AFPC’s military personnel records section receives more than 203,000 requests for records per year while NPRC receives approximately 4,000 to 5,000 requests per day. Response times for records requests vary and depend on records availability and workload. AFPC strives to meet a five-day turnaround while requests to NPRC can take 90 days or more. An Air Force veteran’s separation or retirement date determines to which agency they make the request.
How To: Air Force veterans who separated or retired on or after Oct. 1, 2004, may request their records in two ways: register for a free Premium account on the Department of Veterans Affairs’ eBenefits site, or email, mail or fax a signed SF-180 to AFPC’s military personnel records section. The form can be emailed to AFPC/DP1OR Military Records Incoming at email@example.com , faxed to 210-565-3124 (DSN 665-3124) or mailed to the AFPC address on the back of the form. Requests for records or documents cannot be made by phone.
Those requesting a deceased relative's record will need to provide their relationship to the former Airman so the next-of-kin relationship can be verified. If the relative was deceased after their separation or retirement, proof of death must also be provided as described on the instruction page of the SF-180.
Veterans who separated or retired before Oct. 1, 2004, should contact the National Personnel Records Center by mail or fax using an SF-180. NPRC holds the historical military personnel records of nearly 100 million veterans. The vast majority of these records are paper-based and not available on-line. Requests that involve reconstruction efforts due to the 1973 Fire, or older records that require extensive research efforts, may take six months or more to complete.
If you are a veteran or next-of-kin of a deceased veteran, you may also use eVetRecs from the National Archives to create a customized order form, instead of using SF-180, to request information from your, or your relative’s, military personnel records. You are still required to either mail or fax this form to NPRC.
For assistance with medal replacement, the National Personnel Records Center needs to verify the Veteran’s military records. You will need to complete and submit a Standard Form 180, Request Pertaining to Military Records. Mark “Other” in Section II, Items 1 and 2, and write in “Medal Replacement.”
NPRC will verify the awards to which an Air Force veteran is entitled and forward the medal replacement request, along with the records verification, to AFPC or the Air Reserve Personnel Center for reservists. The medals are then mailed to the requesting veteran. Send your completed SF-180 for medal replacements by fax to (314) 801-9195 or mail the form to:
National Personnel Records Center
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138
The Military Personnel Section can assist with corrections to errors in the military personnel records of active-duty, Reserve and Air National Guard Airmen. Airmen should bring all supporting documents to their local MPS to correct an error.
Retirees and Airmen who have separated from the Air Force should contact AFPC’s Total Force Service Center at 800-525-0102 or DSN 665-0102. Should AFPC be unable to correct the record, they may refer the Retiree or former Airman to the Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records, the AFBCMR.
The Secretary of a military department, acting through a BCMR, has authority to change any military record, when necessary, to correct an error or remove an injustice. A correction board may consider applications for correction of a military record, including a review of a discharge issued by court-martial.
The AFBCMR, established under Section 1552, Title 10, United States Code, is the highest level of administrative review within the Department of the Air Force. As such, applicants must first exhaust available administrative avenues of relief before applying to the AFBCMR. Otherwise, the Board will deny the case on that basis. The AFBCMR bases its decision on the evidence contained in the case file. The case file consists of military records, an advisory from the Office of Primary Responsibility and statements, arguments and documents provided by the applicant. The burden of proof of either error or injustice rests with the applicant. The AFBCMR’s decision is final and conclusive.
Those wishing to learn more about the AFBCMR and those wishing to apply should visit https://afrba-portal.cce.af.mil/#board-info/bcmr/navbar. The AFRBA Portal is a one stop shop for the BCMR and all other AFRBA Boards. By applying online applicants will receive more timely responses and reduce their processing time.
If the former Airman is deceased or incompetent, the surviving spouse, former spouse, next of kin or a legal representative may apply with supporting documentation (e.g., power of attorney, marriage license, death certificate) indicating they have proper legal standing to apply.
Health records cover the outpatient, dental and mental health treatment that former service 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. AFPC does not store medical and dental records.
How To: An Air Force veteran’s separation or retirement date determines to which agency the request is made. The medical and dental records for Air Force veterans who retired or separated before June 1994 are stored permanently at the National Archives.
Medical and dental records for Airmen who retired or separated between June 1, 1994, and Dec. 31, 2013, are maintained by the Department of Veterans Affairs Records Management Center.
Airmen who separated or retired on or after Jan. 1, 2014, may contact:
AF STR Processing Center
ATTN: Release of Information
3370 Nacogdoches Road, Suite 116
San Antonio, TX 78217
The VA recently rolled out nationwide access for veterans to their VA health data, alongside their health records from other health care providers, in the "Health Records" section of the Health App for iPhone. Read the full press release here.
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