Military service is an important part of the African American experience. From the Revolutionary War through today's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, African Americans have distinguished themselves in the service of the United States—in all branches of the military. Military Records includes three collections:
- World War I Draft Registrations— America entered World War I on April 6, 1917. Out of the total 24 million U.S. draft registrations from 1917 and 1918, nearly 2,000,000 records—representing African Americans registrations—are available here.
- World War II Draft Registrations — The so-called 'old man's registration' of 1942, this is the only one of seven World War II draft registrations currently available to the public. (Privacy laws determine when records are made public.) The men included in this registration were between the ages of 45 and 64, and although required to register, were deemed too old to serve.
WWII Record Availability— Records for the following states (and Puerto Rico) are complete.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- Puerto Rico
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
WWII Record Availability— Records for the following states are incomplete.
- New York
WWII Record Availability— The vast majority of records for the following states were destroyed by fire and are therefore unavailable.
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- U.S. Colored Troops Service Records — The compiled records of volunteer Union soldiers who served with the United States Colored Troops from 1861–1865.
Select either Draft Registration (Image 1 below) or Service (Image 2 below) from the drop-down menu to access the search page.
Image 1: Draft Registration Records Search
Image 2: Service Records Search