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Requesting Copies of Military Personnel Records


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#26 TD-Tommy776

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 05:35 PM

Here's an updated link for Requesting Military Service Records through the NARA.

Freedom is precious and many gave their lives for it. It is the duty of the future generation
to remember that sacrifice, and offer some sacrifice for themselves if Freedom is threatened.

Cecil Earl Workman, WWII Veteran, "L" Co., 129th Inf. Regt., 37th Inf. Div.


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#27 LRusso216

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 01:49 AM

Thanks for the current information, Tommy. I think credit should also go to mcoffee for discovering the link needed updating.

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#28 GAR

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 01:41 AM

Hi guys,

 

I'm at the NPRC several days a week getting personnel records and reconstructing records that were lost in the '73 fire. The National Personnel Records Center has recently changed how it prices records.

 

RECORDS ARE FREE=If you are the veteran himself

 

RECORDS ARE FREE=If you are the next of kin and the veteran whose record you are seeking was discharged less than 62 years ago from today's date.

 

FEE IS INVOLVED=If you are the next of kin and the veteran was discharged over 62 years ago from today's date ($25 for records  6 pages or less and $70 for records over 6 pages in length). These fees are the same regardless of whether you are the next of kin or just a non-relative seeking copies of a veteran's record. The record is open to the public at this point and these charges apply.

 

 


I research military records including official military personnel files, medical records, morning reports and unit rosters at the NPRC. If you have an individual veteran you need researched I can help: please visit my site here for WWII Genealogical Research and Military Service Records


#29 McCabe

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 07:50 PM

My apologies if this isn't the right place for this (and mods, please feel free to remove) but I had no luck with the National Archives in trying to obtain my grandfather's DD214. I did manage to obtain a copy through the Baltimore War Memorial, which houses thousands of discharge papers for Maryland veterans (it could be that they're all archive-status at this point and part of public records). As many here already know, when veterans returned from the war, they usually filed a copy of their discharge paper with their local country registrar, etc. That would be an excellent place to look for anyone who hasn't had any luck in contacting the NPRC.

 

EDIT: Can someone please move this post for me or delete, it probably shouldn't be under a NPRC-specific thread. Thanks


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#30 TD-Tommy776

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 04:01 AM

My apologies if this isn't the right place for this (and mods, please feel free to remove) but I had no luck with the National Archives in trying to obtain my grandfather's DD214. I did manage to obtain a copy through the Baltimore War Memorial, which houses thousands of discharge papers for Maryland veterans (it could be that they're all archive-status at this point and part of public records). As many here already know, when veterans returned from the war, they usually filed a copy of their discharge paper with their local country registrar, etc. That would be an excellent place to look for anyone who hasn't had any luck in contacting the NPRC.

 

EDIT: Can someone please move this post for me or delete, it probably shouldn't be under a NPRC-specific thread. Thanks

 

Actually, McCabe, I think your post can stay here. It is not at all off topic and there will be others who share your experience with NPRC (including yours truly).  Sharing your alternative route to the NPRC may turn out to help others.


Edited by TD-Tommy776, 10 January 2014 - 04:02 AM.

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Freedom is precious and many gave their lives for it. It is the duty of the future generation
to remember that sacrifice, and offer some sacrifice for themselves if Freedom is threatened.

Cecil Earl Workman, WWII Veteran, "L" Co., 129th Inf. Regt., 37th Inf. Div.


Halvorson_PTO129IR-37ID2.jpg

PFC Glenn W. Halvorson

BudETO776TD.png

PFC Norman L. Halvorson


#31 WeeVeeJosh

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 12:18 AM

FEE IS INVOLVED=If you are the next of kin and the veteran was discharged over 62 years ago from today's date ($25 for records  6 pages or less and $70 for records over 6 pages in length). These fees are the same regardless of whether you are the next of kin or just a non-relative seeking copies of a veteran's record. The record is open to the public at this point and these charges apply.

