DoD Knowledge Base: FAQs

FAQsRecently Submitted FAQs
 I would like to receive information regarding the Mentor-Protege Program.
 For information on the Department of Defense Mentor-Protege Program, please visit the Office of Small Business Programs at:
 Published Date: 08/27/2002  | Updated Date: 08/19/2014
 I would like to be an intern for the DoD. How do I apply?

Thank you for your interest in working for DoD. Interns make a valuable contribution to our work at DoD. For information on internship opportunities we recommend that you view the guidelines for "student employment programs" and the "unsalaried internship program" at:

You can also check and for additional internship opportunities within the federal government.

 Published Date: 07/31/2002  | Updated Date: 07/25/2014
 Where can I find information on the Defense Environmental Restoration Program?
 To view the Defense Environmental Restoration Program click here
 Published Date: 06/23/2002  | Updated Date: 08/20/2014

How do I submit an idea or proposal useful to the Pentagon?


We have offices within the Department of Defense (DoD) that can evaluate your invention or idea and offer guidance on submitting your proposal. Each office within DoD and the Military Departments are responsible for soliciting and evaluating proposals in areas important to their particular defense mission.  

To assist you, we've listed mailing addresses and web sites of offices where information may be obtained.

U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development & Engineering Center
10 General Greene Avenue
Natick, MA  01760
Web site:

Office of Naval Research
One Liberty Center
875 N. Randolph Street, Suite 1425
Arlington, VA  22203-1995
Web site:

Air Force Office of Scientific Research
875 N. Randolph Street, Suite 325
Arlington, VA  22203
Web site:

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
675 North Randolph Street
Arlington, VA  22203-2114
Web site:


 Published Date: 05/29/2002  | Updated Date: 11/15/2017
 What is a APO and FPO address that is needed to mail a package to the troops?

APO stands for "Army Post Office," and is associated with Army or Air Force installations. FPO stands for "Fleet Post Office," and is associated with Navy installations and ships. DPO stands for "Diplomatic Post Office" and is associated with U.S. embassies overseas. The only way to send an item to an APO, FPO, or DPO address is to use the United States Postal Service.

Shipments to APO/FPO/DPO addresses also require some additional customs paperwork to be filled out by the shipper. For a complete list of requirements and restrictions for a particular APO/FPO/DPO zip code, please enter the zip code into our online validator (located in the middle of the left hand margin on every page on If your product is small enough (a patch or sticker, for example), you can probably use a regular letter envelope and avoid filling out the required customs forms.

All Military Post Offices (MPOs) have restrictions on items that can be sent using the APO/FPO/DPO system. While there are several "rules of thumb" that can be referred to, individual APO/FPO/DPO zip codes have restrictions that are specific to the overseas location they serve. These zip codes are now available in an online database that can be searched quickly and easily to verify any and all restrictions to overseas military bases, posts and camps. To access the database, go to:

Military Postal Service Agency (for APO/ FPO questions) call: 1-800-810-6098

Here are some general tips about what you can send: Please make sure all items are small and lightweight. Large, heavy items (for example, family size bottles of shampoo) are impractical to ship. Do not send pressurized items (e.g., shaving cream). Do not send chocolate because it may melt all over the package.

For United States Postal Service package tips, visit:

 Published Date: 06/23/2005  | Updated Date: 09/04/2014
 Where can I find information on Pentagon parking?

We suggest that you contact the Pentagon Parking Management Branch (PMB). The PMB office administers and manages the Pentagon Reservation parking program. The Pentagon Reservation Parking lots are controlled and enforced to identify all vehicles parked on the Reservation. Security concerns mandate that all individuals along with their vehicle license numbers must be identified while parked on the Reservation. For further information you can visit their website at: They may be contacted at (703) 697-6251.

 Published Date: 07/08/2002  | Updated Date: 08/21/2014
 Where can I find information on the National Security Education Program?
 To view information about the National Security Education Program click here.
 Published Date: 06/28/2002  | Updated Date: 08/20/2014

I have a project that I'm working on and wanted to know if I needed permission to use photos from the DoD?


Department of Defense photographs and imagery, unless otherwise noted, are in the public domain.  They are available for use, subject to specific guidelines.

Policy on the use of photographs and imagery containing military persons, places, and things, regardless of its origin, for commercial advertisement, marketing, promotion, solicitation, or fundraising purposes is found at:

For current guidelines on using DoD photographs and images, and limitations for public and commercial use, please visit the Defense Imagery Management Operations Center's web site:


 Published Date: 06/25/2002  | Updated Date: 02/02/2017
 What are the procedures for attending the Memorial Day ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery?
 If the President attends, as he often has, security is tight, and general attendance is strictly on a "first come, first served" basis, with persons advised to be in line several hours ahead of time for security screening. You may also find it helpful to visit the website for the cemetery at:
 Published Date: 01/24/2007  | Updated Date: 08/20/2014
 We are having an auction at our organization to help raise money for a worthy cause and would love to have a donation from the Department of Defense. Can you help?
 We regret to say that the Secretary of Defense may not provide an item for auction. Rules and regulations governing the conduct of the Department of Defense employees prohibit the use of our names--including the Secretary of Defense--on any collectible item. This policy, which is government-wide, simply reflects the practical limitations on the U.S. Government's ability to extend official support to every local, regional, national, or international charity. It carries no direct or indirect judgment on the worthiness of those charities or your event.
 Published Date: 05/29/2002  | Updated Date: 08/10/2015
 How do I find a copy of the Manual for Courts Martial?
 To view the Manual for Courts Martial (MCM) click here
 Published Date: 06/20/2002  | Updated Date: 08/19/2014

How can I send a care package to a service member?


The Department of Defense (DoD) has curtailed direct support of care package and holiday mail programs by which the public could mail cards, letters, and packages to a central address and have them distributed overseas.

Those wishing to send materials to Service Members can do so by contacting any of the various non-DoD Military Service organizations who still do this work.  One example would be the American Red Cross, which has a Holiday for Heroes program run by their local state chapters.  Their website is:   Other organizations are listed on our DoD Resources page under Community Resources:

The appearance of links to external information does not constitute sponsorship, endorsement, or verification of accuracy by the DoD of the linked websites, or the information, products or services contained therein. 

 Published Date: 06/18/2002  | Updated Date: 11/12/2015
 Where can I find the latest available speeches by the Secretary of Defense?
 To view speeches by the Secretary of Defense and other senior Defense officials, click here.
 Published Date: 06/20/2002  | Updated Date: 09/03/2014

May I have permission to use Defense Department and/or Military Service Seals?


The Defense Department and Military Seals are protected by law and reserved for official use only. Under U.S. Code Title 18, Section 506, unauthorized use of the Seals may include, but is not limited to commercial, marketing, advertising or promotion use by any non-government entity and is punishable.

Military Services have provided alternatives to their Seals for commercial purposes. They include logos or coat of arms. Permission to use any of these emblems but be made to the respective services. There is no such substitute for the Defense Department Seal.

Please visit the following link regarding the use of military seals and trademarks:

For general information on other limitations for public use, please visit the Defense Imagery Management Operations Center (DIMOC) web site at:

 Published Date: 06/25/2002  | Updated Date: 08/24/2016

Where can I find information on missing military personnel and those who were prisoners of war?




The Department of Defense has an organization that handles all issues relating to missing personnel and prisoners of war. You can get information on the Defense Prisoner of War and Missing Personnel Office and its activities at its web site located at

 Published Date: 09/21/2007  | Updated Date: 08/05/2014
 Where can I find sources that will help my family and I adjust to joining/leaving the military?

A great resource for military personnel and their families is Military OneSource. Whether it is help with child care, personal finances, emotional support during deployments, relocation information, or resources needed for special circumstances, Military OneSource is there for military personnel and their families 24/7/365 at or over the phone at 1-800-342-9647.

 Published Date: 07/22/2008  | Updated Date: 08/01/2014
 How may I get help in obtaining court-ordered child support or alimony from someone working for, or in the military?
 Here is the Defense Finance and Accounting Services web page pertaining to garnishment for child support, or alimony.
 Published Date: 05/29/2002  | Updated Date: 08/21/2015
 Does the US Department of Defense actively recruit on college campuses?

Yes. The Department of Defense does recruit at colleges and universities. For more information on DoD recruitment, please contact the Recruitment Assistance Division of the Civilian Personnel Management Service at: or call 1-888-DOD-4USA

 Published Date: 08/20/2007  | Updated Date: 08/19/2014
 How do I register with the Selective Service?
 We recommend that you visit the Selective Service website to apply. That service is not part of the Defense Department.
 Published Date: 07/08/2002  | Updated Date: 07/30/2014
 How do I find out about JROTC programs?

The Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) program prepares high school students for leadership roles while making them aware of their rights, responsibilities, and privileges as American citizens. It is a stimuli for promoting graduation from high school and it provides instruction and rewarding opportunities which will benefit the student, community, and nation. JROTC teaches young men and women the kind of self discipline, self-confidence, and leadership skills that can help them successfully meet the challenges of adulthood. This program is conducted at accredited secondary schools throughout the nation, by instructors who are retired Navy, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard officers and enlisted personnel.

The JROTC curriculum emphasizes citizenship, character development, leadership development and community service. Education classes introduce cadets to the elements of Leadership, Drill instruction and ceremonies, military customs, Uniform Inspections, Physical Fitness Training, Marksmanship, and Military history. Classroom instruction is augmented throughout the year by community service activities, drill competition, field trips, marksmanship training, and other extra-curricular activities. Cadets are required to participate in civic service, wear a uniform and dress up at least twice a month. Uniforms, textbooks, training aids, and a substantial portion of instructors' salaries are provided by the Military. The programs, run through the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines, are taught as elective courses at more than 3,000 high schools nationwide.

JROTC Branches:

U.S. Army JROTC Program Headquarters
U.S. Army Cadet Command
Attention: ATCC-JR-IM (Instr Mgt)
Fort Monroe, VA 23651-5000
Phone: 800-347-6641

U.S. Air Force JROTC Program Headquarters
551 East Maxwell Blvd.
Maxwell AFB, AL 36112-6106
Phone: 334-953-5300 or 5275

Naval Service Training Command
NJROTC Program
250 Dallas Street, Ste. A
Pensacola, FL 32508-5268
Phone: 877-253-7122 option 1

U.S. Marine Corps
Commanding General
1019 Elliot Road
Quantico, VA 22134-5001
Phone: 703-784-3706

 Published Date: 04/15/2005  | Updated Date: 09/10/2014
 I have a meeting at the Pentagon. Can I get a map of the Pentagon with the room numbers?
 Due to security measures, we do not provide a map of the Pentagon for public domain. Usually a visitor will be given a contact number of the person that you are meeting with and/ or their assistant. That office will provide an escort who will come down and meet you after you have gone through the various security procedures. A visitor can only walk around the Pentagon with a Temporary ID card (date stamped that day) and escort only. For further assistance, you will have to contact the person that you are meeting with or their office. You can call the Pentagon Operator at 703-545-6700 if you lost the number of the person that you are supposed to meet with.
 Published Date: 02/11/2005  | Updated Date: 07/29/2014
 Do you have information on depleted uranium on your web site?

