What do Jimi Hendrix and George Patton have in common? They were military veterans whose personnel records will soon be available for public viewing in a large new facility.
The National Archives is opening its National Personnel Records Center on Saturday in St. Louis. The facility can store 2.3 million cubic feet of the government’s military and civilian employee personnel records. It already possesses more than 100 million official military and civilian personnel files for veterans and former federal workers who left government work before 1973.
The building contains state-of-the-art preservation laboratories, two public research rooms and other meeting space. Visitors may request to review old personnel files or get copies of their own.
Ahead of Saturday’s opening, agency officials plan to put several famous military records on display. Reporters will be able to see the files of Jackie Robinson (who served as an Army second lieutenant), Elvis Presley (who served with the Army in the late 1950s), Jimi Hendrix (who was discharged by the Army after one year for, among other things, sleeping on the job), Army Gen. George S. Patton, author and poet Jack Kerouac (who served just 10 months with the Navy), and “Roots” author Alex Haley (who served with the Coast Guard for 20 years).
Learn more about the Personnel Records Center — including how to obtain copies of military or civilian personnel records, here.
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