Obtaining Military Medals and Decorations

| November 16, 2011

PurpleheartThe National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) does not issue service medals; that is a function of each military service department. Requests for the issuance or replacement of military service medals, decorations and awards should be directed to the specific branch of the military in which the veteran served. However, for cases involving Air Force and Army personnel (click here for exceptions), the NPRC will verify the awards to which a veteran is entitled and forward the request along with the records verification to the appropriate service department for issuance of the medals. Use the addresses listed below, and mail your request accordingly.

How Do I Request Military Awards and Decorations?

For the Veteran: In general, the military services will work replacement medal requests for the veteran at no cost. This includes family members with the signed authorization of the veteran.

For the Next-of-Kin: The process (and cost) for replacement medals requests differs among the service branches and is dependent upon who is requesting the medal, particularly if the request involves an archival record.

For the General Public: If the service member separated from military service before 1950, the public may purchase a copy of the veteran’s Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) to determine the awards due and obtain the medals from a commercial source. If the service member separated after 1949, the public may request such information from the OMPF via the Freedom of Information Act (see Access to OMPFs by the General Public).

Who is the Next-of-Kin (NOK)?

• For the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps & Coast Guard, the NOK is defined as: the un-remarried widow or widower, son, daughter, father, mother, brother or sister
• For the Army, the NOK is defined as: the surviving spouse, eldest child, father or mother, eldest sibling or eldest grandchild

If you do not meet the definition of NOK, you are considered a member of the general public.

ARMY

Where to write for medals:

National Personnel Records Center
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138

Request medals online

Where medals are mailed from:

U.S. Army TACOM
Clothing and Heraldry (PSID)
P.O. Box 57997
Philadelphia, PA 19111-7997

Where to write in case of a problem or an appeal:

U.S. Army Human Resources Command
Soldier Program and Services Division – Awards and Decorations Branch
ATTN: AHRC-PDP-A
1600 Spearhead Division Avenue, Dept 480
Fort Knox, KY 40122-5408

AIR FORCE (includes Army Air Corps & Army Air Forces)

Where to write for medals:

National Personnel Records Center
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138 or

Request medals online

Where medals are mailed from, and where to write in case of a problem or an appeal:

For Active Duty Veterans:

Headquarters Air Force
Personnel Center
AFPC/DPPPR
550 C Street West, Suite 12
Randolph AFB, TX
78150-4714

For Reserve & Air Guard Veterans:

Headquarters Air Reserve
Personnel Center
(ARPC)/DPSVN
6760 E. Irvington Place
Denver, CO 80280-4000

NAVY

Where to write for medals, and where medals are mailed from:

Navy Personnel Command
Liaison Office Room 350
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138

Where to write in case of a problem or an appeal:

Chief of Naval Operations
(OPNAV 09B33)
Awards & Special Projects
Washington, DC 20350-2000

MARINE CORPS

Where to write for medals, and where medals are mailed from:

Navy Personnel Command
Liaison Office Room 350
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138

Where to write in case of a problem or an appeal:

Commandant of the Marine Corps
Military Awards Branch (MMMA)
3280 Russell Road
Quantico, VA 22134-5100

COAST GUARD

Where to write for medals, and where medals are mailed from:

Navy Personnel Command
Liaison Office Room 350
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138

Where to write in case of a problem or an appeal:

Commandant U.S. Coast Guard
Medals and Awards Branch
(PMP-4)
Washington, DC 20593-0001

Source of information: National Archives at St. Louis and www.archives.gov

Keith Reimers
Regional Service Director

Category: News

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