Several people have asked me if you can get Vietnam era compiled service records. The answer is no unless you are the veteran. If the veteran is deceased then the surviving spouse or child can get the records. When my dad died in 2004 I was able to get his entire military service record. The Air Force also sent all of my dad’s medals and ribbons which was a nice surprise and very much appreciated. I got a real kick out of reading my dad’s yearly evaluations. He had a bit of an attitude. If you knew my dad you wouldn’t be a bit surprised that his commanding officers mentioned it a time or two. He had a hot temper and liked to get into fights. He also didn’t like people telling him what to do. Even so, he was good at his job and made it to the rank of Senior Master Sergeant by the time he retired. Not bad considering he got busted a couple of times.
The National Archives at St. Louis has all the information you need to request "non-archival" records. The records are archived when it has been 62 years since the person's discharge date. At that time they become public record.
There is some Vietnam era (and later) information that has been publicly released such as causality lists, POW/MIA lists, and lists of people who received military awards and honors.
There is one other thing you need to be aware of. On 12 July 1973 there was a fire at the National Personnel Records Center which destroyed millions of military personnel files. Read more information about that disastrous event. Luckily, my dad's file was still intact.
Michele Simmons Lewis, CG® is part of the Legacy Family Tree team at MyHeritage. She handles the enhancement suggestions that come in from our users as well as writing for Legacy News. You can usually find her hanging out on the Legacy User Group Facebook page answering questions and posting tips.