What the COVID-19 Resurgence Means for Access to Your Military Records

What the COVID-19 Resurgence Means for Access to Your Military Records
The National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis (Photo via GSA.gov)

The National Personnel Records Center’s Military Personnel Records facility is operating at less than 10% of normal capacity because of worsening COVID-19 conditions in the St. Louis area –a status that limits records requests to emergency needs only.


The facility’s on-site staff will continue its work to accommodate veterans or family members who need records in relation to:

  • Burial honors
  • Life-threatening medical emergencies
  • Homeless veterans seeking entry to shelters
  • Any “comparable emergencies,” per the center’s website


Individuals with emergencies can submit a Standard Form 180 via fax to (314) 801-0764.  


[RELATED AT MILITARY.COM: 'Significant Anxiety and Hardship': 233 Lawmakers Call for Military Records Processing to Resume]


The center entered this emergencies-only status March 23, but began a gradual reopening on June 24 as COVID-19 cases slowed. This reopening process allowed a 20% operational capacity for most of October, but “on-site exposures to staff” led to a regression to emergency-only levels on Nov. 7.


Even emergency requests face delays under this process. Families seeking records to confirm burial eligibility in a VA national cemetery can visit this website for detailed information; casketed interments will be prioritized over cremated interments.


The majority of burial requests can be approved without access to National Personnel Records Center materials. MOAA Premium and Life members can download Your Guide to Military Burials.


Visit this link for more background on the records center, including contact information.


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About the Author

Kevin Lilley
Kevin Lilley

Lilley serves as MOAA's digital content manager. His duties include producing, editing, and managing content for a variety of platforms, with a concentration on The MOAA Newsletter and MOAA.org. Follow him on Twitter: @KRLilley