Whether you are pursuing VA benefits or a Military Discharge Upgrade, we recommend you request your Military Service Treatment Records (STRs) and Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). You’ll want to request both your SRTs and OMPF. While it may not be required, depending on where your historical record are housed, we recommend you submit a separate request for STRs and a separate request for OMPF. You may request records online at https://milconnect.dmdc.osd.mil/milconnect and https://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records or you may request those records via mail/fax.
If requesting records via mail/fax, you’ll want to make both requests on a Standard Form 180 (SF 180). That document is easily available with a web search. Be sure to complete the form with all required information, and be careful when completing Section II of the form.
When submitting a request for STRs: in Section II of the form mark the medical records box, and write or type in on the corresponding lines “request complete copy of Service Treatment Records.” If you have inpatient records, separately write in on the lines dates of hospitalization and facility of hospitalization.
When submitting a request for OMPF: in Section II of the form mark the DD Form 214 or equivalent box, write in years DD 214 or equivalent issued; then mark “Other” box and write in “request complete copy of Official Military Personnel File.”
Make sure to complete all other sections of the form that should be self explanatory. Once complete, mail, fax, or e-mail records request to the appropriate locations, which are listed on page 3 of the Standard Form 180. Note, sometimes your records should be located at a certain facility, but may not be located there when submitting a request. In order to avoid delay we recommend you send the Standard Form 180s to any office that may have your records, even if the records should not be located there. You already have the forms completed, so why not send out a few extra records requests? Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. For example, if you have Active and Reserve time, go ahead and send the requests as if you had only Active time. But, also separately send the record requests if you only had Reserve time (I recommend you complete Section I of the Standard Form 180 inputting all periods of service, but sending the completed forms to addresses listed on page 3 as if you only had Active, Reserve, or Guard time).
Other considerations: your records may be located in locations NOT listed on page 3 of the Standard Form 180. You may request records from the applicable Service Secretary Privacy Office, previous base or unit, etc. We treat records requests as expeditions: have a plan and look to the most obvious of places, but also explore locations not quite as obvious or expected.
Lastly, if you’re seeking National Guard records we always recommend you send those requests to the applicable Service branch as if you were Active, Reserve, and Guard. A quick web search will guide you to the appropriate location to submit requests for each State.