How to Access a Marine Corps O.M.P.F. (Official Military Personnel File)

 

 

The Marine Corps O.M.P.F. ( Marine Corps Official Military Personnel File) is a vital tool for researching Marine Corps veterans who served during the 20th Century. The Marine Corps O.M.P.F.’s for WWI, WWII, the Korean War, and Vietnam are maintained at the National Archives and these official military personnel files contain records which cannot be found on the internet. In this post we will examine why the Marine Corps O.M.P.F. service record can be useful for your research, what kinds of records you can expect to find in your Marine Corps veteran’s file, and how you can access your veteran’s Marine Corps O.M.P.F. service records. These Marine Corps O.M.P.F. military personnel files include original paperwork detailing the Marine Corps veteran’s duties, ships, assignments, ranks, awards, commendations, battle participation, and more. In addition to the military service records contained within the Marine Corps O.M.P.F., family records and beneficiary documents were also placed in the Marine Corps O.M.P.F. as a way to ensure that the Marine Corps veteran and their family would receive benefits to which they were entitled. The wide array of military and family records maintained within the Marine Corps O.M.P.F. make these Marine Corps personnel files absolutely vital for both military and genealogical research. The Marine Corps O.M.P.F.’s  are stored at the National Archives and are available to the public 62 years after the date that the individual Marine Corps veteran was separated from the service.

 

Do I need the Marine Corps O.M.P.F. for my research? The Marine Corps ‘O.M.P.F.’  is essentially the official name for the military service records of individual Marine Corps veterans which are housed at the National Archives.  As the lead-researcher at Golden Arrow Military Research I have personally scanned thousands of O.M.P.F.’s which are stored at the National Archives. In my view, the Marine Corps O.M.P.F. is a must-have for anyone carrying out historical research of a Marine Corps veteran. Whether you are researching specific details about the Marine Corps  veteran’s military service-or whether you are simply interested in uncovering details about your family history, you will need to make sure that you obtain the Marine Corps O.M.P.F. of your veteran.

 

Are Marine Corps O.M.P.F. military service records available online? You may be able to find some records on the internet pertaining to the military service of individual Marine Corps veterans, however these online records can often be fragmentary and do not always provide the whole picture of the service history or family situation of the Marine Corps veteran. By contrast, the Marine Corps O.M.P.F. almost always provides researchers with an incredible amount of detail on the Marine Corps veteran’s military service and family life. The average Marine Corps O.M.P.F. service record is between 50 and 150 pages in length. So, as you can imagine- these Marine Corps military personnel files provide a wealth of documentation on the individual Marine Corps veteran. Let’s take a look at some of the unique service records that can be found inside a Marine Corps O.M.P.F. which you cannot find on the internet:

 

A period photograph of your Marine Corps veteran.  Many Marine Corps O.M.P.F. service records contain a period photograph of the Marine Corps veteran. The Marine Corps O.M.P.F. photograph is one of the most exciting parts of accessing your Marine’s O.M.P.F. from the National Archives. The photographs maintained in the Marine Corps O.M.P.F. service records can only be found within the official personnel files which are housed at the National Archives.

 

 

The Marine Corps O.M.P.F. Record of Service. The Marine Corps O.M.P.F. service record book provides a breakdown of the units to which your veteran was assigned. The record of service is important because it will allow you to document the battle and campaign participation of your Marine. Additionally, you are going to find a chronological listing of your Marine’s ranks and conduct ratings with each unit of assignment. The service record book is essential for researching your Marine and can only be accessed within the Marine Corps O.M.P.F. which is housed at the National Archives.

 

 

Marine Corps O.M.P.F. discharge separation documents. The Marine Corps O.M.P.F. also contains the Marine Corps veteran’s discharge or separation documents. The discharge is one of the most highly sought official documents from the Marine Corps O.M.P.F. because it condenses so many details about the Marine Corps veteran’s service history on to just one page. The Marine Corps O.M.P.F. discharge cannot be found on the internet.

 

 

Marine Corps O.M.P.F. enlistment records. Marine Corps enlistment records which are found in the O.M.P.F. service record are useful for understanding the family situation of the Marine when he enlisted. The Marine Corps enlistment records are a good starting point for understanding your Marine’s military service and these records can not be found on the internet.

