Military Records / DD214 / Medals
How do I get my Military Records, DD214 and/or medals?
Veterans military records including medical history are maintained by the National Personnel Records Center- Military Personnel Records (NPRC-MPR), not the Department of Defense. The NPRC-MPR is the repository of millions of military personnel, health, and medical records of discharged and deceased veterans of all services during the 20th century. (Records prior to WWI are in Washington DC). NPRC-MPR also stores medical treatment records of retirees from all services, as well as records for dependent and other persons treated at naval medical facilities. Information from the records is made available upon written request (with signature and date) to the extent allowed by law.
If you are a veteran or next-of kin of a deceased veteran, you may now use vetrecs.archives.gov to order a copy of your military records. For all others, your request is best made using a Standard Form 180. It includes complete instructions for preparing and submitting requests. Please Note: All requests must be in writing, signed and mailed to us at the address shown below. If you are the next of kin, provide proof of relation to the Veteran (i.e. birth certificate and/or marriage certificate along with the death certificate of the Veteran)
National Personnel Records Center
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, Missouri 63138
How do I Review/Update my Military Discharge?
There is a popular myth that a discharge will automatically upgrade after six months. In order to receive an upgrade the veteran must apply for and receive the upgrade from the Department of Defense. The review and decision process takes approximately two years. Veteran can request a review and upgrade immediately after discharge. However, after 15 years, upgrades can no longer be granted. Instead, a veteran may request a correction to military records.
If the discharge was 0-15 years ago you can apply for a discharge upgrade.
Fill out DD Form 293 and send to the appropriate military department
If the discharge was more than 15 years ago you must file for a correction of military records.
Fill out DD Form 149 and send to the appropriate military branch
Note that this process can take up to two years to complete.
DOD agrees to change bad discharges for Vietnam and other Veterans with PTSD – Sept 3, 2014
The Department of Defense will reconsider the discharges of Vietnam Veterans who may have suffered PTSD and were discharged before PTSD was diagnosed. PTSD was not recognized by the medical profession until the 1980s. Veterans form Vietnam and other past wars who received Other-than-Honorable discharges may seek correction of their military records if they can provide a PTSD diagnosis that existed at the time of service. Upgraded discharges may result int he restoration and opportunity for Veterans to obtain benefits. Note, the guidance from the Pentagon is focused on Veterans with low-level misconduct and is unlikely to affect Veterans who were court martialed for serious misconduct. The Pentagon’s goal is to address those who suffered from a legitimate disorder without eroding the respect derived from honorable service.
A Veteran seeking to revise his/her DD214 will have to prove the following:
- He/she suffered from PTSD at the time of service
- The cause was military related
- the symptoms were a factor of the misconduct underlying the discharge