GI and G.I. Military Records Searching
How to use GIsearch.com search for Military Searches
When searching for someone in the military, gisearch.com is a great place to begin. Touting itself as “America’s most comprehensive military search,” it appears to live up to its claim.
An easy-to-navigate website that is free to both military and civilians alike, GIsearch is a reputable place to find someone who has served in the past or is currently serving in the military.
Visit gisearch.com to begin your people search for a current or previous member of a branch of the armed services. The main page consists of headings for each branch of the military along with information about the site and useful links. One of these links will take you to an online manual: How to Find Someone Who Is or Isn’t in the Military. This manual alone is worth a trip to the website. Specifically geared for military searching, it provides information relevant to other types of people searches as well.
The site also points out that anyone is welcome to perform a search—military members and civilians alike. Additionally, the home page links to other helpful resources that may be useful to military searching like specific books or other search resources. Registering with GIsearch is free and recommended. The site encourages “memorial” registration for deceased service members and MIAs. The idea is to keep people in touch—and informed. By registering, you allow someone who is searching to find you too.
Registration is very simple. You simply provide your name, age, sex, status (veteran, civilian, active duty, etc…) along with an email address and a user name. For security purposes, the site will send you an email to instate your activation. Also, before your registration is complete, you will have to read and agree to the terms of service. You are also eligible to sign up for a monthly newsletter.
To perform a search, you must choose a heading: Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard. You will then be linked to a locator page. At this point you must choose a method by which to search. For example, if you perform a Navy search, you must choose a place or vessel to begin. The manual outlines two ways to search at this point”
“To find someone at a specific Duty Station, you need to know:
1. The branch of the military that the service member was in. Example: Army, Navy, Marines etc...
2. The state or foreign location or vessel type where the Duty Station is located. Example: South Carolina (for Fort Jackson).
To find someone using the Duty Station Search:
1. You must choose a branch of the military in which the person served.
2. Choose a state or foreign location in which the person served, or if the person served aboard a vessel, choose the type of vessel.
3. Choose the Duty Station on which the person served. An alphabetical listing of Active Duty, Reserve/National Guardsmen’s, spouses and brats will appear for that Duty Station.
4. Choose a name to see detailed information and to make contact. Names will be listed based on the year they were there.
5. If you don't see your friend or love one, take a minute and contact people who were there at the same time. They may have known him or her.”
Of course, before you will be permitted to see the results of your query, you must register. As registration is free and takes a very short amount of time, this should be no trouble.
As you may not recall enough information to perform the above searches, you have an advanced searching feature (located at the bottom of each page of the website) that will allow you to search by name. The name search requests additional information if you know it like hometown, home state, nickname and service status.
The site encourages further options if it cannot help you. If the military person you are searching for cannot be found on the site, the help manual lists alternative sources you might try to locate the person in question. The site is an informative one—its lists of vessels and locations are very easy to navigate. For searching out people in the military, it is a recommended place to begin.
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