Filing a Request for Military Records Using Form SF 180
Who needs a Form SF 180?
A Form SF-180 is the standard Request Pertaining to Military Records issued by the National Archives and Records Administration that can be filed by US Army veterans or a deceased veteran’s next-of-kin to obtain, release, or make amendments to a person’s military records.
According to the 1974 Privacy Act and Department of Defence regulations, access to a person’s military records can be accomplished by means of a written request that is signed and dated by the claimant.
What is Form SF 180 for?
The Form SF-180 is an authorization form used to request information from military records or a one-time replacement of medals earned in service. The form can concern any or all of the following items:
• Form DD-214 or Separation Documents
• Contents of the Official Military Personnel File (OMPF)
• Medical Records
Is Form SF 180 accompanied by other forms?
There is no specific requirement to attach any other supporting forms to the SF 180. However, if the claimant is the deceased veteran’s next of kin (including an un-remarried spouse, son, daughter, father, mother, brother or sister), it is mandatory to provide a proof of death of the veteran. This evidence can be a copy of a death certificate, a letter from a funeral house, or an obituary notice.
When is Form SF-180 due?
You do not have to meet any strict deadlines when submitting Form SF 180. Actually, it is quite the opposite, as the claimant can indicate a time frame for the National Archives to process the request. To facilitate the process, it is necessary to provide a reasonable explanation.
The period of response from the NARA can vary depending on the complexity of the request. Typically, they will provide an answer regarding separation documents within a 10-day period. However, if the query needs certain reconstruction efforts or an extensive search, it may take up to 6 months or even more.
How do I fill out Form SF 180?
To facilitate the request, it is vital to provide all the required information on your SF 180 in an accurate and comprehensive manner.
The primary data to include on the form are the details about the location of a service member’s military records. This consists of:
• Name used during service
• Social Security Number
• Date of birth
• Place of birth
• Service details (branch(es) of service, entry date(s), release date(s), officer(s), service number(s)
• Whether the person is deceased
• Whether the person is (was) retired
The second part indicates what kind of information is being requested and for what purpose.
The third and final part must contain the requester’s details, return address, and signature.
Where do I send the Form SF-180?
The address to which you can send the completed form SF180 depends on the current status of the service member concerned. The list of possible destinations and the explanation chart are provided on the second page of the SF-180 fillable form.