Donation to Veterans' Organizations
Public Law 80-421 (U.S.C. 2572) authorizes the Secretaries of the Military Departments to donate or loan certain types of surplus military equipment to recognized, selected recipients. The following organizations are authorized to acquire, through donation or loan, obsolete or condemned combat material, books, manuscripts, works of art, drawings, plans and models for historical, ceremonial and display purposes:
- Veterans organizations. Requests for loan or donation of property submitted by posts or local units of recognized veterans' organizations shall include the written approval of their national headquarters, if they are organized in that manner.
- Soldiers Monument Associations
- State Museums
- Incorporated Museums
- Municipal Museums
- Sons of Veterans Reserves
Requests for Army equipment should be addressed to as follows:U.S. Army Tank Automotive and Armaments Command
ATTN: AMSTA-LCL-IWD, M/S: 419D
6501 East 11 Mile Road
Warren, MI 48397-5000
Telephone: (586) 467- 6307
Personnel records are maintained for officers who served after 1 July 1917, and enlisted personnel in service after November 1912 and who are no longer in service, by the National Personnel Records Center. Information concerning the required procedures and forms is available through their website at www.archives.gov/facilities/mo/st_louis/military_personnel_records.html. Records for individuals who served prior to those dates are in the custody of Old Military and Civil Records Branch (NWCTB), National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC 20408. The National Archives can be contacted electronically using the form at www.archives.gov/global_pages/contact_us.html
The U.S. Army Military History Institute maintains an extensive collection of unit histories. Bibliographies for such histories can be accessed online at MHI/AHEC's unit history bibliographies. Once a history has been identified you can contact your local library to inquire about interlibrary loan possibilities. You may also wish to investigate out-of-print bookdealers in your area if you wish to see about purchasing such items
You should start by identifying the unit with which your relative served. If you already have that information, then you should check for unit histories or look into the official records created by the unit itself. If you do not know the unit to which they were assigned, then you should try and obtain a copy of your relative's personnel records to determine that information
Operational records of United States Army organizations created prior to 1940 are in the custody of the Military Reference Branch, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC 20408. Requests regarding records created during World War II and the Korean War should be addressed to the Textual Reference Branch, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001. Operational records of United States Army units that served in Southeast Asia are also in the custody of the Textual Reference Branch of the National Archives. You maybe able to access additional information about these holdings from the National Archives and Records Administration website at www.archives.gov.
Information relating to operational records created since 1954 by those United States Army organizations that did not serve in Southeast Asia may be available through the DA Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Office,7798 Cissna Road, Suite 205, Springfield, VA 22150-3166. You may be able to access additional information concerning policy related to these records on the website at https://www.rmda.army.mil/
Certain Unit Rosters and Morning Reports are also in the custody of the National Personnel Records, information about these collections can be found at www.archives.gov/facilities/mo/st_louis/military_personnel_records/morning_reports_and_unit_rosters.html.
U.S. Army photographs and motion pictures created prior to 1988 are in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, Maryland 20740-6001. You maybe able to access additional information about these holdings from the National Archives and Records Administration website at www.archives.gov.
Official photographs and videos pertaining to the U.S. Army within the most recent eight-year period are in the custody of the Defense Visual Information Center,1363 Z Street Center,
March Air Force
Base, CA 92518-2727
The Force Structure and Unit History Branch, U.S. Army Center of Military History can provide some information on an organization's entitlement to HQDA recognized unit decorations. Many unit awards announced in U.S. Army Human Resources Command permanent orders are posted to the CMH website as a courtesy Soldiers, veterans, and units. However, the official proponent for Army awards is the Awards and Decorations Branch, U.S. Army Human Resources Command.
For individuals still in the Army, the Awards and Decorations Branch, U.S. Army Human Resources Command, is the proponent. Information concerning procedures to request such information can be found on the Awards and Decorations Branch website.
For individuals no longer in the Army, requests should be directed to the National Personnel Records Center. Information concerning procedures to request such information can be found on the National Personnel Records Center website.
The Awards and Decorations Branch, U.S. Army Human Resources Command has proponency for this program within the Army. Information related to the certificate can be found on the Awards and Decorations website.
The proponent for all heraldic items, flags, patches, insignia,etc., isThe Institute of Heraldry
9325 Gunston Road, Room S-112
Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-5579.
The website for the Institute is at www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil.
The American Battle Monuments Commission is responsible for the maintenance of permanent American military burial grounds in foreign countries. You can get additional information from the Commission's website at www.abmc.gov/.
The U.S. Army Center of Military History does not maintain such information, and the release of personnel information is strictly governed by the Privacy Act. You might find the information you are seeking by placing an advertisement in a veterans magazine, which do have special reunion columns. Another possibility would be to use one of the free "People Finders" search engines available through the internet.
The historical offices for the other services and their websites are as follows:
- Naval Historical Center at http://www.history.navy.mil/
- Air Force Historical Support Division at https://www.afhistory.af.mil/
- Air Force Historical Research Agency at https://www.afhra.af.mil/
- U.S. Marine Corps Historical Center at https://www.usmcu.edu/Research/History-Division/
- U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office at http://www.uscg.mil/history/