Frequently Asked Questions

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Join the Army

  • Where can I get information about enlisting in the Army?
  • GoArmy.com is the "go-to" site for information about joining the Army.

    http://www.goarmy.com

  • Can non-U.S. citizens join the Army?
  • Enlistment into any branch of the U.S. military, by citizens of countries other than the United States is limited to those foreign nationals who are legally residing in the United States and possess a Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services Alien Registration Card (INS Form I-151/551 - commonly known as a "Green Card"). Applicants must be between 17 and 35; meet the mental, moral, and physical standards for enlistment; and must speak, read and write English fluently.

    The U.S. military branches cannot assist foreign nationals in obtaining admittance into the United States. Questions concerning immigration to the United States should be asked of the U.S. Embassy. Only after immigration procedures are completed and an applicant is legally residing in the United States may an application for enlistment be accepted.

    The U.S. Government agency which is responsible for immigration and naturalization is the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services within the Department of Homeland Security.

    Check out the General Qualifications section at: http://www.goarmy.com/careers-and-jobs/enlisted-soldier.html

  • How can I learn more about attending West Point?
  • Contact the U.S. Military Academy at West Point directly at admissions@usma.edu

    Or visit their website at: http://www.usma.edu/admissions/

  • Are there opportunities for active duty veterans with the National Guard or Reserve?
  • Once certain thresholds have been met (with regard to age, years of service, etc.), Soldiers usually are not eligible for re-entry to service, however, there are other ways that many veterans continue to serve. Most states have a volunteer force of veterans, often referred to as a "defense force," "volunteer force" or state "militia" who serve in a variety of roles within the respective states. More information can be obtained by contacting state or territorial headquarters.

  • How do I explore opportunities for employment with the Army as a federal civilian employee?
  • For Army federal employment explore the Army's Civilian Personnel website:

    http://cpol.army.mil/index.html

    The primary website to look for civilian federal jobs is http://www.usajobs.gov/. It's user-friendly and you can also search for jobs by agency.

Records

  • Is the National Archives and Records Administration destroying military personnel files?
  • They are not being destroyed. 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. However, there is a rumor circulating on the Internet that advises veterans to apply for their Official Military Personnel Files to save them from destruction. There is no truth to this "urban legend" being perpetuated on the Web.

  • How do I correct errors in 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. Contact information for each board is listed below:

    Army Board of Correction
    Crystal Mall 4, Room 220
    Arlington, VA 22202-4508
    Phone: 703-607-1611

  • I need to verify if someone is a member of the military. What Department should I contact?
  • The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act website has a request form to obtain this information: https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/appj/scra/scraHome.do

  • How can I find the address of a specific present or former member of the U.S. Armed Forces?
  • Requests for military addresses should be sent to the respective service of the individual whose address is being sought. Military regulations and the Privacy Act of 1974 do not permit the military departments to provide email addresses, 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. The following information is needed for all requests for 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 will help you locate individuals on active duty only, not retirees.

    The Army World Wide Locator address is:

    Commander U.S. Army Enlisted Records & Evaluation Center
    ATTN: Locator
    8899 East 56th Street
    Fort Benjamin Harrison, IN 46249-5301

  • Where can I get copies of my personnel records?
  • The National Archives has a Veterans Service Records section: http://www.archives.gov/veterans/

  • As a retiree, where can I get copies of my active duty records?
  • Active duty retirees should contact:
    Military Records Facility
    9700 Page Avenue
    St. Louis, Missouri 63132-5100
    Phone: (800) 318-5298

    At minimum, please include the service member's complete name, Social Security number and/or serial number, and the requester's return address. The Human Resources Command website also has a veterans documents section at:

    https://www.hrc.army.mil/tagd/Human Resource Service Center

  • How can I access my DD 214 online?
  • Military veterans and the next of kin of deceased former military members may now use a new online military personnel records system to request documents from the National Military Personnel Records Center (NPRC) at the National Archives Center in Saint Louis, Mo.

