ADVICE FROM THE GENERAL COUNSEL

Security Clearance Attorney Sean M. Bigley represents clients worldwide in security clearance denials and revocations. He is a former investigator for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. For more information, please visit www.bigleylaw.com.

Former federal employees and members of the Armed Forces are often unaware that they can easily obtain a copy of their Official Personnel File (OPF) or military service records. These documents are helpful in a variety of situations: when later filling out a new SF-86 as a federal contractor; when attempting to determine what derogatory information your background investigator will actually see; and, in applying for preference eligible positions. In some cases, it is simply a matter of curiosity.

Whatever the reason, if you are a former federal employee or member of the Armed Forces who may need these documents, you can request them simply by sending a letter to the National Personnel Records Center (part of the National Archives). Here is how to do it:

Former Federal Civilian:

Send a hand-signed and dated written request containing the following information:

  • Full name used during federal employment
  • Date of Birth
  • Social Security Number (if applicable)
  • Name and location of employing federal agency(ies)
  • Beginning and ending dates of federal service

Mail your request to:

National Personnel Records Center, Annex

1411 Boulder Boulevard

Valmeyer, IL 62295

Former Armed Forces:

Send a hand-signed and dated written request containing the following information:

  • Full name used during service
  • Service number, branch, and dates of service
  • Social Security Number (if applicable)
  • Date and place of birth

Mail your request to:

National Personnel Records Center

1 Archives Drive

St. Louis, MO 63138

Current federal employees or members of the Armed Forces:

If you are still currently employed by a federal entity, your personnel file will actually be housed with your employing agency. The National Personnel Records Center does not receive your file until at least 90 days after you have separated from federal employment.

 

This article is intended as general information only and should not be construed as legal advice. Consult an attorney regarding your specific situation. 

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Security Clearance Attorney Sean M. Bigley represents clients worldwide in security clearance denials and revocations. He is a former investigator for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. For more information, please visit www.bigleylaw.com