Records Request Program
Veterans transitioning from the military to civilian life often forget how important it is to properly record and safeguard their important military paperwork such as the DD214, DD215 or NGB22, for future use. Failure to properly secure this paperwork can lead to it being lost, resulting in a frantic search when it is needed. The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) assists thousands of veterans and their family members every year who are looking for lost military documents.
The DD214 provides the member and the branch of service with a concise record of a period of time with the Armed Forces at the time of the member’s separation, discharge, or change in military status. In addition, the form is an authoritative source of information for both governmental agencies and the Armed Forces for purposes of employment, benefit and reenlistment data. A DD215 is used to correct any errors or additions to the DD214 discovered after the original has been delivered/distributed.
Members of the National Guard will have the NGB22 form as their discharge document and the NGB23 form is the retirement points statement, which may also be needed.
Managing Your Military Documents:
The easiest way to manage military documents is to make sure they are filed in a safe place upon leaving the military. The DMVA recommends that one of the first stops for a servicemember leaving the military should be the Prothonotary’s Office at their county courthouse to file their paperwork. This will allow veterans and their family members to always have access to an official copy of their paperwork and avoid a frustrating search if they ever lose their original.
Despite all efforts, the DMVA understands that veterans often lose track of their military paperwork. Here is how veterans and their family members can retrieve that information:
Discharged veterans from 2010-present can access their own digital records by setting up an account through the benefits portal. If you have been discharged from an active branch of military service or the reserves prior to 2010, with no remaining service obligation, your Personnel Files are most likely stored at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). NARA does not house Guard Personnel Files. To request information maintained in a personnel file, a veteran, or their next-of-kin, can complete the Standard Form 180, which includes mailing instructions on the last page. You can also visit the National Archives site to submit a signed form electronically.
Pennsylvania National Guard Records:
Individuals who have retired or separated from the PA National Guard in the last year may request service documents, to include copies of their NGB22 and NGB23 by submitting a FORM 2, G1-MPM-SS Records Request to Retirement Services. FAX completed requests to 717-861-9643, or mail to:
PA Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
ATTN: G1-MPM-SS (Retirement Services)
Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville, PA 17003-5002
*National Guard retirement benefit questions should be directed to the Retirement Services office at 717-861-9430.
The Pennsylvania Army and Air National Guard maintain a state file of service from 1955-2009. Information from these state files vary, but should include records of enlistment and discharge documents, among other forms. A veteran, or next-of-kin of a deceased veteran, can obtain copies of available information if the discharge year is known by obtaining an MA-VA 90 Records Request form at and emailing to RA-REQ@pa.gov or by mailing to:
PA Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
ATTN: Office of Veterans Affairs, Records Requests (Insert Army or Air)
Bldg. 9-26,Sheldon Street, Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville, PA 17003
Information on PA National Guard discharges prior to 1955 must be requested directly from the Pennsylvania State Archives (https://www.phmc.pa.gov/Archives/Pages/default.aspx), who maintains evidence of service for PA military units dating from 1775-1985. They also maintain records of state war bonuses that were paid to service members of the WWI, Korean, WWII, and Vietnam Wars.
*Questions about National Guard records can be directed to the Office of Veterans Affairs at 717-861-8910, option 2
Service Medical Records:
You can also locate your Service Medical Records. If you had an overnight stay in a military treatment facility while on active duty, a clinical record of that treatment most likely exists and may be available. Review the rules and procedures for requesting Clinical Records. Veterans who plan to file a claim for benefits with the USDVA do not need to request copies of Service Medical Records. The VA will obtain these if not already in their possession.