If you are researching your family history and would like to obtain copies of a loved one's service records, here is how to go about it.
1. Request online using eVetRecs if you are next of kin of a deceased former member of the military. Next of kin can be a surviving spouse that has not remarried, father, mother, son, daughter, sister or brother. Follow the information relating to the appropriate links (depends on the year of discharge and whether the records are 62 years old or older).
2. If you are not a next of kin, you will use Standard Form 180 or write a letter. This option will be used by persons doing family history research that are not next of kin, other scholarly research or for any other reason. Information on the form or letter requirements are available at the National Archives site.
Unfortunately there was a huge fire in 1973 that destroyed 16-18 million Official Military Personnel Files. 85% of the records of Army personnel that were discharged between November 1, 1912 and January 1, 1960 and 75% of the records of Air Force personnel with last names after 'Hubbard, James E.' that were discharged September 25, 1947 to January 1, 1964 were destroyed.
However, even if your service member's records fall within these parameters, there may still be some information available for you to have that can enrich your family history or research.
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