Military Times NOW hosts the HomeOfHeroes  Awards & Citations Database

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Stories of American Heroes - Brought to you from the "Home of Heroes" - Pueblo, Colorado

To Read The Citations Visit the Military Times Hall of Valor

Obtaining a Veteran's
Military Personnel File

When a young man or woman enters military service, a permanent record is kept of the nature of their service including dates, schools attended, unit assignments, awards and decorations, disciplinary actions, discharge, medical data, and more.  Under the FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT (FOIA) much of these records are available to the veterans themselves, surviving family, and even disinterested third parties. 

 

FAMILY
All too frequently we hear from family members of deceased veterans searching to find information on the military service of a loved one.  You can obtain most of the needed information easily from the OMPF (Official Military Personnel Files) of the National Personnel Records Center (Military Personnel Records).  For the most part it is as easy as completing and mailing the Standard Form (SF 180).  

 

Third Party (General Public)
Just as any veteran has the right to display and/or wear duly authorized awards and medals, private citizens have the right to be sure that the person wearing those awards truly earned them.  Certain information of any service members official military records are available under FOIA to the general public, with or WITHOUT that veteran's consent.  These include:

  • Name
  • Service Number
  • Rank
  • Dates of Service
  • Awards and decorations
  • Place of entrance and separation
If the veteran is deceased:
  • Place of birth
  • Date and geographical location of death
  • Place of burial

 

Generally there is no charge for obtaining these records for the veteran, family members, or the general public.  All requests must be made in writing and duly signed (cursive signature) within the previous year.  While the Standard Form (SF 180) is NOT required in requests for information, it is recommended as it contains all pertinent information.  The NPRC maintains records for more than 70 million individuals at NPRC-MPR, so the more information (Full Name, DOB, SSN, etc.) you provide, the easier it will be to locate the records for the correct individual.  The form should be mailed to:

National Personnel Records Center 
       (Military Personnel Records)
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100

 

On July 12, 1973, a disastrous fire at NPRC (MPR) destroyed approximately 16-18 million Official Military Personnel Files. The affected record collections are described below.
Branch Personnel and Period Affected Estimated Loss
Army Personnel discharged November 1, 1912, to January 1, 1960 80%
Air Force Personnel discharged, September 25, 1947, to January 1, 1964
(with names alphabetically after Hubbard, James E.)
75%

This fire is often used by would-be Vietnam heroes as an explanation for any lack of official documentation for their awards.  As is quickly noticeable by the dates of records lost, there are VERY FEW Vietnam Veterans to whom this disaster would apply.

Obtaining Replacement Medals

     (Replacement medals may be requested by ANY veteran OR their next of kin)

Veterans are entitled to ONE REPLACEMENT set of their medals earned.  To obtain replacement medals, submit a duly filled out Standard Form (SF 180).  It is recommended that you include a copy of your DD 214, however if that is not available you should include pertinent information in your request (e.g. full name, service number, social security number, date of birth, and as much additional information as possible.)

DO NOT mail the SF 180 to the address listed on the form.  Requests for replacement medals should be directed to the specific branch of the military in which you (or the veteran for whom you are applying if request is being made by next of kin) served.

  Where to write for medals Where medals are mailed from Where to write in case of a problem or an appeal

National Personnel Records Center
Medals Section (NRPMA-M)
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100
U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command
Integrated Logistics Support Center
Clothing and Heraldry Product Support Integration Directorate 
700 Robbins Avenue 
P.O. Box 57997 
Philadelphia, PA 19111-7997

WEBSITE

Commander PERSCOM
Attn: TAPC-PDO-PA
200 Stovall Street
Alexandria, VA 22332-0471

National Personnel Records Center
Air Force Reference Branch (NRPMF)
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100
Headquarters Air Force Personnel Ctr
AFPC/DPPPR
550 C Street West, Suite 12
Randolph AFB, TX 78150-4714
Headquarters Air Force Personnel Ctr
AFPC/DPPPR
550 C Street West, Suite 12
Randolph AFB, TX 78150-4714

Bureau of Naval Personnel
Liaison Office Room 5409
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100
Bureau of Naval Personnel
Liaison Office Room 5409
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100
Chief of Naval Operations
(OPNAV 09B33)
Awards & Special Projects
Washington, DC 20350-2000

Bureau of Naval Personnel
Liaison Office Room 5409
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100
Bureau of Naval Personnel
Liaison Office Room 5409
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100
Commandant of the Marine Corps
Military Awards Branch (MMMA)
3280 Russell Road
Quantico VA 22134-5100

Bureau of Naval Personnel
Liaison Office Room 5409
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100
Bureau of Naval Personnel
Liaison Office Room 5409
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100
Commandant U.S. Coast Guard
Medals and Awards Branch
(PMP-4)
Washington, DC 20593-0001

The Standard Form (SF 180), Request Pertaining to Military Records, is recommended for requesting medals and awards. Click on the link above to download a PDF version.

Generally, there is no charge for medal or award replacements. The length of time to receive a response or your medals and awards varies depending upon the branch of service sending the medals.

 

 

Honor Roll of America's Most Decorated Military Heroes


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DSC 


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How to obtain a Missing Citation or ADD information to this Database

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FOOTNOTES
In
HISTORY

NEW
Looking for a Hero or trying to verify awards? We have posted the names of more than 120,000 recipients of the highest awards in a BRAND NEW FREE SECTION
DECORATIONS 1862 - Present
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Military Medals & Awards 

Information and Images of ALL Military Medals
The Purple Heart 
How to Request Records/Medals Earned
  How to Obtain Military Records of a Family Member 

Honor Roll of America's Military Heroes


Brevet Medal


DSC 


Navy Cross 


Air Force Cross 

Distinguished Service Medals

Defense - Army - Navy - Air Force - Coast Guard - Merchant Marine



Silver Star

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