Obtaining Military Records From the National Personnel Records Center

Interested in obtaining military service records?  Follow this entry to learn how.  Military service records include interesting material such as dates of service, commendations awarded, ranks achieved, transfers, locations of service, with varying levels of detail depending on whether or not the individual is active or deceased.  

Military personnel records of those who were discharged, retired, or deceased while in service before October 1, 2002 are stored with the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in Saint Louis, Missouri.  NPRC acts as the central repository for these older records – stored in paper copy and microfiche format – while records of active and reserve military members are generally stored with the U.S. Army Human Resources Command in Fort Knox, Kentucky although, like all things Department of Defense-related it pays to check with the particular armed services branch you are interested in before pronouncing your search complete..  

The Standard Form 180 (SF 180) must be filled out in order to obtain military records.  It can be accessed here through the NPRC’s website.  The form is straightforward but there are a few things that require extra attention to ensure your request is fulfilled quickly:

·    Knowing the first five digits of the individual’s Social Security Number can be helpful in the identification process – service number is not required.  

·    Be certain of the branch of service of the military member. 

·    Know the distinction between officer ranks and enlisted ranks. 

The link we provided includes a chart to determine where to send the request – however, it only provides a website link for active/reserve Army members as well as those discharged, deceased, or retired after October 1, 2002.  The link on the form is not secure to access with search engines such as Google Chrome.  Use this address for this type of request:

U.S. Army Human Resources Command


1600 Spearhead Division Avenue, Department 420

Ft Knox, KY 40122-5402