Go to The National Archives.
If you are searching for military records for abt.1902 and before back to the revolutionary war you will need to order form # NATF Form 86 for a service record. For a pension record you need to order form NATF Form 85.
These forms you have to order from the arvhives as they are in triplicut and they will mail you how many forms you want. You must specify exactly which form you want. it takes about 7 days to get them. They wait to even find out if they have a copy of the record for the person you want. It can take up to 4 months or more.
For Service Records from world war one forward, You need form # Standard Form, Sf-180. This form you can download and print off your computer. This form goes to St. louis,Mo. to the national personnel records center for military personnel.
Basically anyone can obtain a copy of a persons service record,just not their health. If the person is alive then you need them to sign forms. If person is deceased then it is no problem. It can take up to 12 weeks to get a reply. The easiest thing to do if you've never ordered records is go to above website, and click on the section for genealogy, and a couple of other sections, it tells all about ordering records.,etc. I have never had a problem getting any copies for ancestors, I've ordered 1812,revolutionary,ww1 & ww2. I just note on form "for genealogy purposes only" Sorry for so long, hope this helps everyone.
Submitted by Sue ANDRUS_CHILBERG