Dear Correspondent:

Yes, you may review information on depleted uranium at the following link:

Army Fact Sheet on Depleted Uranium (

 Published Date: 08/11/2004  | Updated Date: 07/29/2014
 Is there a Military Code of Ethics?
 Yes, the Military Code of Ethics can be found in Department of Defense Regulations 5500.7-R. Chapter 2 specifics the codes of conduct. You may view this regulation at the following web page, .
 Published Date: 02/11/2005  | Updated Date: 07/25/2014
 Where can I find information on the Nuclear Posture Review?
 For further information on the Nuclear Posture Review, please click here. This is an unclassified overview of the classified Nuclear Posture Review.
 Published Date: 06/28/2002  | Updated Date: 07/14/2015
 Where can I find the Military Family Resource Center?
 Please visit Military OneSource at:
 Published Date: 06/23/2002  | Updated Date: 07/25/2014
 Is the National Archives and Records Administration destroying military personnel files?
 The National Archives and Records Administration preserves and protects the files because they are permanently valuable records that document the essential evidence of military service for veterans.
 Published Date: 10/01/2004  | Updated Date: 07/25/2014
 How do I find information on the casualties the U.S. has suffered in the war?

For news releases on recent U.S. military casualties from current U.S. operations, please visit:

For statistical information on recent U.S. military casualties, please visit:

 Published Date: 06/21/2002  | Updated Date: 07/25/2014
 I am retired military and did not receive my Form 1099R for my taxes. How can I obtain a form 1099R so I can file my tax return?
Retirees who did not receive their 1099-R, have questions about their 1099-R form or need to update their mailing address may contact: Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) by phone at 1-800-321-1080 Monday-Friday 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. EST. Press 1099 when prompted, and your call will be forwarded to the next available Customer Service Representative. Be prepared to provide your social security number, date of retirement if you are a recent retiree, and your current mailing address. You will receive the reissued 1099-R approximately seven working days after your initial request. Their FAX number is 1-800-469-6559. Their mailing address is:

Defense Finance and Accounting Service
US Military Retirement Pay
PO Box 7130
London KY 40742-7130

To ensure our report of income and taxes matches the 1099-R you file with the Internal Revenue Service, requests for corrected 1099-Rs must be made in writing. The written request must include a complete explanation and justification as to why the 1099-R amounts are in error and be mailed to the addresses listed below.

Defense Finance and Accounting Service
US Military Retirement Pay
PO Box 7131
London KY 40742-7131

Annuitants who did not receive their 1099-R by January 31st of the current year, have questions about their 1099-R form or need to update their mailing address may contact: DFAS by phone at 1-800-321-1080, Monday through Friday 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. EST. Their FAX number is 1-800-982-8459. Their mailing address is:

Defense Finance and Accounting Service
US Military Annuitant
PO Box 7131
London KY 40742-7131

To ensure our report of income and taxes matches the 1099-R you file with the Internal Revenue Service, requests for corrected 1099-Rs must be made in writing. The written request must include a complete explanation and justification as to why the 1099-R amounts are in error and mailed to the following address:

Defense Finance and Accounting Service
US Military Retirement Pay
PO Box 7131
London KY 40742-7131

You may also wish to visit the web site at

 Published Date: 03/02/2005  | Updated Date: 07/29/2014

I've been out of the service for several years. Whom do I contact about obtaining replacement medals?


The National Personnel Records Center's web site provides information on requests for the issuance or replacement of military service medals, decorations, and awards.

Please visit the National Archives at:

 Published Date: 05/29/2002  | Updated Date: 02/02/2017
 Where may government personnel obtain the latest official information?

You may obtain a Department of Defense Key Personnel Locator Chart on-line by visiting the Washington Headquarter Services website at:

 Published Date: 02/11/2005  | Updated Date: 08/19/2014
 Where do I go to get a death certificate for someone killed in Iraq/Afghanistan?
 First, if you are asking because you have lost a loved one, please accept our deep and sincere condolences. We hope that the following information may prove helpful. The Armed Forces Medical Examiners Office issues death certificates. Family Members of military personnel may go through their servicemember's chain of command to obtain a certificate. Survivors of contractors who are killed supporting the fight against the global war on terrorism may go to the contractor personnel office. There is a waiting period due to the fact that the officials want to be absolutely sure that the remains are properly identified.
 Published Date: 02/14/2005  | Updated Date: 08/05/2014
 Are there any new Tax Benefits for Armed Forces Members?

For detailed information on military tax issues, please visit the's page for Armed Forces at:,,id=97273,00.html.

 Published Date: 02/15/2005  | Updated Date: 08/01/2014
 How do I contact or locate a Service member in case of emergency?

We hope the information below will prove useful to you.

Personnel Locators In Case of Emergency:

1) Defense Department Army Locator

Navy Locator

Marines Locator

Air Force Locator

2) from other U.S. Government sources

To locate Americans Abroad in Event of an Emergency call (888) 407-4747 from U.S. or Canada; (202) 501-4444 from other countries, or visit

3) Non-Governmental Sources of Information The American Red Cross

 Published Date: 02/15/2005  | Updated Date: 08/20/2014
 How does the U.S. military inform the surviving family of the death of a service member? What is the process? Is there someone who can answer questions that the surviving family members have?

Our primary goal is to provide prompt reporting, dignified and humane notification, efficient, thorough and compassionate assistance to family members. Because of the sensitivity of this information, the Casualty Assistance Offices will first contact the soldiers appropriate next-of-kin in person. Our service branches each have a Casualty Assistance branch. Their mission is to assist the military families in an emotionally stressful time of bereavement. We offer websites and phone numbers to assist our military families and the many dedicated professionals who aid those families. The hotline staff cannot answer questions about casualties or soldiers wounded or missing in action. It is recommended for other family members/ friends to use the appropriate next-of-kin for sharing information.Military Departments Casualty Offices:

Department of the Army Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Operations Center 1600 Spearhead Division Avenue Fort Knox, KY 40121 Telephone Number (800) 325-4988 Wesite -

Navy Casualty Assistance Division Navy Personnel Command 5720 Integrity Dr Millington, TN 38055-6200 Telephone Number (901) 874-2501 Web site -

Headquarters, Air Force Personnel Center Air Force Casualty Services ATTN: AFPC/DPWCS 550 C Street, West Suite #14 Randolph AFB, TX 78150-4716 Telephone Number (800) 433-0048 or (210) 565-5000 Web site -

U.S. Marine Corps Casualty Assistance Section (MFPC) 2008 Elliott Road Quantico, VA 22134-5102 Telephone number (800) 847-1597 or (703) 784-9512 Web site -

 Published Date: 02/18/2005  | Updated Date: 04/13/2015

How can I find visual aids/graphics for the Department of Defense and the military departments? Can I use this in a project or on my personal website?


Please visit the website for the Defense Imagery Management Operations Center for further guidance at:

 Published Date: 02/22/2005  | Updated Date: 10/09/2015
 How do I find out more about the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)s being used by the Defense Department?

The Department of Defense announced on October 23, 2003 the establishment of a Radio Frequency Identification Policy (RFID). RFID technology greatly improves the management of inventory by providing hands-off processing. The equipment quickly accounts for and identifies massive inventories, enhancing the processing of materiel transactions to allow DoD to realign resources and streamline business processes.

The basics of RFID consist of a tiny microchip (or tag) and a small, ribbon-like antenna. The RFID microchip and antenna can be put in almost any form, such as placing them between cardboard layers in a carton or layering them on a piece of tape or label. The RFID tag would store a unique identification code from which RFID scanners, ranging from handheld units to fixed readers sometimes identified as "interrogators," transmit radio signals to turn on the tag that sends back the identification number to the reader. The DOD is proposing to standardize an Electric Product Code (EPC) that would be used as the product's identification code. Once the code is read from the tag, the EPC can be linked to look up data bases that can provide detailed information about the item including the manufacturer, characteristics, lot numbers and expiration dates if applicable. The tags can also be programmed to store additional data. Unlike bar codes, the EPCs can be read simultaneously as opposed to one at a time. Also, the EPCs do not require a direct line of sight for the data to be read.

Implementation of RFID minimizes time spent through the normal means of inventory processing. This technology allows the improvement of data quality, items management, asset visibility, and maintenance of materiel. Further, RFID enables DoD to improve business functions and facilitate all aspects of the DoD supply chain. The new policy requires suppliers to put passive RFID tags on the lowest possible piece part/case/pallet packaging by January 2005. Acknowledging the impact on DoD suppliers, the department hosted an RFID Summit for Industry in February 2004. RFID policy and the corresponding RFID tagging/labeling of DoD materiel are applicable to all items except bulk commodities such as sand, gravel or liquids. The race for radio frequency identification (RFID) and tracking methods has been "on" because many of todays technological, supply chain and logistical leaders see RFID as this decades version of the Internet once the technologys standard and price competitiveness can be developed.

Leading the charge for the initiative are the Department of Defense (DOD) and the retail giant Wal-Mart, both convinced that RFID in their internal and external supply chains could save billions of dollars. The DOD will use RFID technology to become more fluid and efficient in its logistical challenges to deploy troops, equipment and supplies quickly to all areas of the globe in times of crisis. Both the DOD and Wal-Mart have initiated mandates to their top suppliers to be prepared to become RFID-active by January 2005. These mandates drew mixed reactions from their suppliers who have to contemplate their investment in the technology and resources necessary to comply with the RFID initiatives that remain in the infancy stage and are unproven in return on investment capabilities. Although RFID technology is in its early stages with many hurdles to overcome such as standardization and cost-efficiency issues, most of the interested private businesses agree that the benefits of RFID, once harnessed, will allow major improvements throughout their entire supply chains and logistical processes.

