Military Service Medals & Records Assistance
Do you have all of your military service medals or would you like a copy of your military service records, discharge document, or DD Form 214? Did you have a father/mother or brother/sister who served in the military and now the family would like to obtain his/her past military medals?
County Veterans Service Officer – Your CVSO provides a full range of direct services in learning about and applying for federal and state veterans’ benefits, programs, and services. A full listing of Wisconsin CVSOs is available online by county. CVSOs can assist veterans in obtaining both records and medals.
WDVA Records Management – WDVA receives from the U.S. Department of Defense copy number 6 of each service member's DD Form 214 (DD-214) who has designated Wisconsin as their Home Record or those who move to Wisconsin upon completion of his/her service and request that copy 6 be sent to Wisconsin. WDVA has copies of military records/DD-214s from before World War I, and the department maintains separate, state copies of the DD-214.
In 1973, there was a fire at the federal VA records center in St. Louis, MO, in which many Army and Air Force veterans records were destroyed by the St. Louis fire, it is possible that WDVA has a copy of their discharge records to the veteran or in the event that the veteran is deceased to his/her next of kin. Next of kin is defined as mother, father, spouse, brothers, sisters, or children.
To request a copy of your DD Form 214 from WDVA, download form WDVA 1045 and mail the completed form to WDVA Records Management at the address on the top of the form.
WDVA Veterans Assistance Program (VAP) – Among VAP’s services is direct assistance in obtaining DD Form 214s and military awards and decorations (medals) which:
- Have been lost
- Need replacing (broken, damaged, etc.)
- Were authorized but never received (are shown on the discharge papers but were never actually given to the veteran)
- Were authorized for specific military service (i.e. Korean War Service Medal, etc.) after the end of the veteran’s military service and were therefore never received.
VAP may also, in certain very limited circumstances, be able to provide assistance in receiving medal(s) that were never authorized or awarded (i.e., Purple Heart, etc.). Call toll-free at 1-800-WIS-VETS (947-8387) and ask for the VAP Medals and Records section.
National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) – Veterans, and the next of kin (the unremarried surviving spouse, father, mother, son, daughter, brother, or sister) of deceased veterans may request military service records and medals online, or may complete and print Standard Form 180 (SF-180), “Request Pertaining to Military Records,” and mail it to the pertinent address as provided on the NPRC website.
In November 2007 the NPRC began archiving to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) all Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF) that are 62 years old from the day the veteran left the service or was killed in service. Under the new system anyone may request an OMPF stored at NARA. Those records that have not been archived are still restricted to the veteran or primary next of kin. Please see NPRC Factsheet and Press Release for details.
NPRC is no longer issuing medal sets to the next of kin of veterans whose OMPF has been archived with NARA, however, they may still be requested for a fee. These are the changes for requesting medals by the next of kin.
Army (for records that have been archived) – According to Military Awards Branch, U.S. Army Human Resources Command, any such requests should be forwarded directly to their office. The requestor must provide appropriate supporting documents (i.e. DD 214). If at all possible, send copies of the General Orders or letter of commendation that awarded the medal or badge. The Military Awards Branch will check their unit awards records to identify any missing awards. If an award cannot be verified, then Military Awards Branch will direct the requestor to the proper agency to obtain required documentation. The address for Military Awards Branch is:
U.S. Army Human Resources Command
200 Stovall Street
Alexandria, VA 22332-0471
Marines/Navy/Coast Guard (all records) – In accordance with SECNAVINST 1650.1H, AUG 22, 2007, the U.S. Navy will only issue replacement medals to veterans and primary next of kin of veterans killed in combat (KIA) on a one-time basis, if stock is sufficient. For deceased Navy veterans, but not KIA, the next of kin will only receive a written confirmation of medals authorized.
Air Force (all records) – The Air Force is still processing requests from next of kin for medals.
Medal Lists – Click on the appropriate military era below to view or download a list of medals and images for that era.
- World War I
- World War II
- Korean War
- Vietnam War
- 1991 Persian Gulf War
- Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)
- Misc. Peacetime & Conflicts
Korean War Service Medal Application – This medal was awarded by the Republic of Korea government to all members who served in the Korean War in Korea, its airspace or territorial waters. For an application contact the VAP at 1-800-WIS-VETS (947-8387).
Cold War Recognition Certificate –
In accordance with section 1084 of the Fiscal Year 1998 National Defense Authorization Act, the Secretary of Defense approved awarding Cold War Recognition Certificates to all members of the armed forces and qualified federal government civilian personnel who faithfully and honorably served the United States anytime during the Cold War era, which is defined as Sept. 2, 1945, to Dec. 26, 1991, are eligible.
All members of the armed forces and federal government civilian personnel who faithfully served the United States during the Cold War era, Sept. 2, 1945, to Dec. 26, 1991, are eligible. Individuals requesting a certificate will certify that their character of service was honorable. Acceptable supporting document for proof of service is any official government or military document with recipient's name, Social Security Number or Military Service Number or Foreign Service Number, and date of service. Please only send copies of supporting documents. This is the only official site on which to request Cold War Recognition Certificates. This site is operated by the United States Army, the executive agency for the Cold War Recognition Program. Cold War Recognition Certificates are available to qualified individuals at no cost. Any other site offering these certificates or replicas for sale or purchase are not official sites and are not approved or endorsed by the US Army.
Note: When opening military website links, you may receive a "Connection is Untrusted" message. The military doesn't use commercial certificate authorities. Follow the on-screen instructions to have your web browser make an exception.
OEF/OIF Campaign Stars – MILPER Message number 08-123 authorized the Bronze and Silver Campaign stars to be worn on the Afghanistan Campaign Medal and Iraq Campaign Medal.