How to Get National Guard Service Records

by Emily Potter

Military service records, including those of members of the National Guard, are kept by the National Archives, and are available for service members and their families to review if requested. Members of the general public are also granted limited access to these records under the Freedom of Information Act. People can request records by mail, fax or the Internet.

For Service Members, Family and Next of Kin

Determine what kinds of National Guard Service Records you need. Military service records for retired service members are located at the National Archives and Records Service Information. Information that is available includes duty stations and assignments, enlistment or appointment records, awards, disciplinary actions, training and performance, emergency data and administrative remarks, and discharge information. Detailed information about battles or engagements is not available.

Collect needed information. To view records, military members or family members must have the veteran's full name, service number, social security number, branch of service, dates of service, and date and place of birth.

Submit a request form either online, by mail or by fax. Requests can be sent online at eVetRecs. Service members and families can also request records by filling out Standard Form 180, downloadable at the same website, and mailing it to the address on the form.

Check the status of your request after 10 days by sending an e-mail to mpr.status@nara.gov if you are concerned about the processing time.

For the General Public

Ask for authorization from the National Guard member or next of kin if the service member is deceased. Approval must be in writing, specifying which records can be released.

File a Freedom of Information Act request for records if you don't have authorization from the service member. Information that can be released includes name, dates of service, service number, branch, rank, salary, assignments, education, eligibility for awards and photographs.

Make a request in writing to the National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records, 9700 Page Ave., St. Louis, MO 63132-5100.

Tip

  • For most veterans, information about National Guard service records are free, but some information requires a service fee. The Archives administration will notify requesters if there are any fees required.

Warning

  • Response to records requests can take, on average, one to two weeks to process. Some take longer.

Items you will need

  • Service member's name
  • Service number
  • Standard Form 180

Resources

About the Author

Emily Potter has written professionally since 1998. She has edited local magazines, such as "Family Living in Southeast Idaho," and worked as a reporter for the "Idaho State Journal." Potter has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Montana.

Photo Credits