Military records help prove military service when applying for jobs or government benefits. They’re also helpful for ancestry and historical research.
Most military records are on paper or microfilm and you’ll need to request printed copies to be mailed to you. They are not typically available to view online.
Types of Military Records
World War I - Present
You can find veterans’ military service records from World War I to the present from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC). The NPRC houses many types of records, including Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF). These files can include the Report of Separation (DD Form 214) and show a veteran’s service history, which may include:
Enlistment or appointment and separation dates
Duty stations and assignments
Training and qualifications
Veterans’ health and medical records are located in various places, depending on their branch and date of separation. See this chart of locations of veterans’ medical and health records.
Before World War I
You can find older military service records (generally before World War I) from the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
Request Recent Military Records (World War I - Present)
If You Are a Veteran or Next-of-Kin
To get a copy of the vet’s military records, you can:
Start a request online (then print and mail)
Most requests are free.
If You Are Not the Veteran or Next-of-Kin
You can only get limited information about non-archival records without the consent of the veteran or next-of-kin. Non-archival records are those from 62 years ago to the present. Learn about access to non-archival military records by the general public and researchers.
Request Older Military Records (Before World War I)
You can order older military personnel records online or with a downloadable form. You may have to pay a fee for copies of archival Official Military Personnel Files, including those of veterans discharged more than 62 years ago.
Check the Status of Your Military Records Request
To check the status of your order for recent records (World War I - Present), contact the National Personnel Records Center. For older military records (generally before 1917), contact the National Archives.