Military service records

Finding military service records

The militia behind that empowers the war.

Conflict, disputes, aggression and protection of interests  due to greed power, causeless hatred and selfish ideologies were just some of the few reasons why people go to war.  Men and women of the land were called upon and drafted into military units equipped with armaments to service and defend territories and boundaries to  bring forth order and peace among men. The people where the military who were put on every frontline to defend the nation’s sovereignty, honor and initiate peace. The roles the military personnel have taken under oath and allegiance.  The military personnel  were the foremost driving force behind every war in the world.

Uncovering the lost pages of a Soldier’s past.

After the war, as each nation hastily brought back everything to order, many of the military service records, documents and information were likewise lost due to the havoc brought by the wars. One of the most displaced if not the most torn lives were those of the lives of a soldier and military personnel. And after two great wars – World War I and World War II, the life of a military personnel was like a jigsaw puzzle so torn and broken that completing and making every piece whole again seems very impossible and a real challenge.

But thanks to the facilities brought by the digital age and the so-called military archivists, a soldier’s life obscured by time and torn by war can now be pieced back to make them continue whatever was left as they treasure the priceless memories.

The Archives.

The Archives was the repository that houses vast accumulated official records and documents produced from the different administrative, legal, social and commercial activities of the different government bodies for permanent preservation, catalogue and registry management. These records primarily in their original and indigenous state are kept and permanently preserved in perpetuity as official government reference and historical account.

The Military Archives.

The Archives was the repository that houses vast accumulated official records and documents produced from the different administrative, legal, social and commercial activities of the different government bodies for permanent preservation, catalogue and registry management. These records primarily in their original and indigenous state are kept and permanently preserved in perpetuity as official government reference and historical account.

War registries, draft cards, old photographs, postcards, war diaries, medals and other memorabilia. These are what has left from all the legacy, lost lives and memories of millions of soldiers and other military personnel that has been kept in memorial by different government archives and military record repositories all over the world.

Information professionals and experts.

image courtesy of Wikipedia

Genealogists, archivists and researchers are the people whose profession and expertise deals with search, preservation, collection, indexing, organizing various facts and on all types of media information significant and related to military personnel and records.

What it normally takes finding military personnel records?

Most people who are looking for military service records will find themselves initially searching using through the online facilities found on the internet. You can find some online but not all. Aside from your patience, being resourceful and your determination about finding military records, preparation and processes must be done to secure the data needed. Whatever you have to start with will need further steps and series of updating, upgrading and/or processing to make it complete and help you out for the search unto the final fixes needed to secure the official and authenticated record of the military personnel. It is therefore vital that personal copies of service documents as well as personal account of the military service performed by the veteran be accounted and listed down as guide and for further reference during the process.

How Military Records are Archived

Every country has its own archives and carry out different process on how records are kept, viewed or reproduced. It is therefore imperative for interested parties to initially find out the process and trail how records are archived to get and be able to systematically find the military personnel record and yield positive results in the most viable way.

Archival vs non-Archival of US Military Records

US Army veterans

The United States Army was America’s largest military branch mandated to perform land-based military operations. The US Army along with America’s Air Force, Coast Guard , Marine and the Navy form part the United States Armed Forces.  Each military branch were composed of enlisted men and women that serves as the driving force in defense of the United States of America. These combatant men and women are were experts and veterans in the full range defense operations of the country in support against domination threats and world wide conflicts against the US as well as providing assistance and contingents to its global allies.

Freedom of Information.

The Office of the US Veterans Affairs have classified locations on the archives of the US military service records. In accordance to the Freedom of information Act or the US FOIA. The law which took effect last December 2000, allows the public viewing and release of a veteran’s military records for general public use. The military record can be viewed and release with or without the veteran’s next of kin’s authoritative approval.

Records for the general public.

Military records are normally released only to the veteran or his/her next of kin seeking access to the document from the archive. However requests are being entertained by formally requesting the archives in writing. In the request, the veteran or next of kin must do the following:

How to request military records from the Archive.

  •   Specify the type of military records or information needed for viewing or copying.
  •   The request must be duly signed by the veteran or his/her duly recognized next of kin.
  • In addition, if the subject personnel was already deceased, proof of death such as his/her death certificate, letter from the funeral home or a published obituary may be required.

Basic information needed in requesting for military records.

Along with the written request to the Archive, provide the following basic information in order to properly locate the military records:

  • Complete name used by the military personnel.
  • Service number
  • Social security number
  • Branch of service
  • Dates of service
  • Date and place of birth (if the service number is not known).
  • If your records may have been destroyed during the 1973 fire, also include the following:
    • Designated place of discharge
    • Last unit of assignment
    • Place of enlistment into the service, if known.
  • All requests must be signed and dated by the veteran himself or the next-of-kin.
  • Should you be the next of kin of a deceased veteran, you must provide proof of death of the veteran such as a copy of the death certificate, letter from the funeral home, or a published obituary of the veteran.

Records that needed authorization.   In accordance with the FOI Act, certain limited information or records may likewise be allowed to the general public. if ever available, information such as name, designation while on service, awards and military education level may be released for general public knowledge about the veteran.

Addresses of Military Archives in the World.

The following archive places are some of the most sought data banks and government archives:

United States of America:

National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138

United Kingdom:

The National Archives
Kew, Richmond, Surrey,
TW9 4DU

Australia:

Treloar Crescent
Campbell ACT 2612
Australia

New Zealand:

Freyberg House
2-12 Aitken St
Wellington
+64 4 496 0999

France:

Service interministériel des Archives de France
56, rue des Francs-Bourgeois
75 141 Paris Cedex 03

Germany:

Freiburg
Bundesarchiv
Wiesentalstraße 10
79115 Freiburg