The National Personnel Records Center(s) (NPRC) is an agency of the National Archives and Records Administration, created in 1966. It is part of the National Archives federal records center system and is divided into two large Federal Records Centers located in St. Louis, Missouri and Valmeyer, Illinois. The term "National Personnel Records Center" is often used interchangeably to describe both the physical Military Personnel Records Center facility and as an overall term for all records centers in the St. Louis area. To differentiate between the two, the broader term is occasionally referred to as the "National Personnel Records Centers".
The Military Personnel Records Center houses United States Armed Forces military service records dating from the late 1800s to the early 2000s. A major fire on July 12, 1973, destroyed approximately one-third of its 52 million official military personnel files.
The facility was originally located in Overland, Missouri before relocating to Spanish Lake, Missouri in 2011. While located at 9700 Page Avenue, in Overland, the military personnel records center building served as the de facto headquarters for the entire National Personnel Records Center, and was often referred to simply as "NPRC" (the building's official code was NPRC-MPR).
After relocation to Spanish Lake, the designation "Military Personnel Records Center" was dropped from most official correspondence, with the military records building in Spanish Lake thereafter referred to as the "National Personnel Records Center". The term "National Personnel Records Center" may now refer to both the physical military records building in Spanish Lake, as well as an overall term for the National Archives federal records complexes located in St. Louis.
The Civilian Personnel Records Center houses the Official Personnel Folders (OPF) and Employee Medical Folders (EMF) of separated United States Federal civilian employees. CPR also houses personnel documents that date back to the mid-nineteenth century, although the bulk of the collection covers the period from 1900 to present. The medical records of military family members treated at Army, Air Force and Coast Guard medical facilities are also stored here.
The Civilian Personnel Records Center was first known as the "St. Louis Federal Records Center" before becoming part of the National Personnel Records Center in 1966. The Civilian Personnel Records Center was located on Winnebago Street in downtown St. Louis, Missouri, and was known as "NPRC-CPR". The facility later shifted locations to Boulder Boulevard in Valmeyer, Illinois and became known as the "NPRC Annex".
Housed in the same building as the Military Personnel Records Center (MPRC) is the National Archives at St. Louis which is a regional archives considered part of National Archives research services and separate from the majority of correspondence work handled by the main part of MPRC.
The National Archives at St. Louis is the legal custodian of archived military and civilian personnel records and related personnel data series records. These files are considered open to the public and separate from the military personnel files which are considered protected under the Privacy Act of 1974. Archival records at St. Louis include:
The National Archives at St. Louis maintains an on-site preservation office for the upkeep of locally maintained records, specifically those records which were damaged by the 1973 National Archives fire. The St. Louis facilities maintain several conservation and preservation labs which deal with fire damaged records as well as records affected by age and mold.
The National Personnel Records Center presently hosts fourteen tenant agencies of the United States federal government.These include the Department of Veterans Affairs, the FBI, as well as liaison offices with all of the U.S. armed forces with the exception of the United States Coast Guard.
The director of the National Personnel Records Center is usually a senior federal civil service employee, rated as a GS-14/15 or as a member of the Senior Executive Service. Office of Personnel Management archives list the directorship of NPRC as established in 1966; prior to this time, the two separate records centers for civilian and military personnel records were considered as separate director positions under the General Services Administration. The term "National Personnel Records Center Director" only came into being when the two buildings were administratively (but not physically) merged in 1966.
National Personnel Records Center Directors
The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the President to those wounded or killed while serving, on or after April 5, 1917, with the U.S. military. With its forerunner, the Badge of Military Merit, which took the form of a heart made of purple cloth, the Purple Heart is the oldest military award still given to U.S. military members – the only earlier award being the obsolete Fidelity Medallion. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is located in New Windsor, New York.
St. Louis is an independent city in Missouri. It is the largest metropolitan area in the state of Missouri; however, the independent city of St. Louis is the second largest city in Missouri, behind Kansas City. It is situated along the western bank of the Mississippi River, which forms the state line between Illinois and Missouri. The Missouri River merges with the Mississippi River 15 river miles north of Downtown St. Louis, forming the fourth longest river system in the world. The estimated 2018 population of the city proper was 302,838 and the bi-state metropolitan area was 2,804,724. Greater St. Louis is the largest metropolitan area in Missouri, second-largest in Illinois, seventh-largest in the Great Lakes Megalopolis, and the 20th-largest in the United States.
Blue Springs is a city located in the U.S. state of Missouri within Jackson County. Blue Springs is located 19 miles (31 km) east of downtown Kansas City and is the 9th largest city in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 United States Census the population was 52,575, tying it for 10th largest city in the state of Missouri with St. Peters.
