There are many reasons why one may need to find a veteran’s military records, such as for burials, benefits when the person has passed away, or even for replacing lost family files. Requesting military records is free, but there are several different ways to request them.
Let’s talk about the different ways of obtaining a veteran’s military records:
How to Get A Veteran’s Military Records
- Sign into milConnect. This is the most up-to-date way to obtain records, but the service member requesting must sign up for a milConnect account. Through milConnect, a service member can request DD214s, DD215s, reports of separation, performance reports, awards and decorations, and more.
- Mail or fax a request with Standard Form SF 180. This method requires you to download, print, and fill out the SF 180 form and then mail it to the National Personnel Records Center, known as the NPRC. If you are a next of kin or a relative and do not have all the information required for this option, there are other ways.
- Write a letter to NPRC or visit NPRC in person. The NPRC is located in St. Louis, Missouri. If you’re near the area or don’t mind a road trip, you can visit the location and speak with someone there. If you can’t make the trip, you can always write a letter and give them all the information you have on your relative.
These three methods are the main ways of obtaining a veteran's records. However, there are still other ways. If these options yield no results, you can contact the state or county Veterans agency or even hire someone to research it for you.