I separated from active duty in May 2011 and I am trying to get a copy of my immunizations record with the shots I got when I was in boot camp. Where can I get a copy? I called the medical facility that had my record when I was on active duty and they said its long gone with no idea where it went.
The National Personnel Records Center responds to over 1.4 million requests annually for copies of military personnel and/or medical records. Our goal is to provide timely responses in an efficient manner, so that veterans and their families obtain the information needed to qualify for benefits and entitlements.
Nearly half of all requesters seek only a copy of the separation document, which is the necessary document required for veteran benefits. However, about ten percent of the requests that we receive ask for a copy of a file.
Since the 1970s, our standard procedure for replying to requests for entire files has been to provide only copies of key documents and extracts of vital information, rather than a copy of every document in a personnel and/or medical file. This approach avoids costly delays in reviewing and copying some documents — such as leave papers, identification card applications, and clothing issuances — that are not normally needed for benefit claim purposes. As a result, we are able to respond to more requesters, faster, and at less cost to the taxpayers. Exceptions to this procedure are files more than 62 years old, US Marine Corps files, all certified legal cases, and all requests from the Department of Veterans Affairs. In these instances, all documents are provided.
This extract contains copies of all essential documents to certify entitlement to most rights and benefits associated with military service, to identify key events in a military career, and to identify significant events in health care. Personal data pertaining to third parties is redacted from the file, pursuant to Privacy Act provisions.
When only key documents and extracts are provided from the Official Military Personnel File and the Medical Record, the response package contains a copy of all separation documents and all of the following information if it is in the file:
Military Services Dates Character of Service Promotions and Reductions Duty Stations and Assignments Foreign or Sea Service Military Schooling and Training Awards and Letters of Commendation Disciplinary Actions Lost Time Enlistments Contracts Entry and Separation Physical Exams Immunizations Dental Examinations Clinical Summaries/Cover Sheets
If, after receiving an extract of a file, a requester submits a follow-up request for additional information or documents, NPRC will automatically send copies of all the other documents in the file.
Until recently, we did not explain this policy when responding to requesters. As of September 28, 2009, all responses that contain file extracts include an explanation of the policy.
If you have questions about this policy, please direct them to:
Tom Mills Assistant Archivist for Regional Records Services
Archival vs Federal (non-archival), Military Records The opening of these records is part of the ongoing transfer of all OMPFs from the ownership of the military services to the legal custody of NARA, 62 years after the service member's separation from the military. Separation from service is defined as discharge, retirement or death in service based on a rolling date. For example, if today's date is January 1, 2011, then the discharge, retirement or date of death must be January 1, 1949 or before for the record to be considered archival. Archival records are no longer the property of the agencies that created them, in this case the Military Service Departments, but are records of the National Archives, open to the general public. See Archival Records to access these records.
Records of individuals who left service less than 62 years ago are non-archival and are maintained under the Federal Records Center program. Federal (non-archival) OMPFs are subject to access restrictions, and only limited information or copies of documents from these records may be released to the general public within the provisions of the law. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Privacy Act provide balance between the right of the public to obtain information from military service records and the right of the former military service member to protect his/her privacy. See Federal Records Center Program to access these records.
Based on a rolling date of 62 years, all military personnel records will eventually become archival records, open to the general public.