Frequently Asked Questions
I need to show proof of my service; what documents do I need?
A government issued form DD-214 is proof of discharge issued to all active duty military personnel.
A DD-214 includes a veteran’s character of discharge and is required to receive most benefits.
The government first issued form DD-214 in 1950 and has used this document as proof of service ever since.
Order your DD-214 today.
My service was before 1950. Will I still have a DD-214?
Though the DD-214 was not issued until 1950, most Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF) will contain an earlier equivalent showing proof of service.
I was in the National Guard/Reserves. What documents do I need?
Members of the National Guard and the Reserves will typically need to show proof of discharge as well as a six year points statement to show full proof of service. These documents can be found in a veteran’s OMPF.
What is the average turnaround time for requests?
Turnaround time varies depending on the type of request.
For discharge papers or other single documents our average turnaround time is 3-10 business days.
Complete OMPFs often take longer as the federal government insists on redacting any personal information.
What kind of information will the government redact?
Any identifying information is redacted by the government to protect the privacy of individuals. This includes social security numbers, home addresses, and other personal information.
What about the fire of 1973?
The fire of 1973 at the National Archives destroyed all or part of several records that were housed there at the time. Those most affected were Army personnel records from 1912-1960 and Air Force records from 1947-1964.
If my record was involved in the fire is it gone?
Though several records were permanently damaged in the fire the NPRC has managed to save and reconstruct several records previously thought destroyed. Please note; records damaged in the fire often take longer to retrieve due to special, government imposed, handling instructions.
I was a civilian employee of the federal government, will I have a DD-214?
Upon leaving employment with the federal government civilians are issued a form SS-50 - the civilian equivalent of a DD-214. These forms are often retired to the civilian branch of the NPRC. For help locating your SF-50 contact us here.
What is the cost for recovering my documents?
The cost for recovering a DD-214 or OMPF is $55 plus the cost of shipping and copies; the average cost per case is $56 total. Copy fees are set by the National Personnel Records Center. For morning reports or other research requests please contact us for a price estimate.
Is there a way to get my records for free?
Yes. Veteran's can request their records free of charge though the National Archives and Records Administration at www.nara.gov.
If I can get my records for free why should I use your company?
According to the NARA they currently have a backlog of 100,000 cases and a wait of 3-6 months.
Our average turnaround time for a discharge document is 3-10 days.
Also, if you have ever dealt with government agencies you know about the frustration that can come with these dealings.
All American Research will take on the burden of working through the government bureaucracy and red tape on your behalf.
What is your refund policy?
Clients may request a refund if they have not received a response within 30 business days.
What if my record is not in St. Louis?
If your OMPF is not located at the St. Louis national archives the NARA will typically recommend an alternate location for you to contact, in which case we will forward the information to you and we will issue you a refund minus a $10 service fee.
Do you save customers' credit information?
No. All payments are handled through Stripe credit service and PayPal, using their security and confidentiality parameters. We will never see your credit information and it will not be stored anywhere on our site or in our computer system.
Are you actually in St. Louis?
We are in St. Louis, mere minutes from the National Personnel Records Center!
Some research companies are based as far away as California and New York, and share your personal information with third parties in order to locate your records. We are based in St. Louis and will not share your information with anyone!
Why should I trust your company with my personal information?
The trust of our clients and the protection of their information is our highest priority.
We have been in business for several years, and are registered as a business in good standing with the Secretary of State of Missouri. We are also officially certified by the National Archives and Records Administration and approved to conduct research at the National Personnel Records Center. We are listed on the official NARA website as a research company in good standing.
Still have questions? Contact us today.