Royal Australian Navy beyond 1970

From 1970, the Department of Defence established an electronic system of recording service information. Known as the Naval Personnel Establishment and Management System (NPEMS), the presentation of this service information is quite different to the service cards used up to 1970.

The NPEMS records are in series A12691.

Collection references

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
SeriesNaval Personnel Establishment and Management System (NPEMS)1970–2001A12691

What's in a post-1970 Navy service record?

NPEMS documents contain historical information about the service person including date of birth, next of kin, marital status, address on entry, dependent children, awards and decorations, courses undertaken, leave details, postings and movements.

Access to records

For former serving members

If you are a former serving member, or their next of kin, you can obtain a copy of the record of postwar RAN service from the Defence Archives Centre, phone 1800 333 362 or email:

From the National Archives

The National Archives can provide access to post-1970 Navy service records.

Please be aware that under our legislation, Archives Act 1983, the National Archives may only release records which are in the open access period.

Post-1970 Naval Personnel Establishment and Management System (NPEMS) records are held by the Department of Defence in Canberra. We request records from Defence to answer your inquiry.

Records, if located, will be temporarily transferred to the National Archives' Canberra office. This process may take up to three months.

Once a record has been received by our Canberra office, you may choose to purchase a copy. Copying charges will apply. Alternatively, you may view the record in the Canberra reading room of the National Archives at no cost.

To request a post-1970 Navy service record, please use our general reference inquiry form.

Other contacts


Inquiries about medal entitlements for service in the Australian Defence forces are handled by Defence Honours and Awards. They can be contacted by phone on 1800 333 362. Alternatively, complete the Defence Medals - Online Application.

Pension information and entitlements

Veterans' Affairs Network
Tel: 133 254 or 1800 555 254

Further information

For more information on Navy records see:

You can also browse our other fact sheets on defence, armed services and war.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2019