The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a Federal Law that establishes the public's right to request existing records from federal government agencies. The FOIA provides for prompt, maximum release of DoD records to the public unless such requested records are specifically exempt from mandatory public disclosure under the FOIA. Only the Secretary of the Army or Air Force and the Initial Denial Authorities (IDAs) may deny a request for records.
The Privacy Act of 1974, establishes a Code of Fair Information Practice that governs the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of personally identifiable information about individuals that is maintained in systems of records by federal agencies. A system of records is a group of records under the control of an agency from which information is retrieved by the name of the individual or by some identifier assigned to the individual. The Privacy Act requires that agencies give the public notice of their systems of records by publication in the Federal Register. The Privacy Act prohibits the disclosure of information from a system of records absent the written consent of the subject individual, unless the disclosure is pursuant to one of twelve statutory exceptions. The Act also provides individuals with a means by which to seek access to and amendment of their records, and sets forth various agency record-keeping requirements.
How to submit a FOIA request
Freedom of Information Act requests must be submitted in writing to the FOIA Office. Label your request "Freedom of Information Act Request" within the request letter and on the envelope, and address the request to the military command or installation likely to have the information you seek. Requests to this installation should be addressed as follows:
If you do not know the location of the information you are seeking, you may contact the Department of the Army Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts Office, 7701 Telegraph Road, Alexandria, VA 22315-3905, phone (703) 428-6508.
View the Department Of Defense (DoD) Freedom of Information Act Handbook.
View the Army's Freedom of Information / Privacy website.