Requesting Military Records – What is Available?

Finding a photo of a loved one that served in the US military … Can their official photo be requested?

SIMPLE ANSWER: Yes. US Military takes a photo of each service member within the week after they receive their first uniforms.

If you can prove kinship then you can order a variety of your kin’s records. BE SURE to ask specifically for things that you may want … such as the photo.

Official photos were also taken for promotion consideration to specific ranks or when applying for some special opportunities. These too MAY be available … and maybe not.

FY2022 UPDATE: Photos taken for future promotion consideration are/were being eliminated. This was to prevent bias in selecting candidates. Their records should stand on their own — that is a logical theory. However (and not for debate here), the number of minorities being selected for promotion appear to have actually dropped since late 2020 and through 2021. The military services may return to requiring promotion board and opportunity consideration packets including a photo of the candidate.


Got info? Bill Golden

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You can reach Bill Golden at is moderated by Bill Golden — in search of his own family.

To find his, he collects and shares what he finds. His Pokemon strategy is to collect them all while finding his.

Bill Golden