Dear Ms. Bonny,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
The answer depends on the type of records, the way you intend to submit the request, and the reference unit. The following is a brief overview of some of the more common examples of online ordering. If you provide more details, we can try to find a more specific answer for you.
Veterans and their next of kin (surviving spouse who has not remarried, father, mother, son, daughter, sister, brother) may use eVetRecs to request Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF) held by the National Military Personnel Records Center. See eVetRecs Help for instructions. These requests will go into one of several queues based on priority. NPRC is currently only servicing emergency requests associated with medical treatments, burials, homeless veterans, VA Home loan guarantees, and employment opportunities. If this is urgent, please see Emergency Requests and Deadlines. If this is for other purposes, you may still submit the request now but orders will not be serviced until operations can resume safely. Once operations resume, document reproduction requests will be filled in the order in which they were received.
If you wish to request an OMPF for non-emergency purposes and you are not next of kin of the subject of the record, please complete a GSA Standard Form 180 and mail it to NARA's National Personnel Records Center, (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO 63138-1002. Fill out the form to the best of your knowledge. If there is any information requested by the form which you do not know, you may leave if blank or provide estimates (such as writing World War II instead of exact dates of service), however the more information you provide, the easier it will be for NPRC staff to locate the correct file. In many cases where personnel records were destroyed in the 1973 fire, proof of service can be provided from other records such as morning reports, payrolls, and military orders, and a certificate of military service will be issued. For more information see Request Military Service Records. You may still submit the request now but orders will not be serviced until operations can resume safely. Once operations resume, document reproduction requests will be filled in the order in which they were received.
The option to request microfilm and record reproductions through https://eservices.archives.gov/orderonline/start.swe is suspended. Questions about this service may be referred to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Old (roughly pre-World War I) military service records and pension records may be ordered by filling out a NATF Form 86 for the service records and a NATF Form 85 for the pension records and mail the completed forms to the address listed on the form. Orders will not be serviced until operations can resume safely. Once operations resume, document reproduction requests will be filled in the order in which they were received.
Some records documenting 18th and 19th century military service also are available digitally using the National Archives Catalog or our digitization partners such as Ancestry and Fold3. If you are researching pre-World War I military service, please provide more details (including the name and branch of the person you are researching) and we can provide you with more specific information.
For other records that you may normally order by email the reference unit directly, not all facilities are handling these requests in the same way, given that not all have the same staffing and workload, and also various facilities are in different phases of NARA’s phased reopening plan. If you know which NARA facility has custody of the records you are seeking, we suggest that you email them directly using the email addresses listed on the web pages linked at https://www.archives.gov/locations. Otherwise, please submit your reference request through the National Archives contact form or post it here on History Hub. Please note that History Hub is not equipped to process reproduction requests, but we can provide you with contact information for the relevant NARA unit, and in some cases, can provide additional information such as online availability of records that have already been digitized.
We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your research!