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(May 18, 2020) — Military status verification in the United States can be required for various purposes. This article discusses how you can verify your or someone else’s military status.
Proof of military service may be required for several reasons. You may need it to get a job or to avail perks offered by the government for servicemen and veterans. Military records may be useful for those looking to dig deep into history and find out more about their ancestors. In any case, it is vital to understand how to either get a hold of military records or get verification of military service. The following may prove to be a helpful guide.
How to get verification of military service
The ideal way of identifying military status is through a military ID card. There are numerous military ID card issuing offices, and you can locate the nearest one through the Real Time Automated Personnel Identification System (RAPIDS) Site Locator. While this system can be accessed via any working computer or portable device, it is essential to call your nearest office and confirm the ID card issuing hours beforehand.
In some offices, making an appointment is necessary. This can be done through the online RAPIDS appointment scheduler, which may only be available through military devices. When the time finally comes to visit the office, keep all the required identification documents handy.
The process for military status verification can vary depending on whether the individual is an active service member or a veteran.
Information regarding military personnel can be obtained from the Department of Defense Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) website. All you need is the individual’s date of birth or social security number and their last name. If the social security number is not provided, you’ll receive a message saying the information received cannot be considered reliable. The website will process your request and an SCRA report indicating the active-duty status for the person will be provided.
The National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri is home to over 70 million military records. A veteran’s military status verification can be done by obtaining these records. Read on for further details.
How to get military service records
Military service records are generally categorized into two types:
World War I to Present
Records from the time after World War I are available at the NRPC. The different types of documents present here include the Report of Separation (DD Form 214) and Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF). An overview of a veteran’s service history, including awards, qualifications, appointment and separation dates, etc. is also available. Medical records may also be present, subject to the date of separation and the military branch.
Records that are more than 62 years old are archival records, whereas those that are below 62 years old fall under the federal category. Hence, these records can be either archival or federal. They can be applied for by the veterans themselves or their next of kin by either submitting an online request, mailing a standard form 180, or writing a letter.
Before World War I
Military records from before World War I can be found at the National Archives in Washington, DC. These records include the following:
- Medical information, biographical details, payment vouchers, and other primary service records.
- Documents including birth, marriage, and death certificates.
- Payment evidence and pension applications.
- Ancestral information.
These records fall under the archival category since they are more than 62 years old. They can be applied for by using NATF Form 86 or submitting a request online.
A military status comes with huge responsibilities, and the need may arise for you to verify your military services or someone else’s. Keep these guidelines in mind, and you’ll be able to do it in no time.