    Veterans and next of kin may access this application at http://www.archives.gov/veterans/evetrecs/

    Other individuals with a need for documents must still complete the Standard Form 180, which can be downloaded from the online website. The new web-based application was designed to provide better service on these requests by eliminating the records center's mailroom processing time. Also, because the requester will be asked to supply all information essential for NPRC to process the request, delays that normally occur when NPRC has to ask veterans for additional information will be minimized.

  • How do I replace my medals that were lost?
  • In order to obtain a replacement medal you will have to contact the following institution at:

    National Personnel Records Center
    Attn: Army Reference Branch
    9700 Page Avenue
    St. Louis, MO 63132-5100
    Phone (314) 538-4261

    You may be charged for the replacement of the medals.

  • Where can I get copies of my personnel records?
  • Former/retired Army Civilian employees:

    Contact the National Personnel Records Center at:
    Civilian Records Facility
    111 Winnebago Street
    St. Louis, Missouri 63118-4199

  • How do I verify my past federal employment?
  • If it has been less than six months since you were employed with a Federal agency, first contact the personnel department of the agency for which you worked to assist you in determining the necessary procedures.

    If you are unable to obtain your records from the personnel department or if it has been more than six months since you were employed with that Federal agency, send a written request for the records to the NPRC Civilian Personnel Records Division. Please note that the Civilian Personnel Records Division will only provide copies of documents and information to the subject of the file or someone who has received written authorization from the subject of the file.

    The website for Civilian Personnel Records is at http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/civilian-personnel/faqs.html

  • I was born overseas at a military installation. How do I obtain my birth certificate?
  • Department of State application for consular report of birth abroad of a citizen of the United States of America (PDF): http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/156216.pdf

  • How do I use the Freedom of Information Act?
  • Freedom of Information Act instructions are at https://www.rmda.army.mil/foia/RMDA-FOIA-Division.html

Army Public Affairs

  • What is the mailing address of the Army Public Affairs Office?
  • Department of the Army
    ATTN: Chief of Public Affairs
    1500 Army Pentagon
    Washington, DC 20310-1500

    Website: https://www.army.mil/info/institution/publicAffairs/

  • I am with the media and have some questions regarding past, present, and future Army issues. Who do I call?
  • For Defense issues call: Department of Defense (703) 697-5131

    For U.S. Army issues, see U.S. Army Public Affairs phone roster at: https://www.army.mil/e2/rv5_downloads/info/institution/publicAffairs/MRD_phone_roster.pdf

  • Who do I contact for information about community relations support?
  • Army Public Affairs provides assistance through three regional offices located in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. These locations, along with the Pentagon office, work hard to answer your questions and support your events and community. The mailing address and phone roster for each of these regional offices are available at: https://www.army.mil/comrel/contact

    For general information about Army Community Relations, visit: https://www.army.mil/comrel/

  • What are the guidelines for commercial use of imagery?
  • The use of DoD Personnel and Materiel in Advertising, Marketing or Promotional Material must be approved by the Department of Defense and meet the following guidelines:

    Endorsement of a non-Federal entity, event, product, service or enterprise may be neither stated nor implied by DoD or DoD employees in their official capacities, including through use of their images. Additionally, titles, positions or organization names may not be used to suggest official endorsement or preferential treatment of any non-Federal entity, except in limited circumstances outlined in DoD Directive 5500.7-R. In all cases, Military Service-specific insignia must be removed from advertising, marketing or promotional material.

    The use of Department of Defense still and/or motion imagery that includes people who can be personally identified in the image is not authorized, unless the requestor contacts the person(s) and obtains written permission for the use of their identifiable image.

    DoD materiel such as aircraft, missiles, ships, and other hardware cannot be used in any company marketing or advertising campaign, if they incorporate distinctive U.S. military markings and/or other features that would connote DoD endorsement of the campaign. If still and/or motion imagery is to be used for commercial advertisement, the proposed ad layout with its accompanying copy must be approved by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs.

    For approval, e-mail or FAX your request to OASD (PA)/CR & PL: PAreview@osd.mil or 703-697-2577.

  • I have a site on the Internet, and was wondering if I could post some of your pictures on my site?
  • Images, pictures, and other media depicting Army personnel carrying out their official duties may be used by non-Federal entities in communication venues which are solely informational in nature, such as newspapers, news magazines, or other media that focus on reporting social or industry news, and are not directly or indirectly associated with a marketing, advertising, or a self-promoting activity (including company annual reports).