The overall benefits of RFID technology would include a real-time offering of the locations, contents and characteristics of all products within pallets, crates and containers. The increased information would allow for substantial cost savings from the prevention of out-of-stock items, excess inventory and shrinkage as products and materials are shipped f

 Published Date: 02/28/2005  | Updated Date: 07/29/2014
 What is the use of Dolphins & Sea Lions in the Navy? Does the use of Navy sonar program cause harm to the Dolphins?

Sea mines are sophisticated, expensive weapons that are designed to work in the ocean where they can sink ships, destroy landing craft, and kill or injure personnel. Sea mines are made so that they cannot be set off easily by wave action or marine animals growing on or bumping into them. If undetected, sea mines can be deadly, destructive weapons. But just as the dog's keen sense of smell makes it ideal for detecting land mines, the U.S. Navy has found that the biological sonar of dolphins, called echolocation, makes them uniquely effective at locating sea mines so they can be avoided or removed. Other marine mammals like the California sea lion also have demonstrated the ability to mark and retrieve objects for the Navy in the ocean. In fact, marine mammals are so important to the Navy that there is an entire program dedicated to studying, training, and deploying them. It is appropriately called the Navy Marine Mammal Program (NMMP).

While dogs work as effective sentries on land, dolphins and sea lions cannot be outmatched as sentries in the water. In the MK 6 MMS, dolphins and sea lions effectively protect piers, ships, harbors, and anchorages against unauthorized swimmers, SCUBA divers, closed-circuit divers, and swimmer delivery vehicles.

Maintaining the health of the Navy's marine mammals is central to the Navy Marine Mammal Program's mission and focus. A full-time staff of veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and biologists ensures that necessary care and management processes are in place to provide for all the health needs of the animals. A veterinarian and a veterinary technician are on call around the clock, 7 days a week. The NMMP is in strict compliance with all statutory requirements, DoD requirements, and federal laws regarding the proper care of the animals. The primary focus of the health care program is to keep the marine mammals healthy and fit for duty. Cutting-edge marine mammal health care techniques and technologies are actively evaluated and developed. Research to support the health of the animals incorporates fields such as immunology, virology, epidemiology, microbiology, toxicology, and vaccination development. In this regard, the Navy continues its time-honored tradition of being an important National resource for the study of marine mammal nutrition, medicine, physiology, and ecology. The NMMP is accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC). AAALAC is a nonprofit non-regulatory organization that promotes high standards of animal care and use, improves laboratory animal well-being, and enhances life sciences research through accreditation. It is a non-governmental independent organization that monitors and ensures strict animal care standards throughout the world. The 2002 re-accreditation letter to the NMMP noted: "The Council commends you and your staff for providing and maintaining an excellent program of laboratory animal care and use."


If you still have questions about the NMMP, you may contact the SSC Pacific Public Affairs Office at (619) 553-2717.

 Published Date: 03/07/2005  | Updated Date: 08/19/2014
 When is the Month of the Military Child and what is the history behind it?

Although the term "total force" usually refers to the active, Reserve, and Guard, it could as well stand for the servicemember, spouse, and children. With that in mind, starting with Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger in 1986, the serving Secretary of Defense has designated each April as "The Month of The Military Child."

Our children are an inspiration and source of pride. It is fitting that we reflect and recognize the contributions and personal sacrifices our children make to our Armed Forces. Frequent moves and extended family separation make military life especially challenging. As we celebrate "The Month of the Military Child," we offer our personal thanks to each Armed Forces family. Commands are encouraged to plan appropriate activities that will focus attention on issues concerning our children and our responsibility to them, as well as developing initiatives that will benefit military children now and for the future.

Related Site:

 Published Date: 03/10/2005  | Updated Date: 08/05/2014
 Where can I find information about the most recent BRAC?

The best and most comprehensive web site with current and past BRAC information can be found at

Base Realignment and Closure 2005 (Detailed Recommendations- pdf file)

BRAC definitions:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): DoD Base Realignment and Closures (BRAC) FAQs:

 Published Date: 03/11/2005  | Updated Date: 08/01/2014
 How can I learn more about our American Flag and the symbolism behind it? How can I find out more information about National Flag Day and the laws that govern our flag?

Flag Day is celebrated on June 14. On that day in 1777, the Continental Congress approved the U.S. flag and detailed the composition. As noted in the American Forces Press Service article referenced below, originally the flag was literally a rallying point for the troops of the Continental Army. In battle, the unit flag was the center of mass, and from the area around the flag commanders gave orders and rallied troops. The flag as a symbol of America grew out of the War of 1812. Francis Scott Key was so inspired by the sight of the American flag flying over Fort McHenry on Sept. 12, 1814, that he wrote "The Star Spangled Banner." These words inspire Americans today, and when U.S. citizens see the flag they are reminded that America is still "the land of the free, and the home of the brave."

The American flag has become more than just a red, white and blue design. It has become a symbol of what we stand for as a country. America reunited under the flag following the Civil War. The American flag flew at the Marne in World War I and at Iwo Jima during World War II. Inspired by these three decades of state and local celebrations, Flag Day - the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 - was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916. While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson's proclamation, it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.

The American flag flew at Porkchop Hill in Korea and Hamburger Hill in Vietnam. It has flown over Grenada, Kuwait, Kabul and Baghdad. It covers the caskets of the fallen as they come home. Americans swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States, and the American flag is a symbol of that oath. On Flag Day, remember that oath and those who have died for the freedom the American flag represents.

Armed Forces Press Service Article: "Flag Has Been Powerful Symbol, Rallying Point"

Other Resources and Information: The online booklet "Our Flag" presents information about the history, laws and regulations, display, care and other relevant information about the flag of the United States of America. The booklet is online courtesy of the General Services Administration Consumer Information Center.

 Published Date: 03/17/2005  | Updated Date: 08/18/2014
 Where can you find out about medals and awards given by the different service branches?
 You will have to contact each of the Military Awards and Decorations offices to find the information you are looking for. Please follow the links to the appropriate service for more information.

Army Awards and Decorations Branch
Navy Awards and Special Projects
Air Force Awards and Decorations
Marine Corps Awards and Decorations
Coast Guard Awards and Medals

 Published Date: 05/04/2005  | Updated Date: 09/04/2014
 How can I find information on which overseas U.S. bases will be closed or realigned?

The Defense Department is moving forward with plans to reshape its force structure overseas through close coordination with Congress, other government agencies and U.S. allies and partners, defense officials noted in a briefing on May 9, 2007. Please note that there is a separate commission considering bases within the United States.

DoD welcomes the Congressional Overseas Basing Commission's support for the global posture realignment, announced August, 2006, by President Bush. The plan calls for the return of up to 70,000 troops and 100,000 family members and civilian employees currently based overseas to the United States. In announcing the initiative, President Bush said the U.S. force structure overseas reflects Cold War threats, not those that exist today. Basing more troops in the United States and taking advantage of new technologies to quickly deploy them and their increased combat power will result in "a more agile and flexible force," the President said. Returning heavier forces as well as administrative and support functions to the United States will help increase the flexibility of the U.S. armed forces and their ability to respond quickly as necessary, he said.

Throughout the planning, quality-of-life programs have remained a top priority, Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Policy Ryan Henry said. "We in DoD realize that the No. 1 resource we have in the department are the fighting men and women ... and their families who support them," he noted. "They are the one asset that we want to make sure we optimize."

For Domestic Closures (US bases) see additional information below:

The best and most comprehensive website with current and past (domestic) Base Realignment and Closures (BRAC) information can be found at:

 Published Date: 05/10/2005  | Updated Date: 09/10/2014
 What resources are available to help communities through the BRAC process? What programs are available to help military dependent and civilian employees facing separation due to BRAC?

With the strong support of President Bush, the Department of Defense and several other agencies of government are working together to make economic assistance resources and information available to local communities affected by BRAC decisions, to include:

Personnel transfer and job training assistance, in collaboration with the Department of Labor. Local economic adjustment assistance through the Defense Department's Office of Economic Adjustment. Use of all of our authorities to accelerate and support reuse needs. Work with the Department of Commerce and other federal agencies to assist local economic recovery.

Additional BRAC information:

The best and most comprehensive website with current and past BRAC information can be found at

Help For Military Families:

The Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) is the Department of Defense's primary source for assisting communities that are adversely impacted by Defense program changes, including base closures or realignments, base expansions, and contract or program cancellations.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): DoD Base Realignment and Closures (BRAC) FAQs:

 Published Date: 05/18/2005  | Updated Date: 09/10/2014
 Will my only son, who is the last to carry the family name, have to sign up with the Selective Service System?

Yes. "Only sons" or "the last son to carry the family name," and "sole surviving sons" must register with the Selective Service and they can be drafted. However, individuals may be entitled to a peacetime deferment if there is a military death in the immediate family.

Provisions regarding the survivors of veterans were written into Selective Service law after World War II. Details have varied over the years, but the basic premise remains the same: where a family member has been lost as a result of military service, the remaining family members should be protected as much as possible. It is important to keep in mind that the provisions are directly related to Service-Connected Deaths. The "only child" or "only son" does not qualify him for consideration to these provisions - he must be the survivor of someone who died as a result of military service.

For more information on this provision, or other facts about military service exemptions, contact the Selective Service System at:

 Published Date: 06/22/2005  | Updated Date: 09/10/2014

Where can I find historical information about the Department of Defense?


Historical information can be found by contacting the National Archives and Records Administration or the historical branches of the armed forces.

The National Archives and Records Administration
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001
Phone: 1-866-272-6272
TDD phone: 301-837-0482
Fax: 301-837-0483
Web site:

U.S. Army Center of Military History
Fort Lesley J. McNair
Washington, DC 20319-5058
Web site:

United States Marine Corps History Division
2044 Broadway Street
Quantico, VA 22134
Phone: 703-432-4874
Web site:

Naval Historical Center
1306 Dahlgren Avenue, SE
Washington Navy Yard Washington, DC 20374-5060
Phone: 202-678-4333
Web site:

Air Force Historical Research Agency
600 Chennault Circle, Bldg 1405
Maxwell AFB, AL 36112-6424
Phone: 334-953-2395
Web site:

 Published Date: 06/22/2005  | Updated Date: 02/14/2017
 How do I obtain a grave marker for a relative who served in the Armed Forces of the United States of America?
 Our colleagues at the Veterans Administration can help. For information, please visit their The National Cemetery Administration web page pertaining to Headstones and Markers at
 Published Date: 01/18/2005  | Updated Date: 08/05/2014
 Where can I find information about teaching overseas for the Department of Defense and for American sponsored schools?

