It’s not easy to find military members or get their contact information. There’s no database to search. And privacy laws and military rules don’t allow the services to share this information.
Contact a Service Member in an Emergency
If you can’t reach a family member on active duty in an emergency, contact the American Red Cross. Their Hero Care Center will get information from you and relay it to the service member. You can reach the Red Cross:
By phone at 1-877-272-7337
Using its Hero Care app on your mobile device
Get Help Contacting Navy, Marine, and Air Force Service Members
Three service branches provide military personnel locator services:
U.S. Navy - Scroll down to "How do I find a friend or family member in the Navy?"
U.S. Marine Corps - Scroll down to "Miscellaneous" and then click "Personal Locator" on the right.
You may need to provide the military member's Social Security number for the locator to help you. If they find the member, they'll forward your request to them. Each locator has its own requirements.
The U.S. Army and the U.S. Coast Guard no longer provide military locator services.
Get Help Contacting a Veteran
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) may be able to put you in touch with a veteran. The VA will forward your written message to the vet if they have his or her current address on file.
Write your message to your friend and place it in an unsealed, stamped envelope.
Include a note to the VA explaining who you’re trying to reach. Add as much identifying information as you have.
Put all of this in another envelope and address it to the nearest VA Regional Office.
You can also find a list of other resources that may be able to help you find a veteran.
Verify Military Service
You may be able to verify a person's active duty status on a given date. You will need their Social Security number and/or date of birth.
Watch Out for Romance Scammers
Beware of people pretending to be military members on social media and dating websites. These scammers will try to get in an online relationship with you. Then they’ll ask for money for fake service-related needs, like travel costs or medical fees. Learn how to avoid military romance scams.