The Official Voice of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. ®
An organization chartered by the U.S. Congress

March/April 2006
Veterans Benefits Update
   
 

How To Get Your Records

BY DAVID HOUPPERT, DIRECTOR, VETERANS BENEFITS PROGRAM

I have received several inquiries asking how to obtain military records and military decorations. Some are researching claims for veterans benefits, while others are interested in collecting historical information for their families. Some, sadly, are seeking information about relatives they never knew because they were casualties of the Vietnam War.

Military records may be obtained by mail, fax, and the Internet. You need to know the veteranís complete name used while in service; branch of service; his or her service number and Social Security number; dates of service; and date and place of birth (particularly if the service number is unknown).

Additional recommended information includes place of discharge, last unit of  assignment, place of entry into service, and the purpose or reason for your request for information.

This information should be submitted on a Standard Form SF-180, which is available at http://www.archives.gov/veterans/evetrecs/index.html

I also have had several inquiries from veterans and their families seeking information on obtaining replacement medals and ribbons. These may be obtained from the appropriate office within each branch of service. All requests must be signed by the veteran or next of kin. The request should be sent using an SF-180. Also include a copy of the veteranís DD-214, if possible. All requests should be mailed to:

National Personnel Records Center
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100

Requests for the Army and Army Air Corps should be directed to the Medals Section (NRPMA-M). Air Force requests should be sent to the Air Force Reference Branch (FRPMF). Navy requests go to the Navy Liaison Office; Marine Corps and Coast Guard requests should be addressed to the Bureau of Navy Personnel Liaison Office, Room 5409.

   

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