How to Verify Military Service
Claiming military service is an easy way to try to get benefits, discounts, and other perks. Many will simply take a person's word on their military service and issue the appropriate discount. In some industries, such as real estate or employment, the claim of military service must be verified. Here's how you can do it.
1. Request an Official Record.
You can obtain the dates of service, a person's rank, and even their duty assignments and status just be officially requesting them. This request is made through the National Archives and is available through the Freedom of Information Act. Make sure to include the reason why the information is necessary. National Guard records can be obtained through the National Personnel Records Center.
2. Ask for Their Class Number.
Smart folks know that there are some bits of information that are classified, even from public information requests. They'll claim to be a Navy Seal or an undercover operative. Every Navy Seal is issued a class number, so just ask the person for this information. It's a treasured number and will be instantly repeated. If not, then you've just verified that they probably didn't serve.
3. International Service Can Also be Verified.
Several nations keep thorough rolls of their military service members that have information that is sent with a simple request. Just contact the nation's version of the US National Archives, state the reason for verification, and then wait for the answer. Most records date back to World War II.
4. Check the POW Network.
One of the more unique claims of military service is that someone was a prisoner of war and that their records may have been wiped clean for political purposes. There is an independent database keeps track of the POWs that were known from wars since Vietnam called the POW Network. It lists all those who were declared MIA or POW since 1952. Finding military service information can be difficult at times not because of classified materials, but because of fake claims. These options will help you be able to sort out the facts from the fiction.
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