Military Records

I get questions all of the time about getting military records. If you’re trying to find the records of a deceased family member or your own records, you can use the form at the National Archives and Records Administration’s website – their Standard Form (SF) 180. It will take 4-6 weeks after they receive the form from you through snail mail.

Hondo wrote a series of posts about filing for a Freedom of Information Act response.  He’s since expanded that article series to cover the 1973 NPRC Fire and some aspects of “former POW” claims.  These are the links:

The FOIA Process: Part 1 – Intro

The FOIA Process: Part 2 – What Do I Need?

The FOIA Process: Part 3 – What Do I Send, and Where Do I Send It?

The FOIA Process: Part 4 – How Long Will It Take, and How Much Will It Cost?

The FOIA Process: Part 5 – So, What Will I Get?

The FOIA Process: Part 6 – Interpreting the Results and Miscellaneous Thoughts


Military Records and “the Records Fire”


About “Former POW” Claims

About Those “I Escaped from the VC/NVA” Claims

A Word of Caution Regarding DPAA’s Korean War “POW/MIA Lists”

Korean War POWs: The PRC Detainees

US POWs Since Vietnam

US POWs Since Vietnam – Addendum:  the Tehran Embassy Seizure

Non-Vietnam POWs – A Few Others


If you need to correct your records (DD215), the best way is to contact your local Veterans’ Service Organization (VSO – American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled Veterans of America, etc…) and ask them for help. It’s their job, it’s what they do.