Locating active duty military service members can be a real struggle. While retired and separated veterans can be easily located via national archives like the Department of Veterans Affairs, active duty veterans aren’t enrolled in those databases until their contracts end.
Adding to the challenge, addresses and phone numbers tend to change as active duty servicemen and women relocate to new stations every one to two years. Some have security classifications that require them to keep their lives and personal information off of the internet. This makes finding updated contact information a mission of its own.
Luckily, there are other ways to find active duty veterans. Here are several resources you can use to try to locate and get in touch with an active duty member of the armed forces in time for Veterans Day.
Find Military Personnel by calling the Base Locator
Each military base has their own base locator which can be used to find contact information for the personnel stationed there.
To use the base locator you need to know the name of the service member you’re trying to find, as well as their rank and duty station (home base). Dial long distance and ask the phone operator to forward your call to the particular base operator where you think the service member is stationed before asking the operator to connect you with the base locator.
Unless the individual you’re searching for has decided to keep their information private, the base locator should be able to give you their duty phone number and duty address, as well as their home phone and home address. The base operator can provide the location and number of any service member living on that base, unless that person has decided to withhold that information.
In the event that the service member has decided to refrain from sharing their information with the base locator there are alternate methods you can use to find them.
World-Wide Locators for Active Duty Personnel
Each branch of the military has its own world-wide locator. Here are the world-wide locators for each branch along with their policies regarding finding active duty military personnel.
The Air Force World-Wide Locator handles the information of all active-duty Air Force personnel including Air Force reserves, Air National Guard and retired Air Force veterans. Please note that it does not keep the information of prior service Air Force veterans who have separated.
In order to make a request to locate a service member you will need their:
- Full name and middle initial
- Date of birth
- Social Security Number
- Additional information about their duty base or mission, along with pertinent dates and places
There are two types of requests you can make: official and unofficial. Official requests are made on behalf of any governmental agency or the Department of Defense. Unofficial requests can be made by anyone and must be in writing. Unofficial requests also require a check or money order made out to DAO-DE-RAFB for $3.50 in order to be processed.
Requests can be mailed to:
550 C St West Ste 50
Randolph AFB, TX 78150-4752
Request letters must include your forwarding address, name and phone number as well as a return address and proper postage and the individual’s name in the top corner.
If you find the active duty person that you’re looking for, that person will decide if they want to get in touch. The Air Force World-Wide Locator will not give you their information directly, they will forward your letter to the service person in question.
Requests to use the Army’s World-Wide locator are closed to the general public. In order to find an enlisted soldier you will have to write a letter to the Commander of Enlisted Records and Evaluation Center, who evaluates individual requests on a case-to-case basis. (Be advised that at this time there is no universal locator for Army officers). To write the Commander of Enlisted Records you can send your letter to:
U.S. Army Enlisted Records & Evaluation Center
8899 East 56th Street
Fort Benjamin Harrison, IN 46249-5301
You can call or write to the Navy’s World-Wide Locator for the whereabouts of the sailor you’re looking for. There is a processing fee of $3.50 per request that must be made in cash or money order to the US Treasury. For written requests, include the name, rank and all other identifying information, as well as the social security number, date of birth and the last known duty station or whereabouts of the sailor in question. Address your letter to:
Navy World Wide Locator
Navy Personnel Command
5720 Integrity Drive
Millington, TN 38055
Be sure to attach a return envelope with your address and the name of the sailor in the top corner. You can also call the Navy’s World-Wide Locator hotline at:
1-866-827-5672 or 1-901-874-3388, DSN 882-3388.
Requests to the Marine Corps’ World-Wide Locator can be made via a phone call to 1-760-725-5171. There is a $3.50 service charge which must be paid by check or money order to the US Treasury. The Marine Corps will determine whether the request to locate the active duty person will benefit the marine. If your request is denied you can send a written request to the:
Commandant of the Marine Corps
Quantico, VA 22134-5030
Be sure to attach a return envelope with your information and explain the reasons why you need to locate the marine who you are looking for.
Active duty members of the Coast Guard can be located through the Coast Guard’s call center at (202) 493-1697. The Coast Guard’s World-Wide Locator also accept email requests at CGlocator@Ballston.uscg.mil. You can also write them at:
Coast Guard Personnel Command (CGPC-adm-3)
2100 Second St, SW
Washington, DC 20593-0001
Telephone: (202) 267-0581
Be sure to include the name, rank, social security number as well as the date of birth and last known location of the servicemember.
Spokeo’s People Search
If you’re still having trouble, you can search for them using their name using Spokeo’s people search. Our search tools can provide ways to try to get in touch with active duty personnel that don’t require that you know details like their social security number or date of birth.
We recommend you begin by searching the person’s first and last name, then filtering by the last known city and state of residency. Knowing their age and middle initial will help you find the correct listing.
This search may yield a list of the person’s phone numbers, email addresses, and social profiles. If those don’t do the trick, take a look at the list of family members. It’s possible that they can help you get in touch with the serviceperson you’re looking for.
We hope this article has proven useful in your search to find your active-duty service member! If you are or were a member of the armed forces and found another veteran using Spokeo’s search tools, we would love to hear from you. Send your story to: email@example.com