How To Check Military Status

In the modern world, a lot has changed and this also includes trust. Trust is a priceless commodity especially if you’re doing business with military personnel, and thus you need verification. The banking and other financial institutions are the ones who most need utmost prudence in their dealings with people claiming to be in the military. Below is a guide on how you can check with certainty if they’re actually in the military.

a) DFAS – Defense Finance and Accounting Service

DFAS’s original purpose was to handle DOD’s finances. Over the years, it has incorporated other services like military status verification through the Defense Manpower Data Center and is arguably the most common method used to check military status. All you need is follow a few steps and you have the information you need right on your fingertips.

  1. Visit the SCRA (Service Members Civil Relief Act) website and create an account by filling out the online form.
  2. You can either submit a “Single Record Request” or “Multiple Record Request” if you want to verify military status for one person or many, respectively.
  3. Enter the prompted information o the indicated fields and click the “Submit” button.

This method requires that you know the social security number and the date of birth of the individual whose record you want to pull. You also need to know the period that they were in active duty.


b) FOIA- Freedom of Information Act request

An FOIA request may be the most accurate method to ascertain someone’s military status. However, since this service is publicly accessible by citizens and non-citizen, there are exclusions that the law doesn’t allow disclosure for national security and privacy reasons.

This is how you make an FOIA request;

  1. Draft a request containing all the applicable information, in the format of a letter. This is might sound rather weird but you should know that there’s no authoritative government form to make this request.
  2. Send the request to the pertinent agency. This could be The Air Force, The Army, The Navy, Marine Corps or The Coast Guard.
  3. There are usually no charges for FOIA requests but you may quote how much you’re willing to pay if need be. FOIA requests will take between 4 and 8 weeks to process.


c) NPRC – The National Personnel Records Center

NPRC is located in St. Louis, Missouri, but there’s a website from where you can request a search. This archive has medical and health records of all military personnel from WWI. To verify military status, follow these steps;

  1. Open the NPRC official website and download the SF-180 form and print it out.
  2. Fill out the SF-180 form
  3. Send the form as a mail to NPRC
  4. Watch out for a reply regarding your request but if it doesn’t come in 10 days, fill an Online Status Update Request form

You can also write to NPRC requesting verification.

There are also other non-government background check services available. They have a reputation of digging even into the deep wed but these will cost you a dime. These sites include;

Normally, if you opt not to do verification of yourself, on the DD-214 or military ID card, you will have to wait for a while, depending on the verification method you choose, as discussed above.