It is a little-known fact that a massive fire in 1973 destroyed millions of records for US veterans. Today’s government archives have been or are being converted to electronic format, which allows for easy backup and offsite storage. Hence, even if an entire data center is destroyed in a disaster the backup copies of the information can be used to restore the archives. The following articles from the Background Records Blog should help you conduct searches of military records.
Searching Military Records
There are so many ways of how to do military people searches online, that you should be able to obtain service records for free under virtually any circumstances. Finding your own military files is easy, while you can find the records for your relatives and ancestors with relative ease. Finding this information is mainly a matter of knowing where to look and knowing how to request service record access.
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How to Find Armed Forces Personnel
Soldiers move from one assignment to the next quite often by civilian standards, so knowing how to find a soldier will help you if you are friends, lovers or family members with a member of the U.S. Armed Forces. Employing the various methods at your disposal, you’ll be able to locate a soldier you used to maintained a relationship with and who is now out of touch.
Various government agencies will be able to help, while online searches and contacts with family members and mutual friends can give you the information you need to find your missing friend. You’ll end up using a combination of these tools to find your friend, whether they’re on an Army base in Afghanistan, on a naval ship in the Persian Gulf or at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
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Obtaining Military Service Records for Your Family Ancestry Research
After my recent post about “Finding Military Service Records of Civil War Ancestors“, I decided to expand (and expound) on the subject to include genealogy studies and all wars in the history of the United States, at least after the Civil War. I make that the cut-off, because ancestry records get a little more spotty before around 1850.
That being said, all armies throughout history have wanted good records of their enlistments and ranks, so military resources are a treasure trove of information for ancestry researchers, even before 1850.
For instance, when my mother studied our family’s genealogy on her side of the family, she tracked my first maternal ancestor back to the Revolutionary War. This is fascinating stuff, at least to me, so I’m going to recount it.
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Obtaining Military Service Records
Not knowing how to get a copy of military service records or losing your military records can make it harder to file for military retirement benefits or even get a loan at a bank, so we’ve decided to give a quick how to guide about attaining U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force or Marine service records. Once you learn how, you can apply for your records or those of a loved one who’s life you want to research.
Whether you’re putting together a family history, trying to learn as much as possible about the parent who died in a foreign war or trying to lay your hands on a military service files to help you get a better loan from the local bank, service veterans should have their military service records or know how to get them
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How to Get Armed Services Separation Form
If you are a veteran who is applying for veterans benefits and you no longer have your DD-214 papers, you likely need to know how to get form DD-214 to complete forms to get full vet benefits.
Of course, readers right now might be wondering what the heck a DD214 form is.
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Finding Free World War I Military Records
If you are filling out the early 20th century section of your family tree, you might need to know how to obtain free WWI military records. World War I was the event that truly brought human civilization into the 20th century, for better or worse. While World War II was even more deadly and decisive, and gets more attention in books, movies, and television, World War I was the event which brought human civilization, for better or worse, into the 20th century.
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