HELENA – The Montana National Guard is advising veterans and those who have served in the military to be cautious about companies charging former military personnel for their records.
Montana’s Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection and the Montana National Guard want to alert veterans regarding the accessibility of military records.
The Office of Consumer Protection and the National Guard were recently made aware of multiple companies who charge fees for military records.
The DD214 is a certificate of release given to those discharged from Active Duty.
Veterans are free to choose how they wish to obtain their records but should be fully educated about their options and know they are never required to pay.
Master Sergeant Amber Cassidy, Montana National Guard’s Retirement Resources NCO-AC stated: “With the accessibility of the internet that’s when they google search or search ‘how do I get my records’ those companies are going to be the first to come up so that’s where they generally go to and unknowingly just click on that and employ these companies to purchase their records which is something they never have to pay for.”
These businesses have claimed to be “expediters” who can speed up the process of acquiring documents.
“Just if you come across that those companies that want to charge you for your record, please just know our services are absolutely free, we would never charge a solider to get their records we even pay their postage if you don’t live in the area, so give us a call; we have one form you have to fill out and we’ll mail you your documents,” Cassidy said.
The Montana National Guard would also like all current service members and veterans to take steps to protect themselves from possible identity theft when requesting documents.
TheU.S. National Archives and Records Administration also has information on how to obtain records.