Accessing Replacement Awards and Decorations

This guide is provided by National Archives and Records Administration.

Have you lost you medals, or are you seeking the service medals awarded to a loved one?  The National Archives and Records Administration has put together a how-to for each service and information for those requesting replacement medals and awards.

How do I request military awards and decorations?

For the Veteran: in general, the military services will work on 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. Click here for details.

For the General Public: if the service member separated from military service before 1951, 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 1950, the public may request such information from the OMPF via the Freedom of Information Act (see Access to OMPFs by the General Public).”

United States 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

United States 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

United States 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

United States Air Force

Where to write for medals National Personnel Records Center
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138REQUEST MEDALS ONLINE!
ACTIVE DUTY: Where medals are mailed from, and where to write in case of a problem or an appeal Headquarters Air Force
Personnel Center
AFPC/DPPPR
550 C Street West, Suite 12
Randolph AFB, TX
78150-4714
RESERVE AND AIR GUARD VETERANS: Where medals are mailed from, and where to write in case of a problem or an appeal Air Reserve Personnel Center
HQ ARPC/DPTARA
18420 E Silver Creek Ave Bldg 390 MS 68
Buckley AFB, CO 80011

United States 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

Important information for the Next-of-Kin (NOK):

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.

How the type of record (archival or non-archival) affects NOK requests for medals:

The Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) is used to verify awards to which a veteran may be entitled. OMPFs are accessioned into the National Archives, and become archival, 62 years after the service member’s separation from the military. This is a rolling date; hence, the current year, 2012, minus 62 years is 1950. Records with a discharge date of 1950 or prior are archival and are open to the public. Records with a discharge date of 1950 or after are non-archival and are maintained under the Federal Records Center program. Non-archival records are subject to access restrictions. As such, the veteran’s date of separation (separation is defined as discharge, retirement or death in service) will affect how the request is processed. See below:

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Related Guides


National Archives and Records Administration. http://www.archives.gov. Last accessed 8/1/2012.

Guide provided by National Archives and Records Administration.