The vast majority of military records and military unit records are held in original paper form and/or on microfilm or fiche. Meanwhile, although a small percentage of the total, a large body of digitized material is available and easily accessible onllne. These are rich in research value and immediate opportunity.
Here is a list of excellent resources to help you begin your research project. Thanks to so many archives, institutions, and agencies across the country, especially our armed services, National Archives, and services such as Google Books and Internet Archive, just about all these resources are easily accessible at no cost to you. Some key historical record sets are made conveniently accessible online for a fee by Ancestry.com and Fold3.com.
I will be constantly adding new sections and links. So please check-in often!
National Personnel Records Center (NPRC): Military Personnel Records
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA): Research Military Records
Read NPRC Fire: A Study in Disaster by Walter W. Stender and Evans Walker to learn how first responders coped with the tragic Fire of 1973, as well as how immediate decisions taken by NPRC management and staff, together with cooperation among many agencies, ensured the salvage and preservation of millions of historic military service records.
HISTORICAL RESOURCES BY BRANCH OF SERVICE
U.S. Army: U.S. Army Center of Military History
U.S. Army Medical Department, Office of Medical History: Army Nurse Corps History
U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps: Bluejacket.com, Index of Navy and Marine Corps Resources
Naval History and Heritage Command: Nurses in the U.S. Navy: Bibliography and Sources
U.S. Air Force: U.S. Air Force History Index
U.S. Coast Guard: SemperPeratus.com, U.S. Coast Guard History and Images
U.S. Merchant Marine: American Merchant Marine at War
ONLINE SERVICES (free)
ONLINE SERVICE ($)
Featured image sources:
Project Photos. Clark Construction Group, LLC, Bethesda, Maryland. Digital images. Clark Construction. https://www.clarkconstruction.com/sites/default/files/styles/project_photos/public/project_photos/National%20Archives%20II_2_Carousel.jpg?itok=tgK1Rl1K : 2016; carousel shelving, Archives II Complex, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Online Portfolio. The Kirlin Group, Rockville, Maryland. Digital images. Kirlin. http://www.jjkllc.com/laboratory/archives-2.html : 2015; Archives II Complex, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.