Australian Defence Force (ADF) service records are held in Defence custody to assist in the support of ADF members both during and after their service.
Types of service records
Service records are classified into two categories:
- Personnel records documents relating to an ADF member’s routine administration, career management and training.
- Health records include medical, dental and psychological records. Note, mental health assessments are classified as psychological records pre-2013 and medical records post-2013.
Why request service records
There are some common reasons for requesting service records. The purpose of the request will determine the type of service records that are provided.
- Eulogy details for a funeral or memorial service that reference an ex-member's ADF service.
- Membership to veteran organisations where evidence of ADF service is required.
- Compensation or legal claims where evidence of ADF service and health assessments are required.
- Historical research where details of an ex-member's ADF service is being referenced for family or personal research activity.
- Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran’s Suicide where applicants are seeking access to records related to the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.
Who can request service records
Current members, ex-members and ex-member's family or advocates, can request access to service records.
- Current members are those in active service.
- Ex-members are those who have left active service.
- Immediate family can request service records of a deceased ex-member. Immediate family are the spouse, legal partner, children, parents and siblings of the ex-member at the time of their death.
- Advocates can act on behalf of an ex-member, or their immediate family if the ex-member is deceased. Advocates are a RSL, lawyer, funeral home or other, who are acting with authority.
How to request service records
Those requesting records for the purpose of participation in the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran’s Suicide should use the Royal Commission records request form.
Current members, including Navy and Air Force Reserves, can access their service records by approaching their administering unit. Army Reserves must contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ex-members and their representatives
Ex-members, immediate family and advocates requests service records by completing the Ex-member service record request form.
Ex-member service record requests require two certified proof-of-identity documents for the ex-member and/or their immediate family member. Also required where relevant, is the ex-member's written authorisation, proof of relationship and proof of death.
Timeframes for the completion of service record requests can vary according to the complexity of the request.
Amending service records
Under the conditions of the Privacy Act 1988 and the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 1982 amendments or annotations to service records can be requested where the record is incorrect or incomplete. To request an amendment or annotation, submit an FOI request.
Requesting other types of records
Other types of records are held by independent entities and can be accessed via these contact points.
- Military compensation records are not retained by Defence. For claims made pre-1999 contact National Archives of Australia. For claims made post-1999 contact Department of Veteran's Affairs.
- ADF training records and accreditation can be sought from the relevant registered training organisation:
- ADF recruitment psychological assessment access can be requested via email to email@example.com. This service is only available to Defence Force Recruiting candidates who did not progress to enlistment.