. Go online to http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/
. This site contains the eVetRecs system, a system that allows you to create a customized order form for your records. This form can be used by veterans or their next of kin. Keep in mind that any service records older than 62 years are archival and can be accessed by the public. Newer records are non-archival and are subject to restrictions. Non-archival records can be ordered online for a copying fee.
. Your request must contain basic information. This includes your full name used during your military service, your service and social security numbers, branch of service, date of service and your date and place of birth. If you suspect that your records were destroyed in the 1973 fire, you may also wish to include your place of discharge, your last unit of assignment and your place of entry into the service. You may also wish to include optional information that may help to locate your records even faster. This can include the reason for your request, any deadlines related to your request and any other specific information related to your service records besides your DD214. Please note that when filing online, you will still need to print out and sign a copy of the form and mail or fax the signed form to the VA.
. You can also go online to http://www.va.gov/vaforms/form_detail.asp?FormNo=180
. Download the VA Form SF180 by clicking Request Pertaining to Military Records. Complete the SF180 and mail or fax it to the VA to complete your request.
Obtaining your military discharge papers, DD214 or any other records after you have completed your military service can look and seem like a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be. If you are a veteran, your records are available to you if you request them. Thanks to the Internet, obtaining your military records is as easy as ever.