When requesting the military records for an individual veteran from the national archives, I was only sent the discharge summary. How do I know if there are any more records available for the individual? Is there a better way to request the records than http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/ to ensure you are getting all the records?
- DD Form 2141
- All documents in the Official Military Personnel File (OMPF)
- Medical Records
The "Other" option has a line next to it for specifying the additional records. What could you put there? Well I was pointed to that form by an actual vet last week (we had a conversation about my grandfather) and in addition to the above options he suggested I ask for officer evaluation reports2 and military schooling and evaluation records3.
The 1973 Fire may complicate things for you.
More information about requesting records can be found at the St Louis Archives page on military personnel records access.
1: DD Form 214 is probably the discharge summary you mentioned.
2: The vet told me that these are evaluations done at least once a year my their superior officer.
3: This would be a listing of all training he has received as well as his "grades."
Check the Veterans' Administration website for specific help in making a request.
After sending the request, expect a response that says they don't have records because of the 1973 fire. If that happens, send another request!
My second request got to a second NARA researcher who DID find my father's military records. They were damaged in the fire, but portions survived in good enough shape to begin to piece together his record.
Be prepared to pay a small fortune for the copies. My Dad's record cost me $50, and that was almost 2 years ago. All that said, it's still worth asking. Be sure to give them all the information you have about the veteran. If you don't know the actual dates of service, try to provide a reasonable estimated timeframe (and be sure to say it's an "estimate").