M21-1, Part IIIFebruary 25, 2005
(2) NPRC has three main types of veteran's records:
(a) Individual Health and Service Records. These records are recorded in NPRC’s database filed by the veteran's name, Social Security number or service number.
(b) Clinical Records. Clinical records are filed by the military hospital or other military medical facility which provided treatment. The medical facility normally retires its records to NPRC when there has been no treatment for two calendar years. Clinical records are filed by hospital name or number, then chronologically by year of treatment, or month and year of treatment. See paragraph 4.01i for more information on the distinction between individual health records and clinical records. Also see paragraph 4.25f for information on dependent medical records.
(3) NPRC has a Records Reconstruction Branch which uses unit records and other alternative sources to reconstruct records which may have been destroyed in the 1973 NPRC fire. See paragraph 4.23.
(4) The Personnel Information Exchange System (PIES) program is used to request all service record requests for all address codes. The submitted requests are electronically matched to NPRC’s Registry holdings at the end of each day. Currently, the requests for other than Code 13 are printed at the RMC and forwarded directly to the appropriate locations. The requests for NPRC are handled electronically by the VA Liaison staff located at the NPRC. If the requester physically inserts an address code, it overrides the computer mapping logic. The insertion of an address code by the user should be limited to those situations specifically provided for in later paragraphs.
c. Army Records
(1) Records are assembled at the separation point. Every effort is made to obtain the health and dental records for each separating individual. Currently, the medical records are forwarded to the RMC if a claim has not been filed. Enlisted members have an Official Military Personnel Folder (OMPF) which is maintained at Ft. Benjamin Harrison while the soldier is on active duty. The OMPF is stored in an optical imaging format called the Permanent Electronic Records Management System (PERMS). The field activity is responsible for seeing that information from the field jacket, known as the Military Personnel Records Jacket (MPRJ), is added to the OMPF in PERMS. When a member is released from active duty, the maintenance of his/her PERMS record is transferred to AR-PERSCOM. When the service member is discharged or retired, his/her PERMS record is downloaded to a microfiche format and transferred, along with any paper records that may still exist, to AR-PERSCOM for further transfer to NPRC for storage. Exceptions:
(a) All General Officer records are kept at the Pentagon.
(b) If the veteran is in a specific Reserve or National Guard unit, the records are sent to that unit.
(2) When the veteran no longer has a Reserve obligation or any other involvement with the Reserves or Guard, the records are forwarded to NPRC.
(3) Addendum F provides a list of state Adjutants General. Because of delays in forwarding records from one point to another, the records may not be where they are supposed to be. It is also possible that the records might never have left the separation center or treating facility or that the records might be in the veteran's possession. If the veteran had a terminated Reserve/Guard connection, the veteran's records may still be at the Reserve/Guard unit. Develop to these alternate locations if a primary request for records is unsuccessful.