Freedom of Information Act
What is the FOIA?
The FOIA allows the general public including foreign citizens, military and civilian personnel acting as private citizens, to request records electronically or in writing from the Federal Government. Some records are released to the public under the FOIA, and may therefore reflect deletion of some information in accordance with the FOIA's nine statutory exemptions or two law enforcement record exclusions. Currently the law allows 20 working days to process a FOIA request upon receipt of the request in the FOIA office.
Who can submit a FOIA request?
Members of the public, including foreign citizens, military and civilian personnel acting as private citizens, organizations and businesses, and individual members of the Congress for themselves or constituents, may request records in writing. It is important to remember that the FOIA applies only to federal agencies. It does not create a right of access to records held by Congress, the courts, state or local government agencies, or by private businesses or individuals. Each state has its own public access laws that should by consulted for access to state and local records.
How to make a FOIA request?
If you want to submit a FOIA inquiry, send a written request to the FOIA office where the record is located, describe the records you want as specifically as possible and let us know how much you're willing to pay.
FOIA Costs. The FOIA allows fee charges based on the requester's category. There are three categories:
- Commercial (pay search, review, and reproduction fees)
- Educational, non-commercial scientific institution, and news media (pay search and reproduction fees; first 100 pages provided at no cost)
- Others (pay search and reproduction fees; first two hours search and 100 pages provided at no cost).
The FOIA also allows waivers or reductions in fees if disclosing the information is in the public interest.
Please refer to our sample FOIA request if you seek information that pertains to a certain topic or an individual other than yourself. If you want records that concern your personal privacy or that of another person, refer to our sample Privacy Act request.
Signature Note: If you (or your authorized representative) are requesting copies of records pertaining to yourself your request is a Privacy Act request. All Privacy Act requests must be signed by the requester before we can process the request.
If you are sending a Privacy Act request via email, please scan a copy of your signed request, attach it to your email, and send it to the provided e-mail address.
Protect your Personal Information. Please DO NOT send personally identifiable information such as social security numbers via unprotected email as it puts your information at risk.
Where to make a FOIA Request?
FOIA requests must be in writing, cite the Freedom of Information Act and contain a statement of willingness to pay fees. Send all MN Army National Guard requests to:
Department of Military Affairs
20 12th Street West
St. Paul, MN 55155-2004
Phone Number (651) 268-8876 or (651) 282-4621
Fax Number (651) 282-4608
Do not fax documents containing personally-identifiable information (PII).
E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
All MN Air National Guard requests should be sent to:
Office of Information and Privacy (NGB/JA-OIP)
Attn: ANG FOIA Requests
111 South George Mason Drive, AH2
Arlington VA 22204-1373
Phone: (571) 256-7838 or (703) 607-5901
Personnel Military records request
Records of veterans who are completely discharged (with no remaining reserve commitment), or who are retired or have died, are available at the National Archives and Records Administration, National Personnel Records Center (NPRC).
Prior Service MNARNG Records
Records of MNARNG veterans who are completely discharged, retired or deceased or next-of-kin of deceased veterans, please include an SF-180 with your request and mail to: G1 Army MILPO, ATTN: Service Verifications, 600 Cedar Street, St. Paul, MN 55101-2597