 

Can anyone recommend a researcher in the St. Louis area who will make copies of personnel files for less than the NARA MPRC charges?  Many personnel files are short enough that even with photocopies ($0.25/page) + postage + low hourly rate they should be cheaper to photocopy than the NARA flat fee of $70, especially for an attention researcher (many files contain duplicate copies of parts of the file).  Alternatively, some researchers can make digital copies (via digital camera or scanner) which vastly saves on the costs, but many researchers don't have the appropriate equipment (maybe this is also not allowed in St. Louis?  I know it is permitted in the NARA in DC, College Park, and Atlanta).  I've tried contacting some of the researchers listed on the National Archives website, but about half are out of date so I get no response and the rest all charge fees greater than the NARA fee making using a researcher pointless!  I need to get about a half dozen files for my research (and probably others in the future).



#32 McCabe

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 08:46 AM

Have you checked out Golden Arrow Research yet


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#33 TD-Tommy776

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 08:36 PM

I doubt you will find a professional researcher who will do it "for a low hourly rate".  After all, they have to make a living.  If you have several soldiers that you need them to research, they might consider negotiating a price, but that's a guess on my part.  The advantage to hiring a researcher is that they will get done in a couple weeks what will take the NARA a year to do.  Also, as a general rule, they are more motivated to provide better quality copies since their livelihood is dependent on it.  

 

GAR does quality work and is easy to work with.  I don't know if Geoff will be able to do it for a price you will be willing to pay, but it never hurts to ask.


Freedom is precious and many gave their lives for it. It is the duty of the future generation
to remember that sacrifice, and offer some sacrifice for themselves if Freedom is threatened.

Cecil Earl Workman, WWII Veteran, "L" Co., 129th Inf. Regt., 37th Inf. Div.


Halvorson_PTO129IR-37ID2.jpg

PFC Glenn W. Halvorson

BudETO776TD.png

PFC Norman L. Halvorson


#34 KMZgirl

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 03:59 AM

Just curious if anyone has sent for records recently and what the average turn around time is? About 3 years ago, the "records lost in a fire" response came in just 3 week. I tried again last year, actually 16 weeks ago. I resubmitted my request with additional info about his units that I had not previously known or sent. I am trying to be as patient as possible. Since I haven't heard anything 16 weeks out, does that mean they are reconstructing his records? Other than the email verifying they received my online request and my signature, I haven't heard a peep. Needless to say, I am hopeful and excited.
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#35 Otto

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 05:45 AM

I don't have any current info, but I'm about to send in two requests so please keep us up to speed on your turnaround time.


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#36 KMZgirl

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 11:38 AM

I sure will let you know how long it takes and hope others do as well, It has been my experience in life that we really never know when or if something is gonna happen, but knowing what others experienced sure seems to help. Lol
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#37 TD-Tommy776

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 02:22 PM

From the NARA website (see post #26 above):

 

Response time for records requested from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) varies and is dependent upon the complexity of your request, the availability of records and our workload. Please do not send a follow-up request before 90 days have elapsed, as it may cause further delays. While the NPRC works actively to respond to each request in a timely fashion, the Center receives approximately 4,000 - 5,000 requests per day. We are responding to requests for separation documents within 10 days about 92% of the time. However, requests that involve reconstruction efforts due to the 1973 Fire, or older records which require extensive search efforts, may take 6 months or more to complete.

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 Personnel Records facility currently has a pending workload of 83,000 requests and is receiving approximately 5,100 requests per day. We are responding to requests for replacement copies of separation documents only within 10 days about 90% of the time. However, for requests involving other types of information or documents, we currently are working on requests received in April 2010. Additionally, requests that involve reconstruction efforts due to the 1973 fire or older records which require extensive search efforts may take six months or more to complete. Overall we are responding to 66% of all requests received within 10 days. Our average response time for all case types is approximately 4.1 weeks.

 

Of course, there's what the website says, and then there's what folks actually experience.  I know with IDPF's, I used to get them in about 4 months.  Now it takes about a year.  Obviously, not the same situation, but there is probably a similar dynamic at work.

 

You should have at least received an acknowledgement of their receiving your request by now.  Toward the bottom of the page there are instructions for checking the status of requests.


Freedom is precious and many gave their lives for it. It is the duty of the future generation
to remember that sacrifice, and offer some sacrifice for themselves if Freedom is threatened.

Cecil Earl Workman, WWII Veteran, "L" Co., 129th Inf. Regt., 37th Inf. Div.


Halvorson_PTO129IR-37ID2.jpg

PFC Glenn W. Halvorson

BudETO776TD.png

PFC Norman L. Halvorson


#38 OpanaPointer

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 02:26 PM

Anybody know if they allow you to bring your own scanner? 


"One of our King Tigers could take five of your Shermans, but you always had six of them."


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#39 KMZgirl

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 09:56 PM

Yes, I did receive an email saying they received my signature. I had to snail mail it to them after my online application was complete. So, realistically, 4 months to a year? I am a very patient person... It's like waiting for Christmas morning but not knowing the date!

#40 OpanaPointer

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 10:09 PM

Does NARA accept limited power of attorney to access records for another person? 


"One of our King Tigers could take five of your Shermans, but you always had six of them."


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The Myths of Pearl Harbor. Demythologizing the attack.
Hyperwar. Hypertext history of the Second World War.
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#41 KMZgirl

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 10:25 PM

Found this: Archival Records. Personnel records of military members who were discharged, retired, or died in service 62 OR MORE YEARS AGO have been transferred to the legal custody of NARA and are referred to as “archival records”.
a. Release of Information: Archival records are open to the public. The Privacy Act of 1974 does not apply to archival records, therefore, written authorization from the veteran or next-of-kin is not required. In order to protect the privacy of the veteran, his/her family, and third parties named in the records, the personal privacy exemption of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552 (B) (6)) may still apply and may preclude the release of some information.

#42 KMZgirl

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 10:26 PM

Here's the link to the stuff I just copied and pasted: https://www.archives...rd-form-180.pdf

#43 TD-Tommy776

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 12:41 AM

Anybody know if they allow you to bring your own scanner? 

 

 

Yes, with some limitations:  Archival Research Room, Policies & Procedures

 

Computers, scanners and cameras are allowed with prior approval. If you intend to bring electronic equipment, please state this when scheduling your appointment.

 

Laptop computers and scanners:

 

Cases must be left in a locker.

 

Scanners with document feeders are not allowed, and the glass surface of the scanner must be larger than the document being scanned.

 

Computers and scanners will be inspected and approved upon arrival and will be inspected upon departure for loose documents.

 


  • OpanaPointer likes this

Freedom is precious and many gave their lives for it. It is the duty of the future generation
to remember that sacrifice, and offer some sacrifice for themselves if Freedom is threatened.

Cecil Earl Workman, WWII Veteran, "L" Co., 129th Inf. Regt., 37th Inf. Div.


Halvorson_PTO129IR-37ID2.jpg

PFC Glenn W. Halvorson

BudETO776TD.png

PFC Norman L. Halvorson


#44 OpanaPointer

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 11:59 AM

I have an articulated camera that can do 36"x36" images on a desktop and larger when the item is on the floor, so yeah, it's larger than the document. 


"One of our King Tigers could take five of your Shermans, but you always had six of them."


WWII Resources. Primary sources.
The Myths of Pearl Harbor. Demythologizing the attack.
Hyperwar. Hypertext history of the Second World War.
Pearl Harbor Attack Message Board
Veteran: USN, 1969-1989

#45 TD-Tommy776

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 12:51 PM

I have an articulated camera that can do 36"x36" images on a desktop and larger when the item is on the floor, so yeah, it's larger than the document. 

 

They do have rules about cameras, too:

 

Cameras:

 

For preservation purposes, cameras must have the ability to turn off flash.

 

A camera table-mount is available in the Research Room, upon request. Please request in advance.

 

 

As long as you can avoid flashing, you should be okay.  :cool:


Freedom is precious and many gave their lives for it. It is the duty of the future generation
to remember that sacrifice, and offer some sacrifice for themselves if Freedom is threatened.

Cecil Earl Workman, WWII Veteran, "L" Co., 129th Inf. Regt., 37th Inf. Div.


Halvorson_PTO129IR-37ID2.jpg

PFC Glenn W. Halvorson

BudETO776TD.png

PFC Norman L. Halvorson


#46 OpanaPointer

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 01:10 PM

They do have rules about cameras, too:

 

 

As long as you can avoid flashing, you should be okay.  :cool:

No problem with the flash(ing), and I doubt Uncle Sugar has funds for the kind of rigs I carry around. 


"One of our King Tigers could take five of your Shermans, but you always had six of them."


WWII Resources. Primary sources.
The Myths of Pearl Harbor. Demythologizing the attack.
Hyperwar. Hypertext history of the Second World War.
Pearl Harbor Attack Message Board
Veteran: USN, 1969-1989

#47 TD-Tommy776

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 01:38 PM

Does NARA accept limited power of attorney to access records for another person? 

 

 

Missed this one.  I'm not certain if they consider POAs (Limited or General) to be "authorization from the veteran" for their purposes. For a LPOA, it may depend on how specific the limitations are.  Probably best to contact the NARA with that question since they don't specifically address it on their website.

 

As KMZgirl quoted in post #41, if the veteran left the military 62 or more years ago, then the issue is somewhat moot, as their records are now considered Archival and open to the public.


Freedom is precious and many gave their lives for it. It is the duty of the future generation
to remember that sacrifice, and offer some sacrifice for themselves if Freedom is threatened.

Cecil Earl Workman, WWII Veteran, "L" Co., 129th Inf. Regt., 37th Inf. Div.


Halvorson_PTO129IR-37ID2.jpg

PFC Glenn W. Halvorson

BudETO776TD.png

PFC Norman L. Halvorson


#48 OpanaPointer

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 03:54 PM

Missed this one.  I'm not certain if they consider POAs (Limited or General) to be "authorization from the veteran" for their purposes. For a LPOA, it may depend on how specific the limitations are.  Probably best to contact the NARA with that question since they don't specifically address it on their website.

 

As KMZgirl quoted in post #41, if the veteran left the military 62 or more years ago, then the issue is somewhat moot, as their records are now considered Archival and open to the public.

Thanks, and I think there might be requests from survivors of later wars, especially that soup sandwich in the '60s. 


"One of our King Tigers could take five of your Shermans, but you always had six of them."


WWII Resources. Primary sources.
The Myths of Pearl Harbor. Demythologizing the attack.
Hyperwar. Hypertext history of the Second World War.
Pearl Harbor Attack Message Board
Veteran: USN, 1969-1989

#49 Tricky Dicky

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 09:23 PM

Hopefully for interest to anyone going to the National Archives at College Park MD, this is their information on opening hours and other basic's (for details check out the link)

 

"Should you choose to come to Washington to do research, our records and microfilm publications are available for consultation without charge in our research rooms.  The National Archives at College Park (Archives II) is located at 8601 Adelphi Road, between Metzerott Road and University Boulevard/Greenbelt Road, just inside the Beltway between the New Hampshire Avenue and Route 1 Exits.  If you do not have a research card, you must apply for one in the reception area.  Textual Research Room (Room 2000) hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, except legal holidays. Our consultation room hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, except legal holidays. No appointment is necessary. Records are retrieved Monday through Friday for use in the Textual Research Room at 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. There are no pulls on Saturday.  We do not pull in advance. Prior to your visit, please consult our web site at http://www.archives....o/college-park/. "

 

TD



#50 OpanaPointer

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 11:21 PM

I've considered moving closer to the San Bruno, CA, facility. I have questions about Com14th. 


"One of our King Tigers could take five of your Shermans, but you always had six of them."


WWII Resources. Primary sources.
The Myths of Pearl Harbor. Demythologizing the attack.
Hyperwar. Hypertext history of the Second World War.
Pearl Harbor Attack Message Board
Veteran: USN, 1969-1989




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