2. Once you are on the National Archives homepage, there will be a site menu on the left hand side. Move down this list until you see the ‘Research & Order’ heading. It will be below both the ‘What We Do’ and ‘Explore & Interact headings.
3. Once you have found the ‘Research & Order’ heading, go to the first link, which will be titled ‘Start Your Research’. This will be the link that takes you to the resources page.
4. On the resources page, you will need to go about mid-way down the middle of the page (NOT on the side menu) until you reach the ‘Online Research Tools’ heading.
5. Under this heading will be multiple links to different pages on Archives.gov to help you with your research. The link you want, to get into the AAD, will be the second one down labeled ‘Access to Archival Databases (AAD)’.
6. On this page, you will have the option of entering a search term or browsing by a specific category. To look up military casualty records, you will want to browse the ‘Casualties’ category, which will be listed underneath the ‘Genealogy/Personal History’ heading.
7. Once in the ‘Casualties’ category, you can choose from the types of specific records that you would like to search. Off to the side will be a number representing how many records are contained within each particular database.
8. When you find a database that you would like to search through, select the ‘Search’ button.
9. From there, you will be taken to a page that lets you know what you will find in that particular database. If it sounds like the database contains the type of records you are looking for, you can continue by pressing ‘Search’. Otherwise, hit your back button on your browser and choose a different database.
10. When you find the database you are looking for, you can search that database by certain criteria. The databases that contain records of military casualties will have the following search options: Military service branch, name of casualty, service number, date died or declared dead, home of record - city, town, county, home of record - state, birth date year, and race. You can search by one, a few, or all of these options.
11. You will receive a list of records within the database that match up with your search criteria.
12. To the left of the ’military service branch’ column, there will be another column with paper-shaped icons. When you find a record that you want to see, you will select this paper-shaped icon next to the military service branch.
13. You will then be taken to that person’s record. Only the next-of-kin or someone with permission from the next-of-kin will be able to view full records, but this public online version will give you a good amount of general information. Such information may include: the person’s military service branch, the country of casualty, the casualty group, the file reference number, the name of casualty, the processing date, the person’s service number, the person’s military grade or rank, their pay grade, the date died or declared dead, their service component, their home of record - city/town/county, their home of record - state, their birth date year, month, and/or day, the cause of casualty, whether it was a air or non-air casualty, their race, their gender, their citizenship, and the last record indicator.
Remember, the more focused your search criteria, the more focused your search results will be. This will save you a lot of time and effort if you are looking for one particular record. There are many, many databases to choose from within the AAD before you can even input your search criteria. Therefore, the more you know about the record or records that you are looking for, the easier the research process will be for you.