Veterans Service Records

Veterans' Medical and Health Records

The Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), held at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), are administrative records containing information about the subject's military service history. Many OMPFs contain both personnel and former active duty health records, but the service branches discontinued retiring the health record portion to the NPRC in the 1990s.

In the past, all of the military services retired the individual health record, along with the personnel record, to the NPRC upon a service member's separation from service. The Army and the Air Force retired its health records with the Official Military Personnel File, while the Department of the Navy (including the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard) retired these files separately to the NPRC until the 1980s.

Health records cover the outpatient, dental and mental health treatment that former 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.

In comparison, clinical (hospital inpatient) records were generated when active duty members were actually hospitalized while in the service. Typically, these records are NOT filed with the health records but are generally retired to the NPRC by the facility which created them (see clinical records for more information). Medical records from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are also not included.

In the 1990s, the military services discontinued the practice of filing health records with the personnel record portion at the NPRC. In 1992, the Army began retiring most of its former members' health records to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Over the next six years, the other services followed suit. In 2014, the military services dicontinued the practice of retiring the records to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). In order to determine where a medical record is located, please see the chart below:

Branch Status Date Record Location
Army Discharged, retired, or separated from any component

10/16/1992 to 12/31/2013

Department of VA, Records Management Center
on or after 01/01/2014 AMEDD Record Processing Center
Navy Discharged, retired, or separated from any component 01/31/1994 to 12/31/2013Department of VA, Records Management Center
on or after 01/01/2014 BUMED Navy Medicine Records Activity
Air Force Discharged, retired, or separated from any component 05/01/1994 to 12/31/2013 Department of VA, Records Management Center
on or after 01/01/2014 AF STR Processing Center
Discharged or retired from Reserves or National Guard 06/01/1994 to 12/31/2013 Department of VA, Records Management Center
on or after 01/01/2014 AF STR Processing Center
Marine Corps Discharged, retired, or separated from any component 05/01/1994 to 12/31/2013 Department of VA, Records Management Center
on or after 01/01/2014 BUMED Navy Medicine Records Activity
Coast Guard Discharged, retired, or separated from Active Duty - Reservists with 90 days active duty for training 04/01/1998 to 09/30/2014 Department of VA, Records Management Center

Filing a claim for medical benefits?

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 the NPRC. After a claim is filed, the VA will obtain the original health record from the NPRC. In addition, 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 - it will connect the caller to the nearest VA office.

Veterans Service Records >

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272

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