 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 

*Items rarely available in the records we maintain.

*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: 

– Name
– Past and present positions
– Past and present titles
– Past and present salaries
– Past and present grades
– Past and present job locations

—–

Dean Beers


*Dean A. Beers, CLI, CCDI and Karen S. Beers, BSW, CCDI*
Cheyenne WY Licensed Private Investigators (No. OL-15-31146)
Board Certified Legal Investigator / Expert Consultant (national)
Board Certified Criminal Defense Investigators
Certified in Medicolegal Death Investigations / former Deputy Coroners=

*Associates in Forensic Investigations, LLC*
A Rocky Mountain West Agency
Expert Consultants and Legal Investigators
Personal Injury, Negligence & Death in Civil, Criminal and Probate 
Litigation

www.DeathCaseReview.com ~ beersda@DeathCaseReview.com
WY – (307) 222-0136 Office and (307) 222-0138 Fax
CO – (970) 480-7793 Office and (970) 480-7794 Fax

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