U.S. complete military service records research Q.

Not sure if this is the correct section to post. Mods please move if not.

I think it was in the recent New Yorker article which mentioned journalists obtaining Hubbard's complete military service records. From memory the paperwork delivered was a few hundred pages.

I have previously read the fine print on obtaining such records of deceased persons and I thought that only family members were able to receive the complete records. Also, that if you wanted a copy of a complete military record and were not related, then you had to notify the deceased person's near family about your request.

Can anyone here fill me in on this process, if they have pursued the same from the military archives in the U.S.

The reason I am asking is that I received a copy (a few pages) of someone's service history (passed on to me secondhand). Reading the New Yorker piece spurred my interest again in seeing if I could actually request the complete file (which I assume would also be many pages as this person was a Lt. Col.) without? notifying near family.

Thanks.
 

Ulf K. Maier

Patron Meritorious
Worthwhile

Not sure if this is the correct section to post. Mods please move if not.

I think it was in the recent New Yorker article which mentioned journalists obtaining Hubbard's complete military service records. From memory the paperwork delivered was a few hundred pages.

I have previously read the fine print on obtaining such records of deceased persons and I thought that only family members were able to receive the complete records. Also, that if you wanted a copy of a complete military record and were not related, then you had to notify the deceased person's near family about your request.

Can anyone here fill me in on this process, if they have pursued the same from the military archives in the U.S.

The reason I am asking is that I received a copy (a few pages) of someone's service history (passed on to me secondhand). Reading the New Yorker piece spurred my interest again in seeing if I could actually request the complete file (which I assume would also be many pages as this person was a Lt. Col.) without? notifying near family.

Thanks.

IANAL, and someone please correct me; but, if I am not mistaken, Norman Starkey, as executor of Hubbard's estate, has legal authority to request and obtain these records. If there is a probate lawyer among us, maybe s/he will post here or PM you. Keep the thread alive, and try cross posting to WWP for best results. I know there is a lawyerAnon who posts over there from time to time on such matters.

Pure speculation, but maybe you could try obtaining them through FOIA? Worth a shot.
 

freethinker

Sponsor
Find out where they keep these records and go there and ask them what you need to do.

If too far away call.

But the people who have the records should be able to tell you how to obtain them.
 

Sassy

Patron Meritorious
Here you go. Looks to me like, yes, you need permission from at minimum a doctor/lawyer etc. WITH the next-of-kin's permission. Not sure where you can go from here.

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Access to Records by Veterans, Next-of-Kin, or the Veteran's Representative

General. Copies of most military and medical records on file at NPRC (MPR), including the DD Form 214, Report of Separation (or equivalent), can be made available upon request. Veterans and next-of-kin of deceased veterans have the same rights to full access to the record. Next-of-kin are the unremarried widow or widower, son or daughter, father or mother, brother or sister of the deceased veteran. Next-of-kin must provide proof of death for the Veteran such as a copy of death certificate, letter from funeral home, or published obituary.

Authorized third party requesters, e.g., lawyers, doctors, historians, etc., may submit requests for information from individual records with the veteran's (or next of kin's) signed and dated authorization and proof of death, if applicable. All authorizations should specify exactly what the veteran (or next-of-kin) is allowing to be released to a third party. Authorizations are valid one year from date of signature. A sample authorization is included for your review.

Information or copies of documents may be released from Official Military Personnel Files within the provisions of the law. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Privacy Act provide balance between the right of the public to obtain information from military service records, and the right of the former military service member to protect his/her privacy. Please review these items for additional information. In all cases, you must sufficiently identify the person whose record is requested, so that the records can be located with reasonable effort.

Preparing Requests for Information from Official Military Personnel Files. Federal law [5 USC 552a(b)] requires that all requests for records and information be submitted in writing. Each request must be signed (in cursive) and dated (within the last year).

Requests must contain enough information to identify the record among the more than 70 million on file at NPRC (MPR). Certain basic information is needed to locate military service records. This information includes the veteran's complete name used while in service, service number, social security number, branch of service, and dates of service. Date and place of birth may also be helpful, especially if the service number is not known. If the request pertains to a record that may have been involved in the 1973 fire, also include place of discharge, last unit of assignment, and place of entry into the service, if known.

Veterans who plan to file a claim for medical benefits with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) do not need to request a copy of their military health record from NPRC (MPR). The original health records are provided by the Center when requested by the VA after the claim is filed. Many health records were lent to the Department of Veterans Affairs prior to the 1973 fire.

Veterans who filed a medical claim should contact the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in order to determine if their record is already on file. The VA Toll Free # is: 1-800-827-1000 and will connect the caller to the nearest VA office.

To request military service records, veterans and the next-of-kin of deceased veterans may use vetrecs.archives.gov. For all others, the Standard Form (SF) 180, Request Pertaining to Military Records, although not mandatory, is the recommended method to send a request for military service information. This form captures all the necessary information to locate a record. Provide as much information on the form as possible and send copies of any service documents that you may have. Requests may also be submitted as a letter, containing the basic information listed above. Again, if you are the next of kin of a deceased veteran, you must provide proof of death such as a copy of death certificate, letter from funeral home, or published obituary.

Follow the instructions for preparing the SF 180. Check the table to determine the location of the record and submit your request to the appropriate address.

Note: Do not use the addresses on the SF 180 for sending requests related to the issuance or replacement of medals and awards. Military Awards and Decorations provides the correct mailing addresses for submitting correspondence for issuance or replacement.

Costs. Generally there is no charge for military personnel and health record information provided to veterans, next-of-kin, and authorized representatives. If your request involves a service fee, you will be notified as soon as that determination is made.

Response Time. Response time varies dependent upon the complexity of your request, the availability of records, and our workload. Please do not send a follow-up request before 90 days have elapsed as it may cause further delays.

"NARA ensures, for the Citizen and the Public Servant, for the President and the Congress and the Courts, ready access to essential evidence."
 
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