Army Records

Find out what types of army records you can see online and what information you can find through those records.

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Army Records

Find Army Records Online

Millions of people enlist in the army and serve the country each year. When you research your family’s history, you may want to look at military records to find out more about your ancestors. This can help you find out if your grandfather received a Purple Heart or other awards and if other family members enlisted during major battles. Each branch of the military gives you the option of requesting records. You’ll need to submit an official request that includes the name, social security number and other information relating to the individual. It can take several months before you get a response. An easier way to find army records is through an online search. You can generally view a few different types of army records on the web.

Service Records

You may want to start with service records. If anyone served in the army or another branch of the military, that individual will have a service record. The official record will show the branch that the person served and how long he or she was in the army. Other information you might find include:

  • The branch the individual served
  • Where he or she spent time
  • Any awards or honors received

Army service records are important because they give you dates and other information that you can verify, which will help with your search.

Draft Records

Though many associate the draft with the Vietnam War, it dates back to the 1860s. The federal government began drafting young men when it needed bodies to fill spots in each branch of the military. Those drafted into the army likely spent some time overseas in a country such as Vietnam or Korea. Draft records can also show you why a person was not drafted, which might include a medical condition or having small children at home. Other information found in draft records include:

  • The individual’s name and date of birth
  • Marital status
  • A short physical description of the person
  • The date the person left the army

Pension Records

Did you know that army pensions allow the widows and children of those who served the option of drawing benefits when a former soldier or officer passes away? Pension records show you the names of anyone who used that pension. This can help you see if your ancestor left behind a widow or had any children you didn’t know. The records will often show any medical conditions or injuries that the person sustained as part of his or her service too.

Using Army Records Online

Your grandparents and anyone else who served in the army has service and other types of records attached to their names. Thanks to the internet, you can now find and access those resources from your home.

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