What is a FOIA Request?

A FOIA request is a written request for Department of Defense records, made by "any person", enforceable in court, including a member of the public (U.S. or Foreign citizen), an organization, or a business to obtain access to federal agency records.  Requests may also be made through an attorney or other representative on behalf of "any person", to obtain access to federal agency records, except to the extent that such records (or portions of them) are protected from disclosure by one of nine exemptions or by one of three special law enforcement record exclusions.

To submit a FOIA request:
A written request for Army records that reasonably describes the record(s) sought, that either explicitly or implicitly invokes the FOIA.  Generally, a record is reasonably described when the description contains sufficient file related information (type of document, title, subject area, date of creation, originator, etc.); or the request contains enough event-related information (date and circumstances surrounding the event the record covers) to permit the conduct of an organized, nonrandom search.

All requesters should also indicate a willingness to pay fees associated with the processing of their request (up to a particular dollar amount).  Requesters may ask for a waiver of fees, but should also express a willingness to pay fees in the event of a waiver denial.  32 CFR Part 518, section 518.19, general provisions, paragraph 518.19d(2)(iii), fee waivers, responsive records will either contribute to an understanding of the subject by the general public is likely to result from disclosure that will inform, or have the potential to inform the public, rather than simply the individual requester or small segment of interested persons.  Requesters should describe their qualifications, the nature of their research, the purpose of the requested information, and their intended means of dissemination to the public.

Written requests may be received by postal service or other commercial delivery means, by facsimile, or electronically (such as e-mail).  Requests received by facsimile or electronically must have a postal mailing address included since it may not be practical to provide a substantive response electronically.

IAW 32 CFR Part 518.5b, Soldiers and civilian employees of the Department of the Army (DA) may, as private citizens, request DA or other agencies' records under the FOIA.  They must prepare requests at their own expense and on their own time.  They may not use Government equipment, supplies, or postage to prepare personal FOIA requests.

View / print the FOIA Request Letter SAMPLE.

Submit FOIA Request to:

Please contact our office if you have questions about FOIA or the Privacy Act.