3 Replies Latest reply on Jul 9, 2021 7:57 AM by Joseph Rooney

    What is a 201 file?

    Magilas Salvacion Newbie

      Hello, I am curious why the term "201" file is called 201? Is there a "101 or 202" file? Based on my search on the internet, it is a term used and adopted from the US military, but there was no other explanation on its history or the system it is under. It is used in our police office and we heard this term from other government offices and private industries, but it was not taught to us during training and no one in our office seems to know what 201 term is. We know what it entails but not why it is called that way. I never questioned it earlier in my career but now I became curious. Thank you in advance.


        • Re: What is a 201 file?
          Rachael Salyer Tracker

          Dear Magilas Salvacion,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          The United States War Department produced multiple editions of the War Department Decimal File System, beginning in January 1914. The department used the system to classify correspondence, decimal files, and other records. According to the WAR DEPARTMENT DECIMAL FILE SYSTEM, a 201 file is a type of personnel file. As the filing manual states, “In the Personnel and Cemeterial File Divisions, there is no occasion for number subdivision and all papers will be classified by the decimal number 201 or 293, as the case may be[.]” You may explore other editions of War Department Filing Manuals on our website.


          We also searched the National Archives Catalog and located multiple examples of 201 files in our records that may provide some additional insight into how the decimal classification was used. If you wish to learn more about any particular series of records, please contact the National Archives reference unit listed in each Catalog description.


          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from each NARA reference unit. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!


          2 people found this helpful
            • Re: What is a 201 file?
              Magilas Salvacion Newbie

              Dear Rachel Salyer,


              Thank you very much for the time in answering my question. I shall go through the documents linked in your reply statement. I shall give feedback and if there are further questions, I shall post it here.

              Finally, I can have some specific reference to the question "What is a 201 file?"


              Again thank you and have a good day

                • Re: What is a 201 file?
                  Joseph Rooney Newbie

                  I was sent to Vietnam as a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 12A10, Pioneer (Engineer) and shared my DA-201 file to "Top" First Sergeant Ozee and he discussed it with CO Reilly and asked if I coiuld type (thank you Miss Deaton) and eventually my MOS rolled to 71HXX, Company Clerk.  The 919th Engr Co(Armd) could never fill the 71HXX Company Clerk position as "properly" trained clerks were first snapped up by the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR) Headquarters and then the three squadrons got the leftovers.  On the job training (OJT) it was, but the enormous amount of paperwork made me appreciate the Remington electric, but we had two Underwood 6 typewriters and had to use them for letters of condolence as the Remington P key was bent.  There were US Army Regulations that needed monthly updating.  Replacing pages or penciling in smaller updates, Is amended to read (iatr), and there was an Army reg for abbreviations.  That was handy, but one of the most important lessons was to type out the phrase or word and then put the abbreviation after it in parenthesis.


                  US Army had individual soldiers carry their DA-201 file with them to their next duty station.  I believe it contained orders for promotions, leave, awards, and extra copies of the change duty station orders.  It contained medical reports, but I don't believe it contained financial/pay information.  That was conveyed some other way to keep the soldier's grubbies from altering things.


                  DD-214 - Department of Defense End of Enlistment, every 6 years you would get another.

                  DD-398 - Statement of Personal History "Genealogy gold mine"

                  DA-1 - Morning Report Submitted every morning, goings and comings off leave, pay grade adjustments (promotions or demotions) sick, wounded and our honored causalties.

                  SF - 180  Standard Form Request for Records <grin>


                  The prefixes show where forms fit, kind of.  The Standard Form maybe used across governmental departments, the DD for is military, don't forget it used to be the War Department, but it covers the branches, even the US Coast Guard even though they get stuck in the Department of Transportation from time to time.  DA is Department of the Army, of course


                  Please note and tell your friends that the Company Clerk had nothing to do with applications for medals.  At least in the 11th ACR, an Army Commendation Medal (ACM) had to be initiated by a Field Grade Officer (Major and above).


                  We had an Operations Clerk (Hucks) that managed equipment readiness reports and After Action Reports (AAR's) and thos would get incorporated or assembled with other units under operational control (opcon) of a varying units.  For instance, the 1st Squadron 11thACR and a Platoon or Squad from the 919th would be under operational control of the1st Cavalry Division.  As of 15 years ago, those AAR's were at College Park except where the late Ron Betts looked through boxes. He also mentioned that records being printed for just one year of A Troop, 1st Squadron, 11ACR would be just over $800.00.


                  Happy Hunting!

                  Joe Rooney Nov 68/69 APO 96257