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Posted: 5/27/2002 8:26:26 PM EDT
My father spent most of his life in the military; 4-years in the Army as a draftee, then 20 years in the Texas Army National Guard, 49th Armored Division.  He passed away 10 years ago and since then, I've become extremely curious to learn more about his career.  During his last couple of years, he'd hold my attention for many hours talking about military things, but dang it -- he didn't talk a lot about his career.

Here's my problem; I don't know where to start looking for information.  My brother & I have been talking about putting together a display with his casket flag and decorations, but I don't have a clue what to put together.

Can some of you military guys point me to someplace where I can get his service records?  He left the Guard as a Lt. Colonel, and was a leader of many men, but that's about all I know, dang it.  [:(]  I'm kicking myself for not asking these questions 10 years ago.  To make it worse, his former boss & best friend just passed away a few months ago.  HELP!
Link Posted: 5/27/2002 8:30:05 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/27/2002 8:39:25 PM EDT
3-1/2 minutes from question to answer.  You made my year, [b]Wolfpack[/b]!  You da man!
Link Posted: 5/27/2002 8:44:23 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/27/2002 8:59:41 PM EDT
As I'm filling out the forms from the site you pointed me to, I asked my wife to dig up what few files we had on him.  She found his complete medical history!  It's not the military records, but very interesting!
Link Posted: 5/27/2002 9:15:48 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/27/2002 9:20:16 PM EDT
Cool!  I do have a Ziploc bag with some ribbons that are in bad shape.  I've identified a few, but some remain a mystery.  Also have a few medals in nice hinged boxes.  The medals request you pointed me to should clear things up.  I am tremendously grateful!

[Edited to add:]
I also found a sheet that lists a ton of service dates and MOSC codes.  12B00 and 12A00 show up several times.  As far as I can tell, that means tank crew.  I knew that for many year when I was little, he was an M60 tank commander, but I don't know what he did in his regular job at the office.

Here's an interesting bit of trivia (to me, anyway):  He used to work at the Army Arsenal here in San Antonio until the Guard built a new armory (late 70's).  I used to play there when I was little.  Now I work there, but it's a corporate headquarters these days.  Also, his practice mortar shell that he kept on his file cabinet is now on mine.

Now I'm drifting off into memory lane . . .
Link Posted: 5/27/2002 9:20:46 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/27/2002 9:39:29 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/27/2002 9:49:16 PM EDT
Excellent advice.  I've been Googling all night.  I've found some Guard-specific transcript sites, but it's very confusing.  I emailed my mom (because she hates it when I wake her up after midnight [:)]) to get some names & numbers of some of his Guard friends.  I know some of them are still around and probably in town.
Link Posted: 5/27/2002 9:55:19 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/28/2002 7:30:32 AM EDT
Someone posted this information about a month ago (sorry, forgot who). I sent requests in for myself and my father. We both received our records last week. (The website says it could take 14-16 weeks).

My records were fairly complete. Included certified copy of DD-214, training records, evaluation scores, correspondence course scores, medical & dental entries.

My Dad got a certified copy of his discharge papers and a few other things, no where near as much info as I got (Dad=8 pages, Me=20 pages). But then again, he was in the service in WWII, which I assume made it more difficult to maintain accurate records. (Although his Captain's Mast they did seem to have recorded...I'll have to ask him about that when I see him next week).

We were both in the Navy, so the records weren't affected by the 1973 fire.

I did find that I was eligible for the National Defense Ribbon, which I was never awarded, so now I'm going to fill out the form to have all my ribbons/awards reissued.

Don't forget to apply for the Cold War Recognition Certificate if your father served between 9/2/45 - 12/26/91. In the 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 any time during the Cold War era. You can find application & information at [url] http://coldwar.army.mil/ [/url].
Link Posted: 5/28/2002 7:30:41 PM EDT
I've got the wheels in motion.  My sainted mommy tells me that all of his active duty records were destroyed in the 1973 fire [>Q].

I did find a few records in my files; several performance reviews (like me, he walked on water [:)]) and I figured out that he was the XO of the 49th Armored Division, 112th Armor, 6th Battalion when he retired.
Link Posted: 5/28/2002 7:57:50 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/28/2002 8:17:26 PM EDT
Excellent links.  I missed a couple of those last night.  I'm looking at a record of assignments and it's mostly gibberish to me, but he was regular Army from 1957 to 1959 (not the 4 years I thought) and TXARNG until 1981.  You have REALLY helped me a lot.  Thanks!!!
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