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National Personnel Records Center (NPRC)


The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) is a branch of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration that stores and manages the personnel records of former military service members and civil servants. It plays a crucial role in verifying and providing essential documents such as the DD Form 214, which is required for accessing various Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits. The NPRC helps veterans and authorized agencies obtain these records for purposes like benefit applications, employment verification, and historical research.

Key Takeaways

  1. The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) is a branch of the National Archives, responsible for preserving and providing access to military and civil personnel records.
  2. NPRC plays a crucial role in verifying eligibility for various VA benefits such as disability compensation, pension, and military service-related requests, as they hold service records of veterans and individuals who served in the military or civil service.
  3. Former military members and their family members or authorized representatives can request records from the NPRC for various purposes including verifying military service, applying for VA benefits, or genealogy research.


The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) is an essential component of the U.S.

Department of Veterans Affairs as it serves as the central repository for the maintenance and management of military service records.

These records are crucial to veterans when they apply for various VA benefits, such as disability compensation, educational assistance, and health care services, among others.

By providing a comprehensive and organized source of information and documentation, the NPRC ensures that veterans’ claims for their hard-earned benefits are processed accurately and efficiently, enabling them to receive the support they need after serving their country.


The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) plays a vital role in serving veterans and their families by maintaining and providing access to military personnel records. The primary purpose of this center is to safeguard the essential documents of veterans, which include discharge papers, service records, and medical reports.

These records are critical in enabling veterans to access various benefits and entitlements, such as healthcare, education, and disability compensation, offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).Located in St. Louis, Missouri, the NPRC is a key resource for veterans and their representatives, ensuring that accurate and up-to-date information is readily available when required.

By serving as a central repository for millions of personnel files, the center streamlines the process of verifying military service and substantiating claims for benefits and entitlements. Furthermore, the NPRC assists in preserving the rich history of the US military by providing invaluable records for military research, genealogy studies, and historical inquiries.

Examples of National Personnel Records Center (NPRC)

Military Service Records Retrieval: A veteran from the Vietnam War wanted to apply for service-connected disability benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). To do so, the veteran was required to provide a copy of his DD Form 214, which is the Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. Unfortunately, the veteran had lost his original copy over the years. To retrieve his records, he submitted a request to the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), which located and provided him with a copy of the crucial document, thus allowing him to successfully apply for disability benefits from the VA.

Preservation of World War II Records: In an effort to preserve the historical records of service members from World War II for future generations, the NPRC engaged in an extensive project to restore and digitize the deteriorating military personnel files of those who served during the conflict. Families of WWII veterans who wish to learn more about the service records of their loved ones can request these files from the NPRC to gain valuable insight into their family history and personal connections to the war.

Employment Verification: A U.S. Army veteran applied for a federal job that required her to provide proof of her military service, specifically her dates of active duty and rank upon discharge. She no longer had her discharge paperwork and reached out to the National Personnel Records Center to request her military records. The NPRC provided her with the necessary documentation so she could verify her military service for the prospective employer, ultimately allowing her to secure the job.

FAQ: National Personnel Records Center (NPRC)

1. What is the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC)?

The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) is an agency dedicated to preserving and safeguarding the personnel records of military veterans and former civilian employees who served the United States government. Its mission is to provide essential records for various entitlements and benefits.

2. How do I request my military records from the NPRC?

To request your military records, you can complete a Standard Form 180 (SF-180) and mail it to the NPRC or use the National Archives eVetRecs system to create an online request. You may access the eVetRecs system at the following website: https://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records

3. How long does it take to receive my records from the NPRC?

The processing time for records requests at the NPRC varies depending on the complexity of the request and the volume of requests received. The average wait time is 10 to 12 weeks. However, certain requests, such as those involving older or more complex records, may take longer.

4. Can I visit the NPRC in person to request my records?

Yes, you can visit the NPRC in person to request your records. You are required to make an appointment in advance by calling (314) 801-0800. Keep in mind that you will still need to complete the necessary forms, and processing times may still apply depending on the nature of your request.

5. What if my records were damaged or lost in the 1973 NPRC fire?

In 1973, a fire at the NPRC destroyed many military records, particularly those from the Army and Air Force. However, the NPRC has worked tirelessly to reconstruct and replace these records whenever possible. If your records were damaged or lost in the fire, the NPRC will do its best to provide alternate documentation or reconstructed records to support your benefits claim.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Veterans Service Records
  • DD Form 214
  • Request for Military Records
  • Archival Records
  • Record Retrieval and Verification

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