DoD Hotline - FAQs

Questions Regarding The DoD Hotline

Common Questions and Requests For Assistance

The following matters are NOT investigated by the DoD Hotline. For your convenience and reference, we have provided some references to common questions and requests for assistance received by our office.


FAQs Links By Service Branch For Assistance




What is fraud, waste, and abuse?  Where should I report it?

Any intentional deception designed to deprive the United States unlawfully of something of value or to secure from the United States for an individual a benefit, privilege, allowance, or consideration to which he or she is not entitled. Such practices include, but are not limited to, the offer, payment, or acceptance of bribes or gratuities; making false statements; submitting false claims; using false weights or measures; evading or corrupting inspectors or other officials; deceit either by suppressing the truth or misrepresenting material fact; adulterating or substituting materials; falsifying records and books of accounts; arranging for secret profits, kickbacks, or commissions; and conspiring to use any of these devices. The term also includes conflict of interest cases, criminal irregularities, and the unauthorized disclosure of official information relating to procurement and disposal matters.

The extravagant careless, or needless expenditure of Government funds, or the consumption of Government property that results from deficient practices, systems, controls, or decisions. The term also includes improper practices not involving prosecutable fraud. 

The intentional or improper use of Government resources that can include the excessive or improper use of one's position, in a manner contrary to its rightful or legally intended use. Examples include misuse of rank, position, or authority or misuse of DoD resources. 

The majority of fraud, waste, and abuse should be reported to your chain of command or your local/command Inspector General.

Theft:  Normally, reports of theft of Government property should be reported to the law enforcement authorities at the particular installation in question. The military police, Defense police, and military criminal investigative organizations are responsible for investigating thefts and misappropriation of Government property. The DoD OIG will however, accept certain reports of Government property theft dependent on the circumstances surrounding your knowledge of the offense in question. If the allegations of theft of Government resources are regarding a senior official, involve a high-dollar amount, or you believe other circumstances apply, you are encouraged to contact the DoD Hotline by visiting our "Submit a Complaint" page.

Time & Attendance:  Report minor incidents of time and attendance abuse to your supