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Many jobs in the Navy provide schooling and work that can qualify for some college credits.  Servicemembers can check their military transcripts at the Joint Service Transcript website.

There are also opportunities for more school while in the Navy.  Find more at the Navy College Website.

To bolster force protection, the general public is urged not to send unsolicited mail, care packages or donations to service members forward deployed unless you are a family member, loved one or personal friend. Mail from family members and loved ones has always been encouraged and the military mail system will continue to work hard to get that mail to service members overseas.

There are many well meaning Web sites, TV stations, and charity groups that are promoting donations to overseas service members. While well intentioned, you should not use them and you should discourage others from using them. These unsolicited letters of support or care packages to service members raise a force protection issue, since anonymous donors are different from legitimate family members and friends. DoD has cancelled mail programs which encouraged the American public in general to mail to "Any Service Member" (versus a specific deployed person). These new programs attempt to do the same thing by gathering names of service members to send mail. While legitimate mail from family members and loved ones is always encouraged, these donor programs, which collect and pass out service members� names and addresses, is discouraged.

On Oct. 30, 2002, the Department of Defense (DoD) suspended the "Operation Dear Abby" and "Any Servicemember" traditional mail programs due to force protection concerns. The Department of the Navy and the DoD cannot support creative and well-intentioned efforts that defeat force protection measures.

There are rules and regulations regarding the use of photographs seen on Navy websites and social media accounts.  Find out more by visiting the Defense Imagery Management Operations Center.

While there is no office dedicated to assisting with geneaology requests, the following sites may provide helpful information for family searches:

bullet Copies of personnel records, getting
bullet Family members - where they served
bullet Finding someone (active duty or retired)
bullet Histories of Ships
bullet National Gravesite Locator
bullet Rosters, ships'

The U.S. Navy sponsors a Distinguished Visitors Program to increase awareness of the Navy's mission and highlight the tremendous service of our people. Because opportunities for civilian embarkations on Navy ships and submarines underway are extremely limited, people considered for this program are selected based on their ability to share their experience with the largest possible audience. Embarkations of journalists, community leaders or celebrities that gain mass media exposure greatly assist our recruiting and educational efforts by allowing thousands to share in the experience. These individuals, in turn, make positive contributions to the public understanding of the roles and missions of the Navy by having their experience promoted through various media outlets.
However, the Navy also sponsors limited in-port tours of our ships and submarines for the general public. Those wishing to tour a ship in port should contact the nearest Navy base for information as to which ships are open for visiting and at what times.
Currently, all ship visits have been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The American Red Cross provides an avenue by which the immediate family members of military personnel can communicate to the Sailor following the death or serious illness of a family member, the birth of a child or in other family emergencies. The Red Cross has the ability to send messages quickly, anywhere in the world, including ships at sea, embassies and isolated military units. Also, active duty military personnel can use the Red Cross system.

Members of the service member's immediate family or active duty military personnel stationed in the U.S. can call the Armed Forces Emergency Service Center for help seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The toll-free telephone number is available through base/installation operators and from local on-base Red Cross stations.

Also, family members, members of the National Guard and Reserves, retirees and civilians may contact the Red Cross via their web site: American Red Cross.

Important: When calling the Red Cross to send an emergency message to a family member, please have the following information ready:

  • Service Member's Full Name
  • Rank/Rating
  • Branch of Service
  • Social Security Number
  • Military Address Where Deployed
  • Home Base Unit

The American Red Cross also provides 24-hour emergency communication services to military personnel overseas. Overseas personnel stationed at military installations can access Red Cross services by calling base/installation operators or on-base Red Cross stations. Navy personnel aboard ships deployed should contact the ship's Chaplain's office.

Active duty:

The Navy's World Wide Locator is a service established to find the present duty station of active duty personnel, and is for official business use only. Family members, active duty personnel and Navy retirees may also use this system. To do so, you must have the service member's full name, Social Security number, grade or rank, and, if possible, last known duty station.

Write to:

Navy World Wide Locator
BUPERS-07 Customer Service Center
5720 Integrity Drive
Millington, TN 38055-3120

Retirees and those who have left the Navy but are not retired:

The Navy does not keep track of anyone once they've left the Navy. Individuals may serve an initial obligation of a certain number of years and then be discharged, or they may remain for more than one tour and then be discharged, or they may remain until eligible to transfer to the Fleet Reserve or to retire. To locate retirees, limited service is available through the World Wide Locator (address above). Correspondence will be forwarded, if possible, to the retiree since individuals' addresses are not releasable by law under the Privacy Act. Also, many times the address is not known.

For those individuals who left the Navy prior to being eligible for retirement or transfer to the Fleet Reserve, there is no formal way of trying to locate them. You may try the last place they called home and see if there are any records with either that local government or in the local newspaper's files, or you may just place an advertisement in any of the many veterans' organizations magazines.

Want to learn more about joining the Navy?  Visit or call (877) 746-0503 to speak with a recruiter.

Veterans are entitled to one replacement set of their medals. The Standard Form (SF 180)Request Pertaining to Military Records.
It is recommended for requesting medals and awards. Provide as much information as possible and send the form to:

National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100

To obtain information about unit awards earned, please check the Navy Awards web site at

For uniform items and Navy Exchange locations, visit for more information.


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