Alternate Records Resources
Alternate Sources of Military Service Data. When proof of military service is needed, NPRC (MPR) attempts to reconstruct certain basic service data from alternate sources. NPRC (MPR) has identified many of these sources, but each contains only limited military service information. They are utilized to piece together (reconstruct) basic service data.
NA Form 13075, Questionnaire About Military Service
NA Form 13055, Request for Information Needed to Reconstruct Medical Data.
Medical-Related Alternate Records. In 1988, a collection of computer tapes containing ten million hospital/treatment facility admission records was transferred to NPRC (MPR). These records, originally created by the U.S. Army Surgeon General's Office (SGO), were discovered by the National Academy of Sciences and offered to the National Archives for use by NPRC (MPR). The source records existed in a computer code format and required extensive analysis to interpret the code into English. Between 1988-1990, NPRC (MPR) was able to salvage 7.8 million records of individual admissions for use as a major supplement to other smaller sources of medical information.
Personnel-Related Alternate Sources. A primary source of alternate data is a collection of 19 million final pay vouchers. These records provide name, service number, dates of service, and character of service. These are the most critical service data elements needed for the reconstruction process. With these and other organizational records (enlistment ledgers, service number indexes, etc.), NPRC (MPR) personnel can usually verify military service and provide a Certification of Military Service. This Certification can be used for any purpose for which the original discharge document was used, including the application for veterans benefits.