The international schools affiliated with the Department of State are independent, non-government schools sponsored by Americans or in which American citizens have considerable interest. Since they are not controlled by the U.S. government nor do they operate under any official administrative jurisdictional umbrella, they hire teachers and staff directly, establishing their own qualification standards and application procedures. Salary levels and benefit packages vary from school to school. Many of the American-sponsored schools overseas contract with private organizations in the United States to assist them in the recruitment process. The schools also frequently send representatives to stateside teacher recruiting fairs to locate qualified staff for anticipated vacancies.

Included on this web site are addresses of some of the organizations that assist in recruiting staff for overseas teaching as well as addresses of organizations with teacher exchange programs. In addition to communicating with these organizations, you may want to check the schools' web site as many now list recruiting information and their vacancies. Addresses for schools overseas can be obtained from the Fact Sheets on individual schools.

Office of Overseas Schools:
U.S. Department of State
Room H328, SA-1
Washington, D. C. 20522-0132
Tel: 202-261-8200
Fax: 202-261-8224

For more details on teaching opportunities overseas:,

The Department of Defense operates a school system for the benefit of dependents of U.S. military personnel stationed overseas. Recruitment of teachers for schools at military bases overseas is handled by the Department of Defense Education Activity.

For information on teaching overseas on U.S. Military bases:
Department Of Defense Education Activity
4800 Mark Center Drive
Alexandria, VA 22350-1400
Recruitment: (571) 372-0576

 Published Date: 02/04/2005  | Updated Date: 07/30/2014
 What is Armistice Day and when is it?
 What was once called "Armistice Day" is now known as Veterans Day which is observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 preserves the historical significance of the date, when leaders of several countries signed an Armistice on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month to end World War I.  It also helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
 Published Date: 02/07/2005  | Updated Date: 07/29/2014
 What do I do if I have information about a suspected terrorist?

Many tips and information received by legitimate sources have led to the arrests of terrorists. Although the Defense Department has a major role to play in the war on terrorism, we are not a domestic law enforcement agency, so we ask that you provide your information to the appropriate authorities, as shown below:

The FBI has an Internet link for submitting a terrorist tip. Please see:

The Department of Homeland Security web site also provides information on how to report suspicious activity at: and

 Published Date: 02/08/2005  | Updated Date: 07/29/2014
 How do I find out about ROTC programs? And what exactly is it?

Each of the military services has their own recruiting command and requirements. To find out more about ROTC programs, we recommend that you visit the websites for each branch listed below:

U.S. Army ROTC -

U.S. Marine Corps ROTC -

U.S. Navy ROTC -

U.S. Air Force ROTC -

 Published Date: 02/08/2005  | Updated Date: 08/01/2014
 I want to interview a Prisoners of War (POW) from the Vietnam War? How do I go about doing that?

Due to the provisions of the Privacy Act, we at the Department of Defense cannot give out specific information on a Veteran such as; name, phone number or address. The individual(s) in question must grant their permission to such requests. We can recommend that you contact the nearest Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Vietnam Veterans of America, or other veterans organization office. If they have a local post, you may be able to attend one of their meetings to make your request directly.

We can also provide some helpful links that may provide more information to you:

The Defense POW/ Missing Personnel Office (DPMO):

Department of Veterans Affairs:

The official site for the Department of Defense:

The Library of Congress POW/MIA Database:

The websites below are NOT U.S. Government sites and we do not take responsibility for their content. We list them in case the information they contain may be helpful to you:

American Legion:

Veterans of Foreign Wars:

Vietnam Veterans of America:

The Vietnam Center (at Texas Tech University):

Home page of the Vietnam era Prisoners of War (1961-1973):

 Published Date: 02/08/2005  | Updated Date: 08/07/2014
 How do I become an officer in the Army, Marine Corps, Navy or Air Force?

Each of the military services has their own recruiting command and requirements. To find out what you have to do to meet those requirements, we recommend that you visit the websites listed below:

U.S. Army

U.S. Marine Corps

U.S. Navy

U.S. Air Force

 Published Date: 07/08/2002  | Updated Date: 08/01/2014
 Where can I find veteran statistics?
 We recommend that you visit the Department of Veterans Affairs at
 Published Date: 07/08/2002  | Updated Date: 07/29/2014
 How can I locate medical records for military-retired and/or military dependents?
 The National Personnel Records Center, Civilian Personnel Facility stores dependent medical folders (DMFs) for dependents treated at Army, Air Force, or Coast Guard facilities from 1954 to the present. Records prior to 1954 were destroyed in accordance with legal authorities in effect at the time.(DMFs for dependents treated at Navy facilities are stored at the National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Facility.) DMFs are transferred to the center between one and five years after last treatment. For additional information please visit the following web page:
 Published Date: 08/12/2002  | Updated Date: 07/25/2014
 How do I go about accessing the records of herbicide spaying during the Vietnam war. I have heard that these records (Agent Orange) are publically available.

A large body of historical data exists on the use of Agent Orange in Vietnam and other countries and is readily available through the Department of Veterans Affairs at The history of Operation RANCH HAND in Vietnam has been thoroughly documented. Many historical records are also available online through the Special Collection Initiative of the National Agricultural Library, US Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Maryland

In December 2006 the DoD published a report titled, The History of the US Department of Defense Programs for the Testing, Evaluation, and Storage of Tactical Herbicides. This report, available at provides an official compilation of locations and dates outside of Vietnam where the Department used herbicide agents, including Agent Orange, as well as locations and dates where DoD personnel were likely exposed to these agents.

 Published Date: 08/14/2002  | Updated Date: 09/04/2014
 Why was your headquarters built as a pentagon (i.e., five sides)?
 According to The Pentagon: The First 50 Years, a book by our chief historian, Alfred Goldberg, here is what the architects thought: Casey and Bergstrom and their associates recognized that a building of the proposed proportions would require a great deal of ground and an efficient design that would permit ready access on foot to all parts of the structure. Casey recollected that Bergstrom probably deserved the greatest credit for the pentagonal design. Other layouts-square, rectangular, and octagonal-were considered, and the group finally settled on the pentagonal. Luther Leisenring pointed out later that the idea of a five-sided building was not new. Many old forts were of pentagonal shape, and the notion of a building shaped like a fortress may well have influenced the planners.
 Published Date: 08/14/2002  | Updated Date: 09/10/2014
 I would like to get an American Flag flown at the Pentagon to give as a gift. Can you tell me who I need to talk with to get a flag?


1. The requestor must provide the flag. Due to limited space the request must be submitted no more than 15 business days in advance and at least 5 business days before the requested date for the flag to be flown.

2. Each returned flag will be accompanied by a certificate verifying the date upon which the flag was flown and the name of the person for whom the flag was flown.

3. The requestor (without Pentagon access) must provide within the package return postage from the post office or another requestor pre-paid shipping method (i.e. FedEx or UPS Air Bill with an account number) for the flag and certificate to be returned. (The Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA) cannot accept cash or checks for the return postage. PFPA is not responsible for providing return postage.)

4. The requestor will be notified immediately to arrange for shipping if return postage or another paid shipping method is not received with the flag so that the flag and certificate can be returned. (Flag(s) will not be held for more than 30 days from date of receipt.)

5. For the requestor without Pentagon access, a typed or printed letter of request must accompany the flag and contain the following information: - The name of the person and organization of the flag recipient - The occasion the flag will be flown for, if any (e.g. retirements, anniversary, birthday, etc.) - The specific date the flag is requested to be flown on. If no date is specified, the flag will be flown within 15 business days of receipt. - The point of contact's name, address, and their telephone number (commercial and/or DSN) or email address.

6. Requestors with Pentagon access my go directly to 5B890 during the hours specified below.

WRITTEN REQUESTS ARE TO BE SUBMITTED TO: Pentagon Force Protection Agency, 9000 Defense Pentagon, Room 5B890, Washington, DC 20301-9000. IF YOU HAVE PENTAGON ACCESS: Monday-Friday (excluding Federal Holidays) 0900-1230 and 1400-1600 Pentagon, Telephone number (703) 692-7842.

 Published Date: 08/23/2002  | Updated Date: 09/11/2014
 Where can I find texts of the various Status of Forces Agreements in effect?
 Status of Forces Agreements (SOFA) are published in a Department of State annual report entitled: "Treaties in Force: A List of Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States in Force." The latest report is available for sale from the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office (GPO). To purchase the document call the Customer Services - Print Procurement, Monday through Friday, at (202) 512-1205 or e-mail Their web site is The order number for the document is ISBN: 9780160807121. You may also be able to view this report at your local library or a large depository library.
 Published Date: 08/23/2002  | Updated Date: 08/21/2014

How can I get information about conducting business with the Department of Defense?


There are a number of resources that can help you learn how to do business with the Department of Defense. A good place to start is by viewing the DoD links available at: This site also offers a number of other links with important information.


To get information about the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), please visit:


If you are a small business owner, you can learn more about the ways in which the Department of Defense works with small businesses at


 Published Date: 07/22/2008  | Updated Date: 08/24/2016
  How can I learn more about DoD Contracts and Vendors?

The web sites listed below deal with DoD Contracts and Vendors

For information about DoD contracts view the Defense Contract Management Agency web site at

The General Services Administration web site has information about contracting opportunities at:

 Published Date: 07/22/2008  | Updated Date: 07/25/2014

Where can I go to learn more about military recruitment?


Each branch of the Armed Services is responsible for its own recruiting. You can learn more about each branch's recruiting policies, and contact a recruiter directly, at the following websites:








Air Force:


 Published Date: 07/22/2008  | Updated Date: 08/24/2016
 What is the policy for participating in political campaigns?
 The Department of Defense (DoD) encourages all military and civilian personnel and their eligible family members to register and vote. Certain provisions on campaign participation, however, apply to Federal employees and members of the Armed Forces

As a matter of long standing policy, military servicemembers and Federal employees acting in their official capacity may not engage in activities that associate the DoD with any partisan political campaign or elections, candidate, cause or issue. The limitations of participation can be found in DoD Directive 1344.10, ?Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces?, and the Hatch Act.

Under DoD Directive 1344.10, members of the Armed Forces who are on active duty are permitted to express their personal opinions on political candidates, make a monetary contribution to a campaign, sign a petition to place a candidate?s name on the ballot, and attend a political event as a spectator. Members on active duty may not participate in partisan activities such as soliciting or engaging in partisan fundraiser activities, serving as the sponsor of a partisan club, or speaking before a partisan gathering. In addition, all military members, including National Guard and Reserve forces, are prohibited from wearing military uniforms at political campaign events.

