Freedom of Information Act

Under FOIA, Federal agencies and components are required to make records available to the public unless one of nine (9) specific exemptions authorizes their withholding.
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 United States Code (USC) 552, allows you to seek access to Executive Branch agency records, such as those held by the Department of the Defense. Department of Defense Privacy Program, Department of Defense FOIA Program.

The DoD has two issuances, or rules, that govern how FOIA requests will be processed within the DoD. DoD Directive 5400.07 establishes the overall DoD FOIA policy and dictates the FOIA roles and responsibilities of DoD Components. The Directive can be found at Part 285 of Chapter 32 of the Code of Federal Regulations (32 CFR 285), which is available in most libraries.
DoD Freedom of Information Act Handbook. This handbook can assist an individual in making FOIA requests for DoD records.

How do I request information from WRNMMC under FOIA?
Send a written request as follows:
  • Describe the records/information desired.
  • State your willingness to pay reasonable processing fee or justify why the fee should be waived.
  • Clearly state that you are requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act.
  • Label envelope and letter "Freedom of Information Act."

Mail to:
Department Of Defense
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
Freedom of Information Act
8955 Wood Road
Bethesda, Maryland 20889-5628

For more information or questions please contact the FOIA Office at (301) 319-4775 ext 5.
Or visit the DHA FOIA home page.

Documents dating back 6+ years are forwarded to the National Personnel Records Center for long-term storage. Please contact that agency by mail, email, direct dial or fax at:

National Personnel Records Center
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MD 63138
(866) 272-6272
(314) 801-0800
(314) 801-9195 (fax)

If for any reason you are dissatisfied with the responses received, you may file an appeal with the Defense Health Agency Office of General Counsel. Such an appeal should be addressed to:

Defense Health Agency
Office of the General Counsel
National Capital Region Medical Directorate
8901 Wisconsin Avenue (Building 27)
Bethesda, Maryland 20889

The appeal must be postmarked within 60 calendar days from the date of this letter, and you should attach this letter with a statement regarding the basis of your appeal. I recommend you annotate both the letter of appeal and envelope with the words "Freedom of Information Act Appeal."


Records (or portions of records) will be disclosed unless that disclosure harms an interest protected by a FOIA exemption. The nine (9) exemptions are cited in the Act as 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(1) through (b)(9):

Exemption (b)(1) records currently and properly classified in the interest of national security.
Exemption (b)(2) records related solely to internal personnel rules and practices of an agency.
Exemption (b)(3) records protected by another law that specifically exempts the information from public release.
Exemption (b)(4) trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a private source which would cause substantial competitive harm to the source if disclosed.
Exemption (b)(5) internal records that are deliberative in nature and are part of the decision making process that contain opinions and recommendations.
Exemption (b)(6) records which if released, would result in a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
Exemption (b)(7) investigatory records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes.
Exemption (b)(8) records for the use of any agency responsible for the regulation or supervision of financial institutions.
Exemption (b)(9) records containing geological and geophysical information (including maps) concerning wells.