- SF-180 Form. As with copies of any service record, begin with the SF-180 form and request a copy of your veteran’s full service record. There are Freedom of Information Act stipulations but any court martial procedure will be referenced in the service file, and often you will find full copies of the relevant documents. Remember not all service file records are available due to the 1973 Fire.
- Attorney. If you are the subject, next of kin, or Power of Attorney, the attorney who tried the case will also have a copy of the court martial records. This resource is often forgotten.
- JAG Index. The Judge Advocate General office created an index of court martial cases (1891-1939; not comprehensive) for a quick lookup of veteran by name. You will need to have qualifying information: name, birth, service number (helps), and timeframe.
Court Martial cases are part of Record Group (RG) 153.2.3. Know that JAG no longer holds any records, but the Index is available at the National Archives (see below). Record Group 153.2.3 are textural records (not microfilmed). Here is an overview of its contents based on the archives.gov website: Office of the Judge Advocate General.
- Copies of records of general courts-martial and courts of inquiry, 1808-1815
- Registers of court-martial cases, 1809-90
- Case files of general courts-martial, courts of inquiry, and military commissions,1809-1939
- Index, 1891-1917 of general court martial, and courts inquiry
- Case files lost during the Civil War (later recovered by the Judge Advocate General) 1861-65
- General courts-martial case number ledgers (1918-50) and offense ledgers (1917-50)
- Ledger of general courts-martial convictions in the American Expeditionary Forces, 1917-19
- Applications for and correspondence regarding clemency for prisoners sentenced by general courts-martial to the U.S. Military Prison at Fort Leavenworth, KS, 1887-89. Clemency orders issued by the Assistant Secretary of War, 1894-97.
Court Martial Records are filed by date and then alphabetized by veteran name. If the file you are searching cannot be located in the veteran’s service file record using the SF-180 form, you may locate the originals at these National Archive repositories: