Psychological Injury and Law

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 217–234

Military Service Records: Searching for the Truth


DOI: 10.1007/s12207-011-9114-3

Cite this article as:
Moering, R.G. Psychol. Inj. and Law (2011) 4: 217. doi:10.1007/s12207-011-9114-3


In conducting Compensation and Pension (C&P) examinations, one of the most significant sources of evidence supporting a veteran’s claim for service connection are found in the veteran’s service medical records and service personnel records. Although specific numbers are unknown, a majority of mental health providers who conduct C&P examinations are not veterans and have limited knowledge and understanding of the records they are being asked to review. In cases of an initial posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) examination, the Federal Register requires C&P examiners to determine if the veteran’s claim is consistent with the places, types, and circumstances of the veteran’s service. This article reviews specific data within personnel records to help verify those elements. Additionally, perhaps one of the most difficult types of evaluations faced by any C&P examiner is a PTSD claim for personal assault (e.g., military sexual trauma). This article reviews the types of information within the records to help identify specific “Markers” associated with personal trauma.


PTSDDisability examinationsForensic psychologyThird party informationMilitary psychologyMilitary records

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Compensation & Pension ServiceJames A. Haley VA Medical CenterTampaUSA