Providing comprehensive resources for Veterans and their families.
For More Information Contact:
Santa Cruz Veterans Services Office
842 Front Street
Santa Cruz, CA
Monday-Thursday 8AM-12PM & 1PM-5PM
Records requests are difficult for a number of reasons.
Records are kept in a multitude of locations depending on the service-members time in service, and branch of service. Further complicating the issue is the length of time it takes to receive records.
You may want to request the DD-214 first, then request any other records. Especially if you are trying to verify your service with a DD-214. This will allow the Veteran to enroll in a benefit, or file a claim, while other records take a considerable amount of time to retrieve.
Other records you may want to request are your Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) or Service Treatment Records (STR's).
The best way to request records is to work with an organization that has experience in handling these complex facilities. The VSO Office is your best option and would be happy to assist with any records request that you may have.
However, if you would like to request your own records please feel free to follow the links below for detailed instructions on how to order your, or your loved ones records.
Standard Form 180 (SF-180) is a Request Pertaining to Military Records. It is a one-page authorization form (plus 2 pages of instructions) used for obtaining records associated with U.S. Military service.
The form may be filled out by veterans of the U.S. military or their surviving next-of-kin. And is necessary to view and/or release a person's military record. The SF-180 may also be used to request a one-time replacement of Medals earned in service.
NPRC and Other Storage Locations
The National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records (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.
NPRC is one of many storage locations for records. Follow the link below for a detailed list of storage locations.
OMPF and STR
The Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) is primarily an administrative record, containing information about the subject's service history such as:
- Date and Type of enlistment/appointment
- Duty stations and Assignments
- Training, qualifications, performance
- Awards and decorations received
- Disciplinary actions
- Emergency data
- Administrative remarks
- Date and type of separation/discharge/retirement (including DD Form 214, Report of Separation, or equivalent)
- and other personnel actions.
Service Treatment Records (STRs) Are the service members Health records cover the outpatient, dental and mental health treatment that former members received while in military service.
Health records include induction and separation physical examinations, as well as routine medical care (doctor/dental visits, lab tests, etc.) when the patient was not admitted to a hospital
Private Medical Records
Private Medical Records can be very important for continuum of care and for processing of VA claims. Be sure to request any copies of care provided by any doctor or facility in case you need them in the future. Private Medical Records
If you did not get copies at the time of service, make sure to request at your earliest possible convenience. It is important to have proof of your medical condition for a number of reasons.
All providers are required to provide records to the patient, but the length of time they are required to maintain those records is limited.