Preserving Military Career Documentation
Proof of military service and events that happened during your career can have many uses throughout the rest of your life. From qualifying for jobs with military-related requirements to seeking medical assistance, your service record, medical record and dental record can be powerful allies--or a devastating loss in the event of theft, a fire or other disasters. Before sending your records away for government storage or putting them in the attic, consider a few reasons for keeping a reliable document storage backup.
Some Jobs Require Your Past Military Information
There are many jobs that seek to hire veterans as a patriotic gesture, but there are many cases where your unique military experience has a few specific applications.
Some techniques and career paths are limited to the military, or at least the federal and state government at large. Working with specific communications equipment, vehicles or substances that are restricted to government use may call for your government expertise.
In some cases the information may be restricted for national security. Even if your skill set isn't particularly secret, your level of training and talent may regarded as a refined asset that only certain personnel are allowed to have. In other cases, there may be specific equipment that is only used in the military due to very limited applications. It may not be secret and there may be similar civilian technology, but there may be a need for that specific information that you could fill rather than spending time to train new workers.
To prove your knowledge of niche information--especially when secrecy is involved--you'll need to have documentation of your military career. Your service record contains a listing of relevant, official training that can prove that you're authorized to work with certain systems or perform certain tasks.
Although many training schools may have a list of previous trainees, it can be difficult for government-authorized civilian companies to dig through rosters just to find your information. In the hectic world of military organization (or a lack of organization) your old training program may have been have been closed, changed, added to another program or the information lost in old boxes of paperwork.
Protect Documents From The Mistakes Of Others And Yourself
The last example about losing your documentation from training programs is a good example of what could happen to your paperwork. While in the military, your documentation may be handled by administrative personnel from the lowest ranks fresh out of high school to seasoned administrators with years of experience--and all levels of competence or complacency in between.
This means that your information can be lost while moving the information to new areas, reorganization with a new change of command or simple misplacement due to a new person in the office. After the military there can be similar issues as veteran administrative personnel handle paperwork in organizations such as the Department of Veterans Affairs or relevant areas of the National Archives.
Accidents can happen with the paperwork in your possession, too. Clutter can build on top of the records, moving to a new home can put the records in an unknown box, or you may lose some of the paperwork during an interview or medical visit. Instead of risking it all on a single set of records, visit a document specialist to make copies.
Once you have copies, you can send your records to the National Archives, keep a copy yourself and place another copy in a civilian document storage solution. Contact a document specialist to begin your document backup plan.