Military personnel records and service computation date


Q. I am concerned about the calculation of my service computation date in two directions.

I was on active duty for about 5½ years and got off active duty in 1971.

That time is easily documented. I later joined the Army Reserve in 1979. After that, I had some periods of active duty, including one about four months long. I didn’t keep documentation. Then in 1981, I entered civil service. I gave them my orders for some of the active-duty time, and they adjusted my SCD to include it.

Many years later, the agency I worked for changed policies for those of us who took military leave. They said orders were no longer good enough; they wanted pay statements too. That made me worry that I might come to the end of my time with civil service and have OPM suddenly demand pay records for my active-duty service between 1979 and 1981. I don’t have pay records. I can’t figure out where to get them.

There is an Army pay center that kept records, and it sent me all of my records. However, it only kept the payments from the Reserve time that don’t count toward the SCD. The active-duty payments came from whatever pay center was near where the active duty was done.

But I can’t find those records. How can I find them? Should I even worry about them? Then, above and beyond that, I have figured out that I shorted myself about three weeks of active-duty time. I don’t even know what the days were, but I can tell by my consolidated Army Retirement Points Accounting System record that I did more active duty between 1979 and 1981 than I got credit for in my SCD. That is really no big deal.

I’m happy to spot the government those days. I’m mostly worried about the bigger chunk of time.

A. Go to, click on Military Personnel Records and follow the directions for getting the information you need.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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