Reservists need to check personnel records online before it's too late

  • Published
  • By Col. Michael T. Fitzhenry
  • 512th Airlift Wing vice commander
For a "seasoned" Air Force member like myself, embracing the electronic era can sometimes feel like a daunting task, especially as more and more programs are migrating online. 

One of the most recent computerized transitions is one that will have a huge impact on your career. Earlier in the year and in line with the rest of the Air Force, our wing's personnel records were transferred to Headquarters Air Reserve Personnel Center in Denver, Colo. There, the hard copy files were scanned and imported into an electronic database, which brings us to the next step I think we should all make sure we do before the deadline. 

On Oct. 21, ARPC is scheduled to destroy all of the hard copy records they've received. This includes your enlisted and officer performance reports and Department of Defense Form 214s (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty). 

These records, previously maintained by the 512th Military Personnel Flight Customer Service section are the property of the Air Force, not the individual. The Air Force directs their management and disposition, and ARPC will not return these records to the base or the member as we have asked. 

It is imperative for you to take the time to review the electronic images of your virtual record online. I'm glad I did; I found one electronic scan that did not offer the best readability. ARPC was very helpful in trying to restore the image online and even mailed a hard copy to my home. Once those hard copy records are gone, they're gone; and, it may become extremely difficult to verify some very important information later in your career such as DD-214s. 

An e-mail was sent out last month by our 512th Mission Support Squadron detailing how to log on and view your records online. Even in this digital age, I'm aware some members may not have daily access to their military e-mail account, so I've included a shortcut to get you there from home or work. 

Be sure to conduct your review from a government computer or use your Common Access Card reader at home to access the secure Automated Record Management System site. 

Log onto the Air Force Personnel Center Secure Web site at or via the AF Portal at

If you have any difficulties with ARMS, consult the 512th MPF at (302) 677-3523. 

After reviewing your records in ARMS notify ARPC with any discrepancies at ARPC.DPO@ARPC.DENVER.AF.MIL or call (800) 525-0102. 

Since I'm an airline pilot, I compare a lot of things to flying. Imagine you are on a B-737 and the oxygen masks drop down. Take care of yourself first and then help those around you. 

Supervisors, over the next couple of unit training assemblies, ensure your Airmen are afforded an opportunity to analyze what's been archived electronically. It could greatly impact an Airman's career. If you fail to view these documents now and are missing legible documents, then expect to spend countless hours trying to locate vital records, so they can reaccomplish a DD-214 or some other document that was not readable online or simply never scanned.