The Hatch Act allows most Federal employees to actively participate in political activities on their own time and outside of the Federal workplace. There are, however, significant restrictions on fundraising, running for office in partisan election and using one?s official authority in the political arena. Senate-confirmed Presidential appointees and non-career SES employees are subject to additional limitations. Additional restrictions are also applicable to career members of the Senior Executive Service.
 Published Date: 09/03/2008  | Updated Date: 07/29/2014
 Where can I find more information on the Federal Voting Assistance Program?
 Under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, soldiers, sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and DoD civilians who are not registered but eligible to vote, may request an absentee ballot to participate in the upcoming election.

All military units have voting assistance officers, and each American embassy or consulate can help U.S. citizens exercise their rights to vote. In addition, the Federal Voting Assistance Program,, provides online voter registration for certain states. Citizens of participating states can register online and receive a ballot; however they must meet all registration deadlines and use regular mail to send in the completed ballots.

Overseas servicemembers and civilians can vote by absentee ballot.

 Published Date: 09/11/2008  | Updated Date: 08/18/2014
 What is the Minerva Initiative?
 The Minerva Initiative is a DoD-sponsored, university-based social science research initiative launched by the Secretary of Defense that focuses on areas of strategic importance to U.S. national security policy. Its objectives are to foster and improve the Defense Department?s social science intellectual capital in order to address future security challenges and to build bridges between the Department of Defense and the academic social science community. Minerva will do this by bringing together universities, research institutions, and individual scholars; and by supporting multidisciplinary and cross-institutional projects addressing specific topic areas determined by the Department.

For more information about the Minerva Initiative, to include eligibility and project requirements, please visit the website at:
 Published Date: 09/24/2008  | Updated Date: 09/11/2014
 Can a ROTC scholarship be taxed by the IRS?
 Information on IRS contracted debts can be found in Publication 970.
 Published Date: 09/25/2008  | Updated Date: 08/01/2014

Where can I get information about this new pilot program?


The Army has information about their MAVNI program at the following websites:
Foreign language skills:
Medical skills:

The other military departments are developing the implementation plan in accordance with their needs. In the interim, please email: to let the services know you are interested and the full rules and application process will be forwarded to you once they are finalized. Additionally, the links below will provide the information currently available for the program.

The Defense Department release is available at and the fact sheet is at

 Published Date: 12/08/2008  | Updated Date: 07/29/2014
 Can service members with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) receive the Purple Heart?
 The Defense Department has determined that based on current Purple Heart criteria, PTSD is not a qualifying Purple Heart wound. This decision is based on the Purple Heart criteria as listed in the United States Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 32.

The Purple Heart recognizes those individuals wounded to a degree that requires treatment by a medical officer, in action with the enemy or as the result of enemy action where the intended effect of a specific enemy action is to kill or injure the service member. PTSD is defined as an anxiety disorder caused by witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event; it is not a wound intentionally caused by the enemy from an "outside force or agent," but is a secondary effect caused by witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event.

Service members diagnosed with PTSD still warrant appropriate medical care and disability compensation. The Department is working hard to encourage service members and their families to seek care for PTSD, by reducing the stigma and urging them to see professional care.

For more information on how the Defense Department cares for and recognizes our wounded service members, please visit the Warrior Care site at
 Published Date: 01/13/2009  | Updated Date: 07/29/2014

What is the policy on media coverage of flag-draped transfer cases?



The policy for media coverage at Dover and other transfer points is modified so that the controlling issue will be the desires of the families of those who have died.

For more information regarding this change to policy, please view the Defense Department's press release at:

The transcript from the February 2009 news briefing announcing the change to policy can be found at:

 Published Date: 02/26/2009  | Updated Date: 07/25/2014
 What is the Defense Department's policy on Congressional Delegation (CODEL) travel?

Congress is authorized military airlift for official government business as prescribed in DoD Directive 4515.12, titled "Department of Defense Support for Travel of Members and Employees of the Congress."

There are no specific military assets that are devoted solely to Congressional Delegation (CODEL) travel. Various military aircraft and ground assets across all the Services are used to transport CODELs and other government officials in accordance with the DoD directive.

In addition, the House and Senate publish Congressional Travel Rules for their Members. For those rules, we ask that you contact the Secretary of the Senate or the Clerk of the House of Representatives. More information on the authorization and funds for congressional travel can be found in the quarterly House Financial Statement and biannual Report of the Secretary of State.

 Published Date: 03/11/2009  | Updated Date: 08/07/2014
 Where can I find information on interrogation techniques used by the Defense Department?

In January 2007, the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, U.S. Senator Carl Levin, set up an investigations unit of the committee staff which spent more than a year-and-a-half conducting the investigation into the origins of detainee abuses. They reviewed hundreds of thousands of documents and conducted extensive interviews of more than 70 individuals, including a number of senior civilian and military officials.

Details of the investigation can be found on Senator Levin's site at:

 Published Date: 04/23/2009  | Updated Date: 09/04/2014
 How do I obtain a copy of a person's military records?

The National Personnel Records Center-Military Personnel Records (NPRC-MPR) is the repository of millions of military personnel, health, medical records of discharged and deceased veterans and other military records from all services from World War I to the present. The NPRC is one of the National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA) largest operations. NPRC-MPR stores medical treatment records of retirees from all the services along with records for dependents and other people treated at naval medical facilities.

An individual's complete service record is available to the former service member or, if deceased, to his or her next of kin (parents, spouse, or children).

Limited information such as dates of service, awards, and training is available to anyone. Not available to the general public is information which would invade an individual's privacy; for example, medical records, Social Security number, or present address. If requesting the records of a relative, a requester should mention the relationship to the former member (brother, uncle, or other). There is no charge for this service to former service members or their next of kin. For others, a nominal fee is charged for research and reproduction costs.

You may view the list below to contact them by e-mail or by phone or by mail at:

Phone: 1-86-NARA-NARA (1-866-272-6272) or 1-800-234-8861
Fax: 1-314-801-9195

National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132

For additional information you may wish to view the following:

 Published Date: 05/13/2009  | Updated Date: 07/25/2014
 Where can I find more information about the Ballistic Missile Defense Review (BMDR)?

Please visit the Ballistic Missile Defense Review's website at for more information about the program.

 Published Date: 02/04/2010  | Updated Date: 08/19/2014
 Where can I find more information about the Space Posture Review (SPR)?
 More information on the Space Posture Review (SPR) can be found at
 Published Date: 02/04/2010  | Updated Date: 08/20/2014
 How can I get Department of Defense information cleared for public release?

The Office of Security Review is responsible for conducting a security and policy review on all DoD information proposed for official public release.

Please visit the following website to submit documents that requires a security review:

 Published Date: 09/21/2010  | Updated Date: 08/19/2014

Are Service members permitted to freely practice their religious beliefs?


The U.S. Department of Defense has never and will never single out a particular religious group for persecution or prosecution. The Department makes reasonable accommodations for all religions and celebrates the religious diversity of our service members.

Service members can share their faith (evangelize), but must not force unwanted, intrusive attempts to convert others of any faith or no faith to one's beliefs (proselytization).

If a service member harasses another member on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability, then the commander takes action based on the gravity of the occurrence. Likewise, when religious harassment complaints are reported, commanders take action based on the gravity of the occurrence on a case by case basis.

The Department of Defense places a high value on the rights of members of the Military Services to observe the tenets of their respective religions and respects (and supports by its policy) the rights of others to their own religious beliefs, including the right to hold no beliefs. The Department does not endorse any one religion or religious organization, and provides free access of religion for all members of the military services.

We work to ensure that all service members are free to exercise their Constitutional right to practice their religion -- in a manner that is respectful of other individuals' rights to follow their own belief systems; and in ways that are conducive to good order and discipline; and that do not detract from accomplishing the military mission.
 Published Date: 05/02/2013  | Updated Date: 09/11/2014

Where can I find current and past Department of Defense Suicide Event Report (DoDSER) Annual Reports?


The annual Department of Defense Suicide Event Report (DoDSER) standardizes suicide surveillance efforts across the military services and tracks the total suicide deaths, manner of death, and other variables. You can find these reports on the Defense Suicide Prevention Office website at:

 Published Date: 08/19/2014  | Updated Date: 04/20/2016
 Where can I receive confidential help for Service members and their families in times of crisis?

People experience emotional and mental health crises in response to a wide range of situations - from difficulties in their personal relationships to the loss of a job. For Service members and their families, these crises can be heightened by their experiences in military service. When emotional issues reach a crisis point, it's time to call on the Military Crisis Line (MCL) for support at 1-800-273-8255 (press 1). The MCL is a toll-free, confidential resource that connects Service members in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring responders.

Service members, including members of the National Guard and Reserves, along with their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online at , or send a text message to 838255 to receive free, confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. For more information, please review this Fact Sheet.

 Published Date: 08/19/2014  | Updated Date: 08/20/2015

How can I verify employment for military members and civilian employees?


The Department of Defense does not verify employment for active duty military members or for civilian employees by telephone. If you are seeking verification of military service or employment with DoD by phone, please use the contact phone numbers on the person's resume, or application, to reach the DoD office or military organization at which they work or have worked previously.

Verification at the DoD level is managed through web sites or through the military services. To verify the employment status of current and former DoD civilians, please visit the Defense Civilian Personnel Advisory Service (DCPAS) website for further information.

To verify Active Duty status for military members, as authorized under the Service members Civil Relief Act, please go to the Defense Manpower and Data Center website for further information and verification.

To use either of these services, you will need the individual's social security number as well as some other basic personal data such as legal name and date of birth.

 Published Date: 10/25/2007  | Updated Date: 10/07/2014

Where can I get more information about the Military Spouse Career Advancement Account Initiative?


The Military Spouse Career Advancement Account project is a time-limited demonstration to find an effective way of helping military spouses get the training and education they need to have portable careers. Accounts for education and training leading to a credential in a portable field are available for eligible military spouses at this site

 Published Date: 03/05/2008  | Updated Date: 08/01/2014

Where can I find the fiscal reports on sexual assault in the military?


Annual reports can be found by visiting the Sexual Assault and Prevention Response Office at:

 Published Date: 03/17/2008  | Updated Date: 10/07/2014
 How can I locate my old military buddy/friend?

The Privacy Act of 1974 prohibits releasing the last known address of former military members without their written consent. However, the agency identified below will assist your search by forwarding your letter to the service member's last known address.

