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Archives Branch, Marine Corps History Division

The Archives Branch collects and preserves archival materials that are significant to the history of the Marine Corps.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How do I access military service records?

Military personnel, health, and medical records of discharged and deceased veterans of Marine Corps officers who served from 1798 to 1895 and enlisted personnel who served from 1798 to 1904 are maintained by the National Personnel Records Center. Contact information is as follows:

National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100

Telephone: 314-801-0800
E-mail: mpr.center@nara.gov
Website: www.archives.gov/st-louis

Records of Marine Corps officers who separated after 1895 and enlisted personnel who separated after 1904 are maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, DC. Contact information is as follows:

National Archives and Records Administration
Attn: Military Reference Branch (NNRM)
7th & Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20408

Website: www.archives.gov
 

How do I obtain documentation concerning military service awards?

Requests for the issuance or replacement of Marine Corps service medals, decorations, and awards are handled by a United States Navy liaison at the National Personnel Records Center. Contact information is as follows:

Navy Personnel Command
Liaison Office Room 5409
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100

Requests concerning a problem or an appeal related to Marine Corps service medals, decorations, and awards are handled by the United States Marine Corps Military Awards Branch. Contact information is as follows:

Personnel Management Division
Attn: Military Awards Branch (MMMA)
3280 Russell Road
Quantico VA 22134-5100

Telephone: 703-784-3934

How do I obtain information on a unit’s lineage and honors?

Marine Corps units’ lineages and honors are maintained by the Historical Reference Branch of the Marine Corps History Division. Contact information is as follows:

Marine Corps History Division
Attn: Historical Reference Branch
3078 Upshur Avenue
Quantico, Virginia 22134

Telephone: 703-432-4874
Fax: 703-432-4892
Website: www.usmcu.edu/historydivision

How do I obtain photographs of my basic training platoon?

MCRD Parris Island:
Recruit photographs and platoon photographs from Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island are available at the MCRD Parris Island Recruit Photo Office. Contact information is as follows: MCRD Parris Island Recruit Photo Office, PO Box 5100, Parris Island, SC 29905. Telephone: 843-228-3302 - Ext. 7355 or 7356. Selected, older recruit books are available at the Parris Island Museum. Contact information is as follows: Parris Island Museum Building, 111 Panama Street Parris Island, SC, 29905. Telephone: 843-228-2951 Fax: 843-228-3065.

MCRD San Diego: Recruit photographs, platoon photographs, and recruit books from the past two years from MCRD San Diego are available at the MCRD San Diego Recruit Photo Office. Contact information is as follows: MCRD San Diego Recruit Photo Office, Telephone: 619-296-3840. Recruit photographs, platoon photographs, and selected recruit books older than two years can be purchased from the MCRD Museum Historical Society. Contact information is as follows: MCRD Museum Historical Society, Telephone: 619-524-4426.

Does the Archives Branch accept donations?

The Archives Branch welcomes donation offers of papers comprised of, but not limited to, correspondence, memoirs, diaries, scrapbooks, albums, maps, plans, and photographs pertaining to the history of the Marine Corps generated and/or collected by individuals. Each prospective donation is carefully reviewed to determine if the Branch is the appropriate repository for the item(s) being offered.  Please see our Donating to Materials the Archives page for more information.

What does the Archives Branch have in its holdings?

The holdings of the Archives and Special Collections Branch are comprised of historical papers and audiovisual materials created by and related to the Marine Corps. Items range in dates from the late-18th century to present. The holdings are divided into three primary categories: personal papers, official Marine Corps records, and Marine Corps University materials. Personal papers are comprised of, but not limited to, letters, memoirs, diaries, scrapbooks, albums, ephemera, maps, blueprints, photographs, motion pictures, and sound recordings. Official Marine Corps records are comprised of, but not limited to, command chronologies, photographs, motion pictures, maps, studies, reports, orders, and lessons learned files. Marine Corps University materials are comprised of, but not limited to, student papers, faculty research materials, academic regulations, briefs, and syllabi.

How do I access your collections online?

Our online collections are undergoing transition. As new material is posted online, we will post a notice in the Announcements box on the front page of this guide.

What are command chronologies and how can I access them?

As defined in Marine Corps Order 5750.1H, a command chronology is “the principal historical report required of each Marine command.” These documents “are submitted by each Marine Corps command, both Regular and Reserve, and provide a concise review of the operational experiences of the command on a continuing basis.” They contain organizational information, a narrative summary, a chronological list of significant events, and supporting documents. Marine Corps command chronologies for the years 1976 to present can be accessed by visiting or contacting the Archives and Special Collections Branch of the Library of the Marine Corps. Depending on the condition and format of the original item, researchers can make limited paper or digital copies if there are no security restrictions present. Command chronologies predating 1975 are maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration. Contact information is as follows:

National Archives and Records Administration
Attn: Modern Military Records Unit
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001

Telephone: 301-837-3510

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