    Photographs and imagery on the Army's website at https://search.usa.gov/search/images?affiliate=www.army.mil, unless otherwise noted, are in the public domain. Attribution of the source is always appreciated by the military photographer.

    Army imagery is provided without talent releases on any individual portrayed. Imagery is provided with the understanding that the Army has no authority to waive the privacy rights of any individual depicted in government media. And no exclusive rights to official records may be claimed by any organization or individual.

Benefits/Issues

Army: Equipment, Uniform Wear, History, and Information

Doing Business with the Army

  • Where am I able to find Army contracts or information regarding contracts?
  • View the most recently announced contracts: http://acc.army.mil/contracting-centers/

    Federal Business Opportunities website lists U.S. Government contracts, including the Defense Department, that are up for bid. Please see: http://www.fedbizopps.gov.

  • What benefits do I get from having employees who are Guard members or Army Reservists?
  • Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve website: http://www.esgr.mil/

  • How can I get information on surplus auctions?
  • The Defense Logistics Agency: Disposition Services: http://www.dispositionservices.dla.mil/

    Contact the Defense Disposition Services at 1-877-352-2255.

  • 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. The telephone number there is: 800-424-9098. You may also send an e-mail to officials there at: hotline@dodig.osd.mil

  • I would like to get an American Flag flown at the Pentagon to give to my brother for his service to our nation. Can you tell me who I need to talk with to get a Flag?
    1. The requester must provide the flag. All requests must be submitted no more than 15 business days in advance and the least must be 5 business days from date of receipt of the flag if you are mailing the flag(s) please add on an additional week.
    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 requester (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 or postage stamps) for the flag and certificate to be returned.(The Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA) cannot accept cash, money orders or checks for the return postage. PFPA is not responsible for providing return postage or packaging.)
    4. The requester 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. (Due to limited space flag(s) cannot be held for more than 30 days from date of receipt.)
    5. 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.)
      • Verbiage on certificate goes up to 32 spaces total.
      • The specific date the flag is requested to be flown on. If no date is specified, the flag will be flown 15 business days after receipt of the flag.
      • The point of contact's name, address, and their telephone number (commercial and/or DSN) and email address.

    For more information visit http://www.pfpa.mil/services/flagpnt.html

Scams and Legal Issues

  • Am I being scammed?
  • This article may help clarify some of the tricks social media scammers try to use to take advantage of people: https://www.army.mil/article/61432/

    • Soldiers and their loved ones are not charged money so that the Soldier can go on leave.
    • Soldiers are not charged money for secure communications or leave.
    • Soldiers do not need permission to get married.
    • Soldiers do not have to pay for early retirement.
    • Soldiers have medical insurance, which pays for their medical costs when treated at civilian health care facilities worldwide – family and friends do not need to pay their medical expenses.
    • Military aircraft are not used to transport Privately Owned Vehicles.
    • Army financial offices are not used to help Soldiers buy or sell items of any kind.
    • Soldiers deployed to Combat Zones do not need to solicit money from the public to feed or house their troops.
    • Deployed Soldiers do not find large unclaimed sums of money and need your help to get that money out of the country.

    Anyone who tells you one of the above-listed conditions/circumstances is true is likely posing as a Soldier and trying to steal money from you.

    We would urge you to immediately cease all contact with this individual.

    For more information on avoiding online scams and to report this crime, please see the following sites:

  • How may I get help in obtaining court-ordered child support?
  • The Defense Finance and Accounting Services web page provides information pertaining to garnishment of wages for child support, or alimony: http://www.dfas.mil/

    Individuals should also encourage you to seek legal council from a civilian lawyer or your military staff judge advocate's office.

  • I am divorced. My former spouse now seeks more money and property. What are my rights, obligations, and protections?
  • The Judge Advocate General's Corps website is: https://www.jagcnet.army.mil/Legal

    The Defense Finance and Accounting Service website pertaining to the Former Spouses Protection is: http://www.dfas.mil/garnishment.html

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