The proper agency to contact is the National Archives - Military Personnel Record Center (MPRC). Their information is as follows:

Telephone: 314-801-0800

According to MPRC:

Write a letter to the Servicemember you are trying to reach. Place this letter in a sealed and stamped envelope, including your full name and return address. Write another letter addressed to the National Personnel Records Center requesting their assistance with your search. Be sure to include the service member's name, serial number and/or social security number, and date of birth if available. - Place your envelope addressed to the service member AND the letter to the National Personnel Records Center in ONE envelope. Address this envelope to: National Personnel Records Center, 9700 Page Boulevard, St. Louis, Missouri 63132-5200.

Please note current addresses for discharged service members are not maintained at the records center - this center only has the service member's last officially recorded address. Letters to service members the record center can not identify or who are known to be deceased will be returned to you.

 Published Date: 02/08/2006  | Updated Date: 08/01/2014
 What information do you have available on military working dogs?
 The U.S. Air Force 341st Training Squadron provides trained military working dogs (MWDs) used in patrol, drug and explosive detection, and specialized mission functions for the Department of Defense and other government agencies. For further information on MWDs and the adoption program, please visit:
 Published Date: 05/11/2006  | Updated Date: 08/05/2014
 I am a civilian employee affected by Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) where can I go to find information on continuing my Federal career or pursuing other endeavors?

We recommend that you visit the Department of Defense (DoD) Civilian Personal Management Service for information. Their web site provides employees, managers, supervisors, and human resources specialists the latest information on BRAC, and the variety of transition assistance programs offered by the Department and other Federal agencies. In addition, it answers questions concerning BRAC and transition programs, and links to web sites that will help you learn more about BRAC, transition assistance, and employment opportunities. The BRAC Transition Center's web site is

 Published Date: 06/01/2006  | Updated Date: 07/25/2014
 Is the POW/MIA flag the first flag to fly under the U.S. flag? When in a color guard is the POW/MIA flag the first flag to the left of the U.S. flag? On what days can we fly the POW/MIA flag? 

The POW/MIA flag is flown below the U.S. flag. Generally, it is not displayed with other flags. The POW/MIA flag is generally not included in a color guard, however, if it is flown next to the U.S. Flag, (i.e. on a separate pole) it should be on the U.S. flag's direct left. The POW/MIA flag should be flown on:

- Armed Forces Day (3rd Saturday in May)

- Memorial Day (Last Monday in May)

- Flag Day (June 14)

- Independence Day (July 4)

- National POW/MIA Recognition Day (3rd Friday in September)

- Veterans Day (November 11)

The POW/MIA flag flies continuously over:

- The White House

- The Capitol Rotunda

- The Korean War Veteran's Memorial

- The Vietnam Veteran's Memorial

- The World War II Memorial

- Each National Cemetery

- Buildings containing the offices of the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Veteran Affairs, the Director of the Selective Service System

- Each major military installation

- Each United States Postal Service

 Published Date: 07/10/2006  | Updated Date: 08/05/2014
 What are the passport requirements for all DoD personnel including contractors?

For any questions regarding DoD passports and visas, please contact the Department of Defense Passport Matters at:

 Published Date: 02/02/2007  | Updated Date: 07/25/2014

Can the Secretary of Defense help me join the military if I have been turned down by one or more of the military services for physical or other reasons?


We greatly appreciate your desire to join the Armed Forces. Our rules for entry are purposely tough, because in the field, the lives of your fellow service members may well depend on your physical and mental capabilities to perform as part of the unit. The military services each set and review their standards for enlistment based upon their particular mission. The Office of the Secretary of Defense does not customarily intervene in the personnel decisions of the individual services.

To appeal a decision made by a military service's recruiting command, you must submit your request in writing to the appropriate military service. Addresses for the military services are available on our site at

Please bear in mind that there are many other honorable ways to serve our Nation, including local and state police, and fire departments. Their requirements are also stringent, but vary from ours. There are also areas where your condition may not be an issue, such as the U.S. civil service. If you are interested in civilian job opportunities, I invite you to visit the website for further information.

 Published Date: 02/07/2007  | Updated Date: 03/15/2016
 What military personnel rights are covered under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)?

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act of 2003 (SCRA) updated what was formerly known as the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act of 1940 (SSCRA). It is a federal law that gives all military members important rights while they are on active duty.

It covers such issues as rental agreements, security deposits, prepaid rent, eviction, installment contracts, credit card interest rates, mortgage interest rates, mortgage foreclosure, civil judicial proceedings, and income tax payments. It also provides many important protections to military members while on active duty.

The SCRA protects both active duty military members, reservists and members of the National Guard when called to active duty (starting on the date active duty orders are received. In limited situations, it also covers dependents of military members (e.g., certain eviction actions).

To receive protection under some parts of the SCRA, the member must be prepared to show that military service has had a "material effect" on the legal or financial matter involved. Protection under the SCRA must be requested during the member's military active duty or within 30 to 180 days after active military service ends, depending on the protection being requested.

In many situations, the SCRA protections are not automatic, but require some action to invoke the Act. For example, to obtain a reduction of the service member's pre-active duty mortgage or credit card interest rates, the service member must send his/her lender or creditor a written request and a copy of your mobilization orders.

Legal advice is also available. If the service member thinks that he/she has rights under the SCRA that may have been violated, or that he/she is entitled to be shielded from a legal proceeding or financial obligation by the SCRA protections, the service member should discuss the matter with a legal assistance attorney or a civilian lawyer. Please visit The Judge Advocate General's Corps site for more information:

 Published Date: 04/10/2007  | Updated Date: 07/29/2014

What is the new combat medal awarded to U.S. Air Force personnel?


Air Force officials at the Air Force Personnel Center released criteria for award of the combat action medal, an award for Airmen who have been involved in direct fighting situations where they risked their lives in an enemy engagement.

Former Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley authorized the medal's creation March 15, 2007.

Any Airman who believes they may be eligible can submit an award package for consideration. Airmen are eligible for the combat action medal if their primary role includes performing duties in a combat zone, either on the ground or from the air, in an unsecured area away from an established installation. While performing their duties, they must have come under fire or fired upon an enemy to qualify.

Aircrew members must be flying in direct support of a combat zone and in combat. They also must be performing official duties and not manifested as a passenger. While performing close air support, taking fire from an enemy is not a prerequisite as long as the Airman is at great risk.

The AFCAM is worn between the Air Force Achievement Medal and the Air Force Presidential Unit Citation. Fact Sheet on Air Force Combat Action Medal

 Published Date: 04/13/2007  | Updated Date: 07/29/2014
 Why does the Department of Defense block access to popular Internet sites?

Because of security and bandwidth issues, the Defense Department blocks access to many popular Internet sites from department-owned computers. 

Sites are selected on the basis of usage trends. This action is not an unfavorable characterization of these sites nor a restriction on their content.  We recognize that being able to communicate with friends and family back home is of great importance to the morale of our service members.  We have ensured that other means are available such as access via email, telephones, and other means are not affected by this policy.  Access from privately-owned computers is not affected.

 Published Date: 05/15/2007  | Updated Date: 07/29/2014
 How do I obtain an autographed photograph of the Secretary of Defense?

Simply request a photograph through the "ask a question" function in this system and include your full name and address and we will be glad to mail a official photograph of the Secretary to you. Your request implies respect and support, and the Secretary appreciates both. In light of his many heavy responsibilities however, the Secretary has decided not to provide autographed photographs. We hope you will understand that this decision simply reflects his dedication to the tasks at hand, and the limits on his time to accomplish them.

 Published Date: 07/18/2007  | Updated Date: 10/07/2014
 What are the rules for using military rank if a person has retired from the military?

The following pertains to retired military members, officer and enlisted.

All retired personnel are permitted to use their military titles socially and in connection with commercial enterprises. Such military titles must never be used in any manner, which may bring discredit to the Uniformed Services.

The use of military titles is prohibited in connection with commercial enterprises when such use, with or without the intent to mislead, gives rise to any appearance of sponsorship or approval by the Uniformed Services or the Department of Defense.

Military titles will not be a part of the signature block of a retired servicemember when signing official correspondences as a civil service employee. 

Retirees not on active duty will not use their military titles in connection with public appearances outside the United States unless such use is authorized by the appropriate overseas commander. 

When military titles are used by members to sign their names to documents that pertain to them personally, they must show that they are in a retired status after the grade.  Social and business calling cards must reflect the retired status.

In a military office, retirees using military titles on the telephone could lead to confusion and unwitting misrepresentation, conveying the impression of active duty status. In any case, common sense is the guide when a retired servicemember works for the Government.  No reasonable retired officer would invite awkwardness when employed in a military office by insisting on being called by military title, if such title outranks the retired servicemember's active duty chief.   The retired servicemember's use of his rightful title in Government employment is guided by his acceptance of his civilian status and loyal conformance to the established channels of command. Local customs, practices, and conditions of employment are the primary influencing factors.

 Published Date: 08/03/2007  | Updated Date: 07/29/2014
 How can I locate educational information, such as high school records and transcripts?
 In order to obtain copies of transcripts or educational records, or if you need other information regarding DoD dependent schools, please visit the DoDEA web site at
 Published Date: 08/15/2007  | Updated Date: 08/01/2014
 Where can I find the acronyms and definitions of the many terms used by the U.S. military and the Department of Defense?

The official definitions and acronyms used by the Department of Defense are contained in the Dictionary of Military Terms. Please visit:

 Published Date: 06/20/2002  | Updated Date: 07/30/2014
 What are the DoD's rules for releasing information to the public?
 The Department of Defense releases to the public and the media the maximum amount of information about our functions and operations with minimum delay. Please see our Principles of Information for more on this subject.
 Published Date: 06/20/2002  | Updated Date: 07/25/2014

Where can I get information about the Intelligence Organizations within the Department of Defense as well as those the DoD works with?

 Published Date: 06/20/2002  | Updated Date: 07/30/2014
 Where can I find a basic overview of the Department of Defense?
 An overview of the Defense Department can be found on at the web site, and
 Published Date: 06/20/2002  | Updated Date: 07/25/2014
 How do I find out about employment opportunities with the Defense Department?

Department of Defense Federal civilian jobs are advertised on the official U.S. Government web site USA JOBS. We recommend visiting this site regularly, new vacancies are posted every day.

For other information on DoD civilian job opportunities you may go to the employment resource listings on the site map by clicking here.

