Personal copies of Military Service Records

Dear EE,

I have just about finished scanning over 600 documents from my Dad's military service. I have found many interesting items. After scanning I have cataloged all the documents. As I start to use them in my writing I am faced with figuring out how to cite them.

I read over the Quick Tip "Citing Military Records–Person-Based and Unit-Based" I am somewhat conflicted as to if my files are Unit-Based or Person-Based. They are my Dad's personal copies of his OMPF (Official Military Personel File) and includes files that were not considered to be part of his OMPF. I am leaning towards Unit-Based because it seems easier to cite. In other words, I am less confused using the Unit-Based method. :). 

I have attached one of the orders I have. There are predominantly two types of orders in the collection, Special and Letter. Each one contains a number and a date. Orders are numbered sequentially beginning with 1 on the first day of the month. Each headquarters/unit that issues orders would keep copies of the orders and in addition to the copy given to the named individuals a copy would be placed in each airmen's, NCO's or officer's OMPF. The issuing official's copies are kept with the unit's files. 

This is my Unit-Based citation.

Headquarters 14th Air Division, Travis AFB, California, Special Orders Number 108, 12 May 1953, no. 11, VOCO (Verbal Orders of Commanding Officer) S/Sgt. John D Gilchrest; The Gilchrest Family Archive, Series 4, subSeries A, Box 1, Folder 11; privately held by Ann C Gilchrest.

If I cite as Person-Based it doesn't make sense to use the term OMPF as what I have are duplicate copies of what is suppose to be in my Dad's OMPF in Saint Louis. Officially Dad's term of service ended 23 June 1977 allowing for the sixty-two-year rule it will be 2039 before the public can request the file. Even though I am eligible to request the files I have not. Which means I don't really know what is in the files in Saint Louis. This makes me hesitant to use the term OMPF.

Questions. Should I be citing layer one as Person-based or Unit-based? Does it matter?
Should I include his service number?

I have filed my Dad's military papers chronologically by assignment. They are not filed by type of record. Do I need to include the name of my series, subseries, and folder? In this case the Series is Military Service. The subSeries A is Gilchrest, John D, the folder is 5th Operational Sq. 5th AB Group Travis AFB California April 1953-November 1954 Folder 11.

Thank you for any input you can provide.

Submitted byEEon Sun, 11/03/2019 - 10:51

Ann, your organization sounds superb. Have you thought of writing an instructive article or small book on organizing family records?

EE would cite the materials using a person-based format given that it is all a family artifact centered upon one person. It's not the same as your obtaining a government-held file from records that are arranged by military units. EE would use his service number because that's essential for differentiating him from other same-name service men, should someone seek other records. EE would not put The Gilchrist Family Archive in italics because it's not a publication.

Thank you.

I have started writing about how I came up with my plan for organizing the family archives on my blog. The first iteration can be found here.  I have done some modifications since I fist posted this and plan to write an update for the blog.

This would be the citation adding the serial number and the names of my Series, subSeries and folder title.

Headquarters 14th Air Division, Travis AFB, California, Special Orders Number 108, 12 May 1953, no. 11, VOCO (Verbal Orders of Commanding Officer) S/Sgt. John D Gilchrest, AF11172908; The Gilchrest Family Archive, Series 4 Military Service, subSeries A Gilchrest, John D, Box 1, Folder 11 5th Operational Sq 5th AB Group Travis Air Force Base, California April 1953-November 1953; privately held by Ann C Gilchrest.

Should there be puncuation between the series number and the title of the series?