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Obtaining Citations for Military Awards2. Write or email your state representative and send him/her your request. This will put you on the fast track.
Obtaining a Veteran's Military Personnel File / Replacement Medals
Alphabetical Index of Recipients of Major U.S. Military Awards
Info from Roger MansellOBTAINING POW MEDAL:
Most eligible veterans are in receipt of their medals. However, you can request replacements if lost. Letter requests are now accepted. Mail written requests to:
National Personnel Records Center
National Archives Records Administration
Attn: NCPMA (Army) / MCPMF (USAF) / NCPMN (Navy, USMC, Coast Guard)
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100.
DOD 1348.33M deleted the requirement for any form.
OBTAINING MILITARY RECORDS/DOCUMENTS:
Go to Veteran's Service Records - This is a simple site now and you can request records over the Internet.
If you are not the veteran or next of kin, download form SF-180. This form is needed to make a request for military personnel records or for requesting replacements for a veteran's medals. SF-180 is a PDF file which you can print, complete and mail.
OBTAINING REPLACEMENT MEDALS:
Replace Lost Medals and Awards - Replacement medals are issued by the Government ONLY in cases when no original was issued.
CONTACTING VETERAN SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS (VSO's) TO ASSIST IN RECORD RETRIEVAL OR OBTAINING BENEFITS (Honorably Discharged):
NATIONAL PERSONNEL CENTER (St. Louis, MO) TELEPHONE NUMBERS:
NOTE: Peak calling times are weekdays between 10:00 am CST and 3:00 pm CST. Staff is available to take your call as early as 7:30 am and as late as 5:00 pm CST. (TOLL FREE NUMBERS)
RECORDS (Mailing addresses):
1. Claims files for pensions based on Federal
military service, 1775-1916, and bounty land warrant application files
based on wartime service, 1775-1855
1. Morning reports, 1917-1974 (In 1974 the Army
discontinued the use of morning reports and switched to PDC cards. PDC
cards are also in the custody of the NPRC.)
Unit operational records, 1939-1954, and 1954 to present for units which served in Southeast Asia:
Archives II Textual Reference Branch
Unit operational records, 1954-present for units which did not serve in Southeast Asia; Organizational History Files, 1955- 1979:
Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts
Organizational History Files,
Unit rosters, 1917-present, Army Reserve:
Unit Lineages and Honors:
Awards for active duty personnel:
Awards for veterans:
Official photographs, 1861-1988:
Official photographs and videos
Motion pictures, 1898 to present:
Information concerning flags, colors,
streamers, guidons, insignia, & uniforms (AR-840-10):
US Army Air Forces records:
Includes Eligibility Requirements for PRISONER OF WAR MEDAL (PWM)
PURPLE HEART (PH): Eligibility Requirements: Eligibility Criteria: (c) After December 7, 1941, to a Service member who is killed or dies while in captivity as a prisoner of war (POW) under circumstances establishing eligibility for the POW medal pursuant to section 1128 of Reference (f), and section 15, Enclosure 3, Volume 2 of this Manual, unless compelling evidence is presented that shows that the member’s death was not the result of enemy action.
POW. A detained person as defined in Articles 4 and 5 of the Geneva Convention (Reference (aw)) Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of August 12, 1949. In particular, one who, while engaged in combat under orders of his or her government, is captured by the armed forces of the enemy. As such, he or she is entitled to the combatant’s privilege of immunity from the municipal law of the capturing state for warlike acts that do not amount to breaches of the law of armed conflict. For example, a prisoner of war may be, but is not limited to, any person belonging to one of the following categories who has fallen into the power of the enemy: a member of the armed forces, organized militia or volunteer corps; a person who accompanies the armed forces without actually being a member thereof; a member of a merchant marine or civilian aircraft crew not qualifying for more favorable treatment; or individuals who, on the approach of the enemy, spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces.
An expansion of eligibility criteria could result in retroactive awards of the Purple Heart to prisoners of war who died in captivity and were previously deemed ineligible for the award, the Pentagon announced Monday.
The revised policy allows the retroactive award of the medal to qualifying prisoners of war from Dec. 7, 1941, forward. An estimated 17,000 former service members could be affected by the change, according to the Pentagon’s Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office.
The Purple Heart is awarded to service members who are wounded or killed in combat, an international terrorist attack, during overseas peacekeeping duty, while held as a prisoner of war or while being taken captive.
But the services’ award criteria previously excluded the medal for those who died in captivity if it could not be proved they were wounded or killed by enemy action, Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Lainez said.
The revised policy presumes that service members who die in captivity as a “qualifying prisoner of war” died as the “result of enemy action,” the result of wounds incurred “in action with the enemy” or as a result of wounds incurred as a “result of enemy action” during capture, unless there is compelling evidence to the contrary, Lainez said.
The policy revision, “reflects the feeling that the conditions and circumstances of capture and captivity are difficult to document and that for those service members who die in captivity, the department should presume enemy action,” Lainez said.
Prior to making the change, the Pentagon consulted with representatives from the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the Military Order of the World Wars and the American Legion, all of whom said they support the awarding of the Purple Heart to prisoners of war who died while in captivity, Lainez said.
Posthumous awards of the Purple Heart can be made to the deceased service member’s representative, who should apply to the appropriate military service.
Each military department will publish application procedures and ensure accessibility by the general public, the Pentagon says. Family members with questions can contact the services. Army: Military Awards Branch, (703) 325-8700; Navy: Navy Personnel Command, Retired Records Section, (314) 592-1150; Air Force: Air Force Personnel Center, (800) 616-3775; Marine Corps: Military Awards Branch, (703) 784-9340.