If you find a position of interest to you or if you have questions about the civilian hiring process, we suggest that you visit the Human Resource Services Center or the DoD Civilian Personnel Management Service for answers to your questions.

 Published Date: 06/21/2002  | Updated Date: 07/29/2014
 Where do I find travel warnings?

Current travel warning are issued by the State Department and can be found at:

 Published Date: 06/21/2002  | Updated Date: 08/07/2014
 Where can I find the Department of Defense organizational chart?
 Published Date: 06/23/2002  | Updated Date: 07/29/2014
 Where can I find Reimbursable Rates?
 To see the civilian/military equivalent reimbursable rates, please visit the website for the Under Secretary of Defense, Comptroller at
 Published Date: 06/23/2002  | Updated Date: 08/05/2014
 Where can I find Acquisition and Technology Items?
 To view Acquisition and Technology Items click here
 Published Date: 06/23/2002  | Updated Date: 08/05/2014
 Where can I find Directives and Instructions?
 To view Directives and Instructions click here
 Published Date: 06/23/2002  | Updated Date: 07/30/2014
 Where can I find DoD Forms?
 Published Date: 06/23/2002  | Updated Date: 07/29/2014
 Where can I find Financial Management Regulations?
 For Department of Defense Financial Management Regulations, please visit the site for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Comptroller at:
 Published Date: 06/23/2002  | Updated Date: 08/19/2014
 Where can I find the Report on Allied Contributions to the Common Defense?
 To see the latest Reports on Allied Contributions to the Common Defense click here.
 Published Date: 06/23/2002  | Updated Date: 08/19/2014
 Where can I find the Base Structure Reports?

To view the current Base Structure Report, please visit the site for the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Installations and Environment at: .

Additional reports are listed below.

DoD Base Structure Report for 2012 click here .
DoD Base Structure Report for 2011 click here.
DoD Base Structure Report for 2010 click here.

 Published Date: 06/23/2002  | Updated Date: 08/07/2014
 Where can I find Selected Acquisition Reports?
 That information is available on line click here.
 Published Date: 06/28/2002  | Updated Date: 08/21/2014
 Where can I find information on the Unified Command Plan?
 For information on the Unified Command Plan click here.
 Published Date: 06/28/2002  | Updated Date: 08/20/2014
 Can you tell me how to find a TRICARE local health benefits officer?
 TRICARE information is available to you at
 Published Date: 07/02/2002  | Updated Date: 07/29/2014

How can I get a visa to travel outside the U.S.?

 Visa issues are the responsibility of the U.S. Department of State. For more information on visas, please visit their web site.
 Published Date: 07/02/2002  | Updated Date: 07/30/2014
 Where can I find information on Arlington National Cemetery?
 For information on Arlington National Cemetery click here.
 Published Date: 07/02/2002  | Updated Date: 08/18/2014
 How can I learn more about the Military Service Academies?

Here is how to contact the Armed Forces Service Academies:

United States Military Academy
ATTN: Public Affairs Office
Taylor Hall, Building 600
West Point, NY 10996-1788
Telephone Number: 845-938-2006
Web site:

United States Naval Academy
ATTN: Public Affairs Officer
121 Blake Road
Annapolis, MD 21402-5000
Telephone Number: 410-293-1520
Web site:

United States Air Force Academy
ATTN: Public Affairs Officer
2304 Cadet Drive, Suite 320
U.S. Air Force Academy, CO 80840-5016
Telephone number - 719-333-7731
Web site -

United States Coast Guard Academy
ATTN: Public Affairs Officer
15 Mohegan Avenue
New London, CT 06320-4195
Telephone number - 860-444-8270
Web site -

United States Merchant Marine Academy
ATTN: Public Affairs Officer
300 Steamboat Rd
Kings Point, NY 11024
Telephone number - 516-773-5000
Web site -

* The Coast Guard reports directly to the Department of the Navy only in wartime; in peacetime it falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security.

**The Merchant Marine Academy has a close relationship with the U.S. Armed Forces, as noted in its web site, but is not part of the Department of Defense.

 Published Date: 07/02/2002  | Updated Date: 04/13/2015
 Where can I get information about tours of the Pentagon?

The Pentagon Tours official site can be accessed at the following here and has guidelines, request information as well as answers to frequently asked questions.

 Published Date: 07/08/2002  | Updated Date: 10/08/2014
 Where can I find technical manuals?
 The National Technical Information service (NTIS) maintains technical manuals. You may contact officials there by calling toll-free (800) 553-6847 or by e-mail at for assistance. Further contact information can be found on their website at:
 Published Date: 07/08/2002  | Updated Date: 08/21/2014
 How can I send a speaking invitation to the Secretary of Defense?
 Invitations for the Secretary of Defense must be submitted in writing on official letterhead and faxed to the Secretary's scheduling office at (703) 571-8951. Please be sure to include as much information as possible, as well as other VIP's who are attending.
 Published Date: 07/08/2002  | Updated Date: 09/03/2014
 How can I become a vendor in the Pentagon?
 Please visit the Washington Headquarter Services, Office of Small Business Programs at
 Published Date: 07/08/2002  | Updated Date: 07/29/2014
 How can I obtain a Department of Defense flag?
 Unfortunately, there is no Department of Defense Flag. There is a Secretary of Defense Flag but, it only for his official use.
 Published Date: 07/08/2002  | Updated Date: 07/29/2014
 Where can I find the Industrial Capabilities Report?

The Industrial Capabilities Reports are posted by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. Click Here

 Published Date: 06/28/2002  | Updated Date: 08/19/2014
 Where can I find more information on the National Defense Panel?
 Additional information on the National Defense Panel, can be found by clicking here.
 Published Date: 06/28/2002  | Updated Date: 08/19/2014
 Where can I find the report of the Quadrennial Defense Review?
 To see the Quadrennial Defense Review click here . It was published by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.
 Published Date: 06/28/2002  | Updated Date: 08/20/2014
 How can I obtain a copy of the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR)?
 The Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) is a congressional mandated report first published in 1997.  To view QDR's site for top stories, press releases, fact sheets, briefing slides, speeches and transcripts go to their web site (click here). To view the Quadrennial Defense Review for 2014: click here.
 Published Date: 06/18/2002  | Updated Date: 08/10/2015
 I receive news releases from the Department of Defense via email. How do I suspend or cancel my subscription?
 To unsubscribe to this service, please go to the "News By E-mail" web page. That web page is at: Please complete the fields as requested and click on the "Unsubscribe" button.
 Published Date: 06/25/2002  | Updated Date: 08/18/2014
 How can I find information on women in the military?
 Published Date: 07/08/2002  | Updated Date: 07/25/2014
 How can I purchase maps from the DoD?
 We suggest that you contact the National Imagery and Mapping Agency.
 Published Date: 07/08/2002  | Updated Date: 08/01/2014

How can I get information on surplus government equipment?


Please visit the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) web site for information on DLA Disposition Services issuing property to donation customers:

 Published Date: 07/08/2002  | Updated Date: 02/14/2017
 I forgot my CAGE code, who can I contact to obtain it?
 We suggest that you contact the Defense Logistics Information Service, Customer Interaction Center ( at 1-877-352-2255 or e-mail
 Published Date: 07/08/2002  | Updated Date: 08/21/2014
 How do I apply for research grants, scholarships, and/or fellowships with the DoD?
 We recommend that you visit our Department of Defense Research Opportunities web page.You may also wish to visit provides organizations with the ability to search for Federal government-wide grant opportunities.
 Published Date: 07/08/2002  | Updated Date: 07/25/2014
 How can I obtain a copy of my DD-214?
 When an individual is separated from military service his/her Field Personnel File (containing all military and health records) is forwarded for storage to the National Personnel Records Center. The Records Center is under the jurisdiction of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) of the United States Government. Their web site is
 Published Date: 07/08/2002  | Updated Date: 07/29/2014
 Where can I find statistics on the Pentagon?
 We suggest that you visit
 Published Date: 07/08/2002  | Updated Date: 07/29/2014
 Do you know where I can find an online version of the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence?
 To view an online version of the Constitution and/or Declaration of Independence click here.
 Published Date: 07/08/2002  | Updated Date: 08/20/2014
 Where can I find budget information for the DoD?

For detailed budget information by year, please visit:

 Published Date: 07/08/2002  | Updated Date: 07/25/2014
 Where can I find information on missile defense initiatives and results from missile tests?
 For current information on missile defense initiatives and results from missile tests please visit the Missile Defense Agency web site.
 Published Date: 07/08/2002  | Updated Date: 08/19/2014
 I have a question regarding military installations.
 To find more information about military installations you may visit the Military OneSource web site at (
 Published Date: 07/09/2002  | Updated Date: 07/25/2014
 I am with the media and have some questions regarding past, present, and future Defense issues.

Press and media contacts:

Department of Defense, Office of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, Press Operations (703) 697-5131

Navy (703) 697-5342

Army (703) 697-2564

Air Force (703) 695-0640

Marine Corps (703) 614-4309

Joint Chiefs of Staff (703) 697-4272

 Published Date: 07/09/2002  | Updated Date: 08/01/2014
 Where can I learn more about the Executive Order granting expedited citizenship consideration for members of the Armed Forces?

For detailed information pertaining to the Naturalization Information for Military Personnel process you may want to visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service web site at

 Published Date: 07/09/2002  | Updated Date: 08/01/2014
 Where can I find statistics for military personnel?

Military statistical reports can be found on the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) web site at:

Should you receive an error page after trying to access the DMDC site, please contact the DMDC Support Services at (800) 477-8227 for assistance.

 Published Date: 07/09/2002  | Updated Date: 09/30/2014
 Can I find an online resource that shows current active duty military pay tables?
 Yes, this information is available on the Defense Finance and Accounting Services web site.
 Published Date: 07/09/2002  | Updated Date: 10/07/2014
 I am in search of DoD publications relating to Anti-Terrorism.

The threat of terrorism is one of the biggest security risks facing America today. The Department of Defense provides links to multiple anti-terror websites published by the Department as well as other government agencies. You can find these links under our Department of Defense Website listing at:

 Published Date: 07/12/2002  | Updated Date: 08/05/2014
 Where can I find information on Unidentified Flying Objects?
 For information on Unidentified Flying Objects, please visit:
 Published Date: 07/22/2002  | Updated Date: 07/29/2014
 Do you have charts on officer and enlisted rank insignia?
 Yes. Both the Enlisted and Officer rank insignia are available on the Defense Department web sites listed below.

