How to get copies of military records
Getting access to military records can help with veterans benefits, ancestry research, and more. Learn how to get your own records or someone else's.
Request service records
1917 - present
Records for yourself or next of kin
You can request service records for yourself or for your next of kin (spouse, parent, child, or sibling). Choose one of three ways to request service records from the National Archives:
- Start your records request online for recent military service.
- Print and fill out a Form SF 180. Mail it to the appropriate address on the form.
- Write a letter to request records, following the directions and using the address under number 2 on this web page.
Records for someone not next of kin
You will need written consent from the veteran or their next of kin to access their full records. You can still access limited information about a veteran without their consent.
Records before 1917
Learn how to access older military records from the National Archives.
- Download Form NATF 86 to request pre-1917 service records.
- Find out about any fees for getting copies of these records.
Check the status of a records request
Contact the National Personnel Records Center to get a status update on a service records request.
Request military medical records
Military medical records are stored based on a veteran's branch of service and dates of service.
LAST UPDATED: December 6, 2023