Gaining Access to Military Records

Gaining Access to Military Records

Trying to access military records without the consent of the military member can be a difficult process, if not a futile one. It is even more difficult if the person is not next of kin, is a business, or organization. Think of Military Records as employment and health records combined, there are lots of pertinent laws protecting these records, and rightfully so.

The general public does not have access to records of law enforcement or a person working at Walmart, service members protecting the nation are awarded some privacy, even though the citizenry pays their salary. There are some exceptions and limited information that can possibly be had with the correct paperwork and patience. Per the National Archives (NPRC), “Without the consent of the veteran or next-of-kin, the NPRC can only release limited information from non-archival Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF) to the general public. Click here for a list of information available under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. Greater access is granted for records 62 years and older, also see Archival Records.

There are some records that are available via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Privacy Act, there too is a process for accessing that information. You will still need exact information of the potential military member for this information, should it be available, and that includes Name, DOB, SSN, etc. In the end, the requests take time, even when the exact form is completed correctly and fully.

Information possibly available via FOIA and OFP to the general public:
· Name
· Past and Present positions
· Past and Present titles
· Past and Present salaries
· Past and Present grades
· Past and Present job locations

NPRC Contact Information 📞

PHONE: 314-801-0800
NPRC Mailing Address:
National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138
Note: Peak calling times are weekdays between 10:00 a.m. CT and 3:00 p.m. CT. Staff is available to take your call as early as 7:00 a.m. and as late as 5:00 p.m. CT.

Helpful Links:
Archives Home Page: 

Military Service Records Home Page:

Other Request Methods:

Personnel Records Center:

Records Locations (Branch):

Gaining Access to Military Records:

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