Enlisted Rank Insignia.
Officer Rank Insignia

 Published Date: 08/27/2002  | Updated Date: 07/29/2014
 Do you have any maps of conflicts involving U.S. forces?
 Yes. The U.S. Military Academy's Department of History has an excellent site. Please click here.
 Published Date: 08/28/2002  | Updated Date: 09/03/2014
 How do I report fraud, waste, or abuse at the Defense Department?

You may do so by contacting the Defense Department Inspector General's Hotline for Fraud, Waste, and Abuse. Their contact number is 800-424-9098 or 703-604-8799. If you would like to visit that office's web site, please visit

 Published Date: 09/04/2002  | Updated Date: 08/26/2014
 Where can I find infomtion about the Troops to Teachers program?

For information on Troops to Teachers opportunities

In January 2002, the Troops to Teachers program expanded to include reserve component service members. Under the program, the U.S. Department of Education and the Defense Department team up to help qualified service members transition from the military to teaching careers. The Troops to Teachers program is designed to recruit quality teachers for schools serving low-income families and to relieve teacher shortages. The program began in 1994 and since its inception has provided monetary and guidance support to qualified active duty service members.

 Published Date: 10/02/2002  | Updated Date: 07/29/2014
 How can I obtain my or my child's birth certificate if born overseas at a military installation?

The Department of Defense periodically receives requests for a certificate or record of a birth or death that occurred overseas. The U.S. State Department handles these issues.

For Information on How to Apply for a Certified Copy of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, please visit

Records of birth and death occurring on vessels or aircraft on the high seas

When a birth or death occurs on the high seas, whether in an aircraft or on a vessel, the record is usually filed at the next port of call.

  1. If the vessel or aircraft docked or landed at a foreign port, requests for copies of the record may be made to the U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20522-1705.
  2. If the first port of entry was in the United States, write to the registration authority in the city where the vessel or aircraft docked or landed in the United States.
  3. If the vessel was of U.S. registry, contact the local authorities at the port of entry and/or search the vessel logs at the U.S. Coast Guard Facility at the vessel's final port of call for that voyage.

Records Maintained by Foreign Countries
Most, but not all, foreign countries record births and will provide certification of such events. (Normally a fee will be charged.) U.S. citizens who need a copy of a foreign birth record may obtain help by writing to: Office of Special Consular Services, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20520. NOTE: Aliens residing in the United States who seek records of these events should contact their nearest consular office.

 Published Date: 10/05/2002  | Updated Date: 09/10/2014
 How can I learn about food safety and the Defense Commissary Agency?

Food customers can get more information about product recalls at a new Web site provided by the Defense Commissary Agency or DeCA. The Food Safety Information page provided on the DeCA homepage takes visitors to a section that publicizes pertinent food safety alerts and product recalls, and links to other Web sites offering a wealth of food safety information.

For information on how to contact the Defense Commissary Agency visit

 Published Date: 11/27/2002  | Updated Date: 08/19/2014
 Where can I learn more about the smallpox vaccination program?

The Department of Defense is prepared to respond to possible smallpox attacks against servicemembers click here . The Smallpox Vaccination Program is consistent with Food and Drug Administration guidelines and the best practice of medicine, supports the national smallpox preparedness plans announced by the President, and is tailored to the unique requirements of the Armed Forces. Like civilian communities, DoD will ensure preparedness by immunizing personnel based on their occupational responsibilities. These include smallpox response teams and hospital and clinic workers. DoD will vaccinate other designated forces having critical mission capabilities. DoD will use existing FDA-licensed smallpox vaccine. Like other vaccinations this will be mandated for designated personnel unless they are medically exempted. "The Department of Defense is establishing a smallpox vaccination program to protect the health and safety of military personnel. Smallpox is a serious infectious disease. We cannot quantify the threat of it being used as a bioweapon; we know the consequences of its use could be great," said William Winkenwerder, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs. "Vaccinating servicemembers before an attack is the best way to ensure that our troops are protected and that they can continue their missions if a smallpox outbreak occurs." Smallpox is caused by a virus called variola, which spreads from person to person through prolonged close contact.

Smallpox can cause a severe rash covering the whole body that can leave permanent scars, high fever, severe headache or backache. Smallpox kills about three out of 10 people infected. In the United States, routine vaccination against smallpox ended around 1972. In May 1980, the World Health Organization declared the global eradication of smallpox as a naturally occurring disease and recommended that all countries cease vaccination. Military smallpox vaccination programs continued longer. In 1984, routine military vaccinations were limited to recruits entering basic training. This practice was discontinued in 1990. In the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the subsequent anthrax letter attacks, the Department of Defense reassessed the threat of a smallpox attack. The resumption of a smallpox vaccination program is intended to ensure that the military can achieve its missions in case smallpox is used as a bioweapon. DoD works closely with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be prepared to protect the nation in the event of a smallpox outbreak.

 Published Date: 12/13/2002  | Updated Date: 08/20/2014
 Where can I find information for Veterans?
 The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has juridiction over most veteran issues. You may visit their website by visiting:
 Published Date: 12/13/2002  | Updated Date: 08/26/2014
 How do I locate a current member of the U.S. Armed Forces?

Responsibility for military personnel records falls within the jurisdiction of the military departments, not the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Therefore, requests for military addresses should be sent to the respective service of the individual whose address is being sought. There is no comprehensive source for e-mail addresses. Even if there were, military regulations and the Privacy Act of 1974 do not permit the military departments to provide home addresses or telephone numbers of service personnel. Moreover, regulations do not permit random dissemination of listings of names and addresses of service personnel. These regulations have been established to protect individual service men and women from commercial exploitation and to respect their right of privacy. Because of the large volume of requests that each service locator receives, please allow four weeks processing time for written requests.

Specific information:

The following information is needed for all requests for all locator services:

Give as much identifying information as possible about the person you wish to locate such as full name, rank, last duty assignment/last known military address, service number, and Social Security number. The locator service is free to immediate family members and government officials. Other family members, civilian friends, businesses and others must pay $3.50. The check or money order must be made out to the U.S. Treasury. It is not refundable.

The United States Army is no longer providing this service.United States Navy

The Navy's locator service helps locate individuals on active duty and those whose service ended less than a year ago. In addition, the Navy will forward letters as long as the correct postage is affixed to the envelope. You can call the locator service at 1-901-874-5111. Unless you are active military, local or federal government, or a family member, the fee for researching an address is $3.50 per address. Fees are retained in cases resulting in an unsuccessful search
 Published Date: 12/16/2002  | Updated Date: 10/08/2014
 How do I get a telephone number for a person or organization at the Pentagon?

Please call the Defense Department operators (703) 545-6700. The Department's Automated Directory Assistance (ADA) system will greet you. This service enhancement is intended to improve callers' ability to quickly retrieve phone numbers and to be connected efficiently.

 Published Date: 06/19/2003  | Updated Date: 08/26/2014
 Do you have information on this site about military commissions?
 Yes. Please visit the Office of Military Commission at the following:
 Published Date: 09/11/2003  | Updated Date: 07/29/2014

How can I make a correction or upgrade my military records?


In order to get your military service records upgraded/changes, you must contact your respective service Board for Correction of Military Records or fill out and mail a DD Form 149, Application for Correction of Military Record Under the Provisions of Title 10, U.S. Code, Section 1552. You may download the form at

Contact information for each board is listed below and on the back of DD Form 149:

U.S. Army Army Review Boards Agency (ARBA)
251 18th Street South, Ste. 385
Arlington, VA 22202-3531
Web Site:

U.S. Navy & U.S. Marine Corps Board for Correction of Naval Records
701 S. Courthouse Road, Building 12, Suite 1001
Arlington, VA 22204-2490
Phone: (703) 604-6884/(703) 604-6885
Web Site:

U.S. Air Force Board for Correction of Air Force Records
SAF/MRBR 550-C Street West, Suite #40
Randolph AFB, TX 78150-4742
Web Site:

U.S. Coast Guard Department of Homeland Security
Office of the General Counsel Board for Correction of Military Records
245 Murray Lane, Stop 0485
Washington, DC 20528-0485
Phone: (202) 477-4099
Web Site:

 Published Date: 09/25/2003  | Updated Date: 06/24/2016
 What is the proper way to wear the American Flag Patch on military uniforms?
  Army Regulation 670-1, Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia, updated most recently on February 3, 2005, addresses explicitly the proper and lawful placement of the U.S. flag patch on the Army uniform. The regulation states that when authorized for application to the proper uniform the American flag patch is to be worn, right or left shoulder, so that the star field faces forward, or to the flags own right. When worn in this manner, the flag is facing to the observers right, and gives the effect of the flag flying in the breeze as the wearer moves forward. The appropriate replica for the right shoulder sleeve is identified as the reverse side flag. We appreciate and share your concern for the respectful display of our American flag on the uniform of the U.S. Armed Forces. For more information contact the United States Army.
 Published Date: 11/06/2003  | Updated Date: 07/25/2014
 Can you direct me to the booklet, "Our Flag," that presents information about the history, laws and regulations, display, care, and other relevant information about the flag of the United States of America?
 Gladly. That booklet is on line courtesy of the General Services Administration Consumer Information Center. Please click here.
 Published Date: 03/30/2004  | Updated Date: 08/01/2014
 I am looking for Federal regulations; where are they?
 Federal regulations are available on line at
 Published Date: 05/21/2004  | Updated Date: 07/29/2014
 Where can we go for military family assistance?
 The Defense Department has established a "one stop" place to go whenever service members or family members need assistance with any kind of problem. It's called Military OneSource and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. This service includes everything from common, everyday difficulties that might face a family to life's most complicated situations. Military OneSource is also available to National Guardsmen and Reservists being called to Active Duty.

The toll-free telephone number for Military One Source: (800) 342-9647
International collect: (484) 530-5908

 Published Date: 07/01/2004  | Updated Date: 07/25/2014

Where can I find information on the GI Bill and transfer of education benefits (TEB)?


There are several resources available for information on the GI Bill, and education benefits.

You can access information about education benefits at the following Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) web page:  This page also has the latest updates on the program; if you are experiencing delays in receiving your benefit, this is a good place to check.

The VA also has a separate page for the transfer of education benefits (TEB):

Additional information can be found on milConnect:

** If you have already contacted the VA, and they told you that they are waiting for the Department of Defense to review your information, please contact your Service-specific GI Bill Career Counselor, as listed at the following link: .**

 Published Date: 07/10/2008  | Updated Date: 03/23/2017