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is a combat support agency under the United States Department of Defense and a member of the United States Intelligence Community, with the primary mission of collecting, analyzing, and distributing geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) in support of national security. NGA was known as the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) until 2003.
The Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross also known as the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross or Vietnam Cross of Gallantry is a military decoration of the former Government of South Vietnam. The medal was created on August 15, 1950 and was awarded to military personnel, civilians, and Armed Forces units and organizations in recognition of deeds of valor or heroic conduct while in combat with the enemy.
The National Personnel Records Center fire of 1973, also referred to as the 1973 National Archives fire, was a fire that occurred at the Military Personnel Records Center in Overland, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, on July 12, 1973, striking a severe blow to the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States. MPRC, the custodian of military service records, lost approximately 16–18 million official military personnel records as a result of the fire.
A military base is a facility directly owned and operated by or for the military or one of its branches that shelters military equipment and personnel, and facilitates training and operations. A military base provides accommodations for one or more units, but it may also be used as a command center, training ground or proving ground. In most cases, military bases rely on outside help to operate. However, certain complex bases are able to endure on their own for long periods because they are able to provide food, water and other life support necessities for their inhabitants while under siege. Military bases for military aviation are called military air bases. Military bases for military ships are called naval bases.
The United States Military Entrance Processing Command (USMEPCOM) is a Major Command of the U.S. Department of Defense, which screens and processes applicants into the United States Armed Forces. USMEPCOM is headquartered in North Chicago, Illinois and operates 65 Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS) located throughout the United States. The command's motto is Freedom's Front Door, signifying that a service member's career starts when they walk through the doors of the MEPS.
The St. Louis Arsenal is a large complex of federal military weapons and ammunition storage buildings operated by the United States Air Force in St. Louis, Missouri. During the American Civil War, the St. Louis arsenal's contents were transferred to Illinois by Union Captain Nathaniel Lyon, an act that helped fuel tension between secessionists and those citizens loyal to the Federal government.
The Military Personnel Records Center (NPRC-MPR) is a branch of the National Personnel Records Center and is the repository of over 56 million military personnel records and medical records pertaining to retired, discharged, and deceased veterans of the U.S. armed forces.
Tricare, formerly known as the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS), is a health care program of the United States Department of Defense Military Health System. Tricare provides civilian health benefits for U.S Armed Forces military personnel, military retirees, and their dependents, including some members of the Reserve Component. Tricare is the civilian care component of the Military Health System, although historically it also included health care delivered in military medical treatment facilities.
The DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, generally referred to as a "DD 214", is a document of the United States Department of Defense, issued upon a military service member's retirement, separation, or discharge from active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States, e.g., U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Marine Corps, or U.S. Navy.
A service record is a collection of either electronic or printed material which provides a documentary history of a person's activities and accomplishments while serving as a member of a given organization. Service records are most often associated with the military, but are commonly found in other groups, such as large corporations or for use by employees of a civilian government.
The Missouri Air National Guard is the aerial militia of the State of Missouri, United States of America. It is, along with the Missouri Army National Guard, an element of the Missouri National Guard.
Lester DeWitt Mallory was an American diplomat.
Colonel Stanley Andrews was a journalist and U.S. Army officer from Missouri who headed both the Office of Foreign Agricultural Relations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Technical Cooperation Administration of the U.S. Department of State. Colonel Andrews was a veteran of both World War I and World War II. Andrews wrote an unpublished memoir, Journal of a Retread, a copy of which he donated to the Truman Presidential Library along with transfer of its copyright to the public domain.
In the United States, the National Archives facilities are facilities and buildings housing the research and agency services of the country's National Archives and Records Administration. Within the organization of the National Archives, the upkeep of its facilities falls under the National Archives Facilities and Property Management Office.
The organization of the National Archives and Records Administration refers to the administrative and bureaucratic structure of the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States. The National Archives is considered an independent federal government agency, receiving this status in 1985 after existing under the General Services Administration since the National Archives' founding in 1934.
The National Archives at College Park is a major facility of the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States which is located in College Park, Maryland. The facility serves as the primary base of operations for the bulk of the senior offices within the organization of the National Archives. The facility operates in tandem with the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C. which serves as the ceremonial headquarters of the National Archives in that this is where the Archivist of the United States maintains his primary office.
The Demobilized Personnel Records Center (DPRC) was an installation of the United States Army which operated in St. Louis, Missouri from 1945 to 1956. The facility was housed in the former Goodfellow ordnance plant in St. Louis and became the central repository for all service records of discharged service members of the United States Army.