Spring 2012 Edition NJDMAVA Veterans

About NJ Veteran Journal:
The New Jersey Veteran Journal is an official publication of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and is intended to serve New Jersey's veterans, their families, friends and concerned individuals and groups. All correspondence should be sent to:

Veteran Journal Editor
PO Box 340
Trenton, NJ 08625-0340

NPRC on the move

Military personnel records can be used for proving military service, or as a valuable tool in genealogical research. Most veterans and their nextof- kin can obtain free copies of their DD 214 (Report of Separation) and other military and medical records from the National Personnel Records Center (NRPC), either by mail or via the Internet.

Currently NRPC is in the process of moving their location to a new facility. The new address for the National Personnel Records Center is 1 Archives Drive, St Louis, MO 63138-1002. Their website has remained the same and can be found at www.archives.gov.

The majority of personnel have moved to the new location and the military personnel records are in the process of moving. The entire move should be completed by the end of the summer of 2012.

As a reminder, all retirees and honorably discharged veterans should ensure that their family knows the location of their military separation document (DD Form 214 from 1950 to present and WD (War Department) Form 53-55 and other variations prior to 1950). Registering a copy of this document at your county court house may make that document a public record. Furthermore, separation documents issued after 1969 may contain a social security number which could be used for identity theft. Storing the separation document in a safe deposit box may make it difficult to retrieve immediately upon the death of the retiree or honorably discharged veteran. Some better storage locations are a fire-proof safe in a secure location of the house (not in the bedroom, as this is where most thieves search first), or in a watertight food container in the refrigerator. Most refrigerators are fire resistant. Additionally, a refrigerator is heavy enough to fall through the floor of a building into the cooler part of the fire in the basement and better survive. Finally, a refrigerator is large enough to be easily located in the ash and ruble of a fire or other serious incident. As a bonus, everyone has a refrigerator, not everyone has a fire resistant storage box. Be sure your spouse or next of kin knows the location and has key/combination to the safe, and inform your spouse and relatives where to locate your separation document - and any other important papers.

Please note the preferred method of submitting a request to the NPRC is via the Internet. Please note that in some cases using a browser other than Internet Explorer may create problems with data entry. As you know, the NPRC provides copies of documents from military personnel records to authorized requesters. Their web-based application will provide better service on these requests by eliminating mailroom processing time. Also, since the requester will be prompted to supply all information essential for NPRC to process the request, delays that occur when more information is required, will be minimized. You may access this application at www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/.

This improved on-line request process should be used instead of the use of the Standard Form 180 for requests from the veteran or the veteran's next of kin, if possible. Your assistance with this initiative will allow NPRC, and you, to better serve the needs of veterans. If you do not wish to use the Internet, you should use SF 180. You should print this form as you need it, not in advance, as the form is periodically revised and updated. Updated SF 180 is available at www.archives. gov/veterans/military-service-records/ standard-form-180.html.

Since the SF 180 is updated periodically, it is not recommended that large quantities be printed/photocopied and stocked.

The form will be updated with the new address within six months. The Postal Service will forward mail if requests are mailed to the old location until February 2012.