Air force offers advice for seeking some records
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas - In an effort to save time and money, the master personnel records branch staff at the Air Force Personnel Center wants retirees and former Airmen to know the correct procedures for requesting medical and personnel record information.
"Knowing the correct procedures can not only cut down on the requestor's wait time, it can also cut the routing time and our workload," said Capt. Darren James, branch operations officer.
For Airmen who retired on or after Oct. 1, 2004 they can request copies of records such as a DD Form 214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty), performance reports and other information by writing to AFPC/DPSIRP, 550 C St. West, Suite 19, Randolph AFB TX, 78150; faxing 210-565-4021; or visiting the eBenefits website at www.eBenefits.va.gov.
People requesting their own records need to send a completed Standard Form 180, Request Pertaining to Military Records, or a letter that includes their name, full Social Security number, contact information, specific record requested, and a signature. People requesting a deceased relative's record need to provide the above information, plus their relationship to the former Airman so next-of-kin relationship can be verified. Proof of death must also be furnished.
Veterans who retired before Oct. 1, 2004 must visit the National Personnel Records Center website at http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/ for record request instructions. People requesting the record of a deceased relative who retired before Oct. 1, 2004 may now use the NPRC website to order a copy of the military records.
Regardless of the request procedures used, processing can take time. Response time for records requests sent to NPRC varies and depends upon records availability and workload. NPRC receives approximately 4,000 to 5,000 requests per day. Officials at NPRC ask that people do not send a follow-up request before 90 days have elapsed as it may cause further delays.
Veterans who retired after Oct. 1, 2004 can access certain records online by registering for a premium account on www.eBenefits.va.gov. Click the register button at the top of the home page and follow the instructions provided to obtain a premium account. The website is managed by Veterans Affairs and may not be inclusive for all retirees.
"Requests processed through AFPC normally take 5 to 10 business days however, manning cuts across the Air Force have made it challenging for us to provide timely customer service to our veterans; so we are using technology to our benefit," said James. "There are definitely time and money savings associated when veterans access their records through the eBenefits website. The immediate savings we've seen by using eBenefits cuts the processing time tremendously from the current 5 to 10 business days to 24 to 48 hours."
Medical and dental records for all Airmen who retired before May 1994 are stored permanently at NPRC (see link above). Medical and dental records for Airmen who retired or separated after May 1994 are maintained by the Veterans Administration Service Medical Records Center at 888-533-4558.
For more information on records requests, visit the myPers website at https://mypers.af.mil.