Military Records Request
1. How to Obtain Standard Form 180 (SF-180), Request Pertaining to Military Records
There are several ways to obtain an SF-180. You can:
- Download and print a copy of the SF-180 in PDF format.
- You need access to a printer and the Adobe Acrobat Reader software (see link below). The form is a total of 3 pages.
- The SF-180 is formatted for letter size paper (8.5" x 11"). If your printer can not accommodate this, select "shrink to fit"
when the Adobe Acrobat Reader "Print" dialog box appears.
- This is also a fillable version of the SF-180. It will allow you to type the needed information into the form using your keyboard. You will still need to print, sign and mail the form. Otherwise, it works the same as stated above.
Standard Form 180
b. Order the form to be faxed to you from the National Archives and Records Administration's Fax-on-Demand System
- Call the Fax-on-Demand System at (301) 837-0990 from a fax machine, using the handset.
- Follow the voice instructions, and request document number 2255.
- There is no charge for this service except for any long distance telephone charges you may incur.
c. Use the NARA web site to order the form through the mail.
d. Write to The National Personnel Records Center
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, Missouri 63132
You may also be able to obtain the SF-180:
e. From the Department of Defense
f. From Federal Information Centers
g. From local Veterans Administration offices
h. From veterans service organizations The SF 180 may be photocopied as needed. Please submit a separate SF 180 for each individual whose records are being requested.
2. Write a Letter to Request Records
If you are not able to obtain SF-180, you may still submit a request for military records. Requests must contain enough information to identify the record among the more than 70 million on file at NPRC (MPR). Certain basic information is needed to locate military service records. This information includes:
- The veteran's complete name used while in service
- Service number or social security number
- Branch of service
- Dates of service
- Date and place of birth may also be helpful, especially if the service number is not known
- If the request pertains to a record that may have been involved in the 1973 fire, also include:
- Place of discharge
- Last unit of assignment
- Place of entry into the service, if known.
Please submit a separate request (either SF 180 or letter) for each individual whose records are being requested.
How to Submit Requests:
Today we must continue to receive requests, dated and with a handwritten signature, either by mail or by fax only. This is because Federal law [5 USC 552a(b)] requires that all requests for records and information be submitted in writing. Each request must be signed and dated.
You may submit more than one request per envelope or fax, but please submit a separate request (either SF 180 or letter) for each individual whose records are being requested.
- Send by Mail
Our mailing address is:
National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100
- Send by Fax
Our fax number for requesting military records is 314-801-9195.
The Center will respond in writing by U.S. Mail.
Order Processing Time
Response times for records requested from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) vary greatly depending on the nature of the request. For example, the NPRC Military Records Facility currently has a backlog of 180,000 requests and receives approximately 5,000 requests per day. Routine requests for separation documents currently require only 2-4 weeks for servicing. However, requests that involve reconstruction efforts due to the 1973 fire or older records which require extensive search efforts may take much longer. The average turnaround time on all requests is currently running at approximately 12 weeks.
"NARA ensures, for the Citizen and the Public Servant, for the President and the Congress and the Courts, ready access to essential evidence.