How do I find someone who is or was in the U.S. military service?
How do I obtain military service records?
The U.S. National Archives & Records Administration maintains records for discharged military personnel. Records are held either at the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C., or at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri.
If you are searching for an American’s service records, please be advised that access is limited if you are not the veteran or the next-of-kin.
- Veterans & their families (National Archives & Records Administration)
- Finding information on personal participation in WWII
- Military service records & unit histories: a guide to locating sources (PDF 228 KB)
Other websites you may find useful:
Australians should note that there is no requirement for U.S. authorities to maintain historical and archival records for non-U.S. military personnel. Non-American military personnel do not technically serve in the U.S. military even though they may be attached to a particular unit.
What can you tell me about the military history of the United States?
We suggest you first visit your local public library for general information about U.S. military history. If you cannot find what you want, please ask a librarian to assist you. Librarians at your local public library may be able to obtain books and articles for you from other libraries through the inter-library loan system within Australia.
The collections of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra may be searched online.
Other websites that may be useful:
- Battlefields & military parks preserved in the National Park System
- Magazines of the U.S. armed forces
- Military history (Smithsonian)
- Military history & military science (Library of Congress)
- Military history & related info (Air War College)
- Military legal resources (Library of Congress)
- Military resources: military history (National Archives & Records Administration)
- Quick guide to military information
- U.S. Air Force Historical Research Agency
- U.S. Army Center of Military History
- U.S. Army Infantry (Donovan Research Library)
- U.S. Marine Corps History & Museums Division
- U.S. Naval History & Heritage