From time to time, former servicemembers will be asked to provide proof of service, mainly to confirm their eligibility for veterans-only benefits such as VA mortgage assistance, health care and disability compensation, employment preference, and for education opportunities.
Typically, a DD Form 214 or equivalent form (such as a DD256 for Reservists or an NGB22 for National Guard members) is enough. However, there are times when veterans may need to request a copy of their full Official Military Personnel File, also called an OMPF.
Why would I need to request my OMPF?
Your OMPF is your primary administrative file, which means it will contain all of the information pertaining to your military service, including your accomplishments, your personal conduct, and more.
While, yes, your OMPF will include a copy of your DD214, it will also contain personal data that is not included in your discharge certificate.
And, because the military only started issuing DD214s in 1950, veterans whose service occurred before that time will benefit from having a copy of their OMPF to show proof of service.
What else is included in an OMPF?
Specifically, the OMPF is where veterans will find the following information:
- The date and type of enlistment/appointment
- Duty stations and assignments
- Any training or qualifications completed
- Any awards or decorations received
- Insurance information
- Emergency data
- Disciplinary action and administrative remarks
Some OMPFs will also contain health care information documenting a veteran’s medical treatment while in the military. This includes regular physical exams, dental records, mental health treatment, and outpatient procedures but does not include clinical treatment in which the individual was hospitalized. However, the practice of filing health records with personnel information ended in the 1990s.
Finally, OMPFs for members of the National Guard and the Reserves will also include their military points statements, which are used to calculate retirement pay. Points are accrued through active service and drill periods as well as through military coursework and training.
What is not included in an OMPF?
According to the National Archives website, the OMPF does not contain specific information about participation in battles or military engagements.
How can I request a copy of my OMPF?
Similar to requesting a copy of your DD214, you have a couple of options for requesting your OMPF. You can:
- Request your OMPF online with DD214Direct.com. You can do this in just a few minutes using your mobile device or home computer, and you can even choose our expedited service option if you need faster access to your records.
- Begin your request through the National Archives online system. You’ll first need to download and print a military records request form (SF-180) just like you would to obtain a copy of your DD214. Once you sign the completed form, you’ll need to fax or mail it to the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri. (Keep in mind it can take up to six months for the government to locate your records.)
- Send a letter to the National Personnel Records Center. If you do not have access to a printer or are otherwise unable to obtain an SF-180, you can mail a handwritten request.
- Visit the National Archives in person. Veterans who live near the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis can schedule an appointment to view their records in person utilizing one of their designated Research Rooms.
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Instead of having to download, print, sign and fax your document request form, you can submit your order directly through our website with the ease of e-signature technology from a desktop, laptop or mobile device. Once we locate your DD214, we will email you a copy immediately—a service not offered by the government. And tracking your request through us is simple, so you never have to worry about long hold times and inconclusive answers.
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