Request Military Records at the National Archives

Home/Primary Sources/Military Records/Request Military Records at the National Archives

Request Military Records at the National Archives

What happens when you request military records from the National Archives? What is the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC)? How does the National Military Personnel Records Center process your request military records? How many requests are received each week?

The NPRC is a division of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). To commemorate Veterans Day, the National Archives today launched its ninth “Inside the Vaults” video short featuring the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero says, “As a Navy veteran myself, I know the importance of having access to military records. The NPRC preserves and makes these records available to those who have served our nation.”

The three-minute video short, “America’s Veterans and the National Archives,” is a journey inside the vaults of one of the NARA’s largest operations. The video features National Archives employee and veteran Ricky Moe as he traces his own military file.

From computer systems that track each request to the painstaking work by conservators to reconstruct documents damaged by the devastating 1973 fire, the video features the work of NPRC staff.
The National Personnel Records Center is a central repository of personnel-related records, both military and civil service.  The NPRC’s provides access to records requested by  Congressional offices, Government agencies, military veterans, former civilian Federal employees, family members, as well as genealogists, researchers, and historians. Records include military personnel, health, and medical records of discharged and deceased veterans of all services during the 20th century, as well as medical treatment records of retirees from all services, as well as records for dependent and other persons treated at naval medical facilities.

Inside the Vaults” is part of the ongoing effort by the National Archives to make its collections, stories, and accomplishments more accessible to the public. The film series is free to view and distributed on NARA’s YouTube channel.Created by a former broadcast network news producer, the “Inside the Vaults” video shorts series presents behind-the-scenes exclusives and offers surprising glimpses of the National Archives treasures. These videos are in the public domain and are not subject to any copyright restrictions. The National Archives encourages the free distribution of them, so link away! Let me know what you find when you request military records from the National Archives.

For more information about finding and using military records, click here.

About the Author:

Nancy Loe has an MA in American History and an MLS in Library Science and Archives. She has appeared on PBS’s American Experience, at Rootstech, SCGS Jamboree, and state and regional genealogy conferences. Her website was featured in Family Tree Magazine's “Social Media Mavericks: 40 to Follow.”

One Comment

  1. Lee 12 November 2010 at 10:53 PM

    Thanks for the link to the video. I just printed the form to request my gg-grandfather’s record from the NPRC. I had previously requested it from NARA but his widow didn’t die until the mid-1940s so his file was not there.

Comments are closed.