 

 

Marine Corps O.M.P.F. Commendations and Award Citations. For veteran’s who were awarded medals for gallantry in action, the Marine Corps O.M.P.F. will contain the citation paperwork which describes exactly what the veteran did to win the medals and commendations.  This WWI Marine was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for gallantry in action. The paperwork was then placed in his Marine Corps O.M.P.F. to document his heroics during the war. The only way to discover what medals your veteran is entitled to is to access their Marine Corps O.M.P.F. from the National Archives.

 

 

Marine Corps O.M.P.F. Correspondence and letters. Letters to and from the veteran, the veteran’s family and the Marine Corps were also placed inside the Marine Corps O.M.P.F. as a way to document the veteran’s service history and family benefits. In this case the Marine Corps duplicated a letter which was sent to the family of the Marine notifying them that their son was wounded in action. Official letters such as this can only be found in the Marine Corps O.M.P.F. of your veteran at the National Archives.

 

 

Original handwritten letters from the veteran’s family to the Marine Corps were also placed in the Marine Corps O.M.P.F. for safekeeping.

 

 

 

Marine Corps O.M.P.F. Qualification Cards. The qualification card from the Marine Corps O.M.P.F. is another important document which cannot be found on the internet. The Marine Corps O.M.P.F. combines both military and civilian information so this record is a fantastic resource for both military and genealogical research. Notice how this Marine Corps veteran’s civilian occupation (including a detailed description of his duties) are included on this sheet.

 

 

The reverse side of the qualification card in the Marine Corps O.M.P.F. also outlines the exact units and military duties of the Marine Corps veteran. This particular Marine Corps veteran was a machine gun crewman with the 22nd Marine Regiment during the Second World War.

 

 

Marine Corps O.M.P.F. family and beneficiary documents. For those interested in conducting genealogical research, the Marine Corps O.M.P.F. can provide a number of excellent family records which cannot be found on the internet. There are a wide variety of family and beneficiary records which can be found in the Marine Corps O.M.P.F.’s.

 

 

Marine Corps O.M.P.F. medical records.  Medical records of your Marine Corps veteran were also placed in their Marine Corps O.M.P.F. which is now maintained at the National Archives. The medical records document anything from routine medical examinations to wounds received in combat. Official medical paperwork of your Marine Corps veteran can only be found in the O,M.P.F. of your Marine Corps veteran.

 

 

How to access a Marine Corps O.M.P.F. The Marine Corps O.M.P.F.’s are housed at the National Archives and are available to the public 62 years after the date that the Marine Corps veteran was separated (discharged) from the Marine Corps.  The fastest and most convenient way to access your Marine Corps veteran’s O.M.P.F. is to have a well-known research organization digitally scan your Marine Corps veteran’s O.M.P.F. at the National Archives. Golden Arrow Military Research has research specialists on-site at the National Archives where they can physically scan the O.M.P.F. of individual Marine Corps veterans, page by page so that you can view the photos, documents, and artifacts in the Marine Corps O.M.P.F. exactly as they appear in their original form. In most cases, when you use a private research company to access your veteran’s Marine Corps O.M.P.F. you can have digital scans of the Marine Corps O.M.P.F.  on your computer within just days. By contrast, ordering the O.M.P.F. directly from the National Archives usually means weeks or even months of waiting for lower quality photocopies to arrive in the mail. If you are interested in accessing the Marine Corps O.M.P.F. service records of your individual WWII Marine Corps veteran you can order their Marine Corps O.M.P.F. directly from Golden Arrow Research here: Access a WWII  Marine Corps O.M.P.F. 

Or you can send your request right to Golden Arrow by using our request form:

Your name:
Your email:
USMC veteran's full name
Approximate dates of service:
Veteran's serial number and date of birth:

Author: Geoff

Geoff Gentilini is the lead researcher at Golden Arrow Research. He specializes in the research of military service records from all branches of the U.S. Military. For help obtaining military service records you can fill out a request form here: Research a Military Service Record

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *