How can I obtain copies of my military records?
Individual military departments, including the Air Force, do not maintain files or records pertaining to individuals no longer on active duty. When an individual is separated from military service (because of retirement, discharge from active duty or death), his/her Field Personnel File (containing all military and health records) is forwarded for storage to the National Personnel Records Center (military). The Records Center is under the jurisdiction of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) of the U.S. Government.
An individual's complete service record is available to the former service member or, if deceased, to his/her next of kin (parents, spouse or children). Limited information (such as dates of service, awards, and training) is available to anyone. Not available to the general public is information which would invade an individual's privacy; for example, medical records, Social Security number or present address.
If requesting the records of a relative, a requester should mention the relationship to the former member (brother, uncle, or other). There is no charge for this service to former service members or their next of kin. For others, a nominal fee is charged for research and reproduction costs. Files at the Records Center are maintained as historical records only and are not updated to reflect current data on the former service member. The address for the National Personnel Records Center is:
National Personnel Records Center
9700 Page Blvd
St. Louis MO 63132
Phone: 314-801-0800 or 1-866-272-6272 (1-86-NARA-NARA)
For individuals compiling family histories, NARA provides assistance to those interested in genealogy. NARA normally charges a nominal fee for research and reproduction costs. Their address is:
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
8th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20408