Soldiers relocate quite a bit and it can be easy to lose track of their contact information. Luckily there are vast amounts of ways to be your own detective. The Internet, government agencies and mutual friends can all help in your search. Although privacy laws prevent the military from telling anyone the last known address of their personnel, there are several good avenues available to help you locate a soldier.
Write a Letter
Write a letter to the soldier you are looking for and place it in a sealed envelope. Be sure to write your return name and address on the envelope and place a stamp on it.
Army.com recommends sending a letter to the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis MO asking for assistance locating a soldier. In the letter you should provide all of the personal information you have available, such as the soldier's name, date of birth, branch of military and rank. If you have their Social Security number or serial number that will also help.
Place your soldier's letter, which is in a sealed envelope, and the letter requesting location assistance inside of one envelope. Address it to National Personnel Records Center, 9700 Page Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63132-5200
The Internet may provide a faster response and luckily there are many websites, forums and chat rooms available. Go to these websites and post comments letting others know who you are looking for. Organizations such as Military Connections, Army.com and VetFriends are among the many sites that also offer a free buddy search. You may not get their mailing address this way but you have a good chance of finding their email address.
Every base has a locator office, so if you think you know the last military base where the soldier was located you can also try contacting the office for assistance.
- Try a word-of-mouth approach. Put the word out among all of your friends--this helps more often than you may think. Be sure to have an email address that you don't mind posting on the internet. This way, someone can pass it along to the soldier you are looking for.
- Be sure to protect your own privacy during the search as much as possible and be prepared for a long wait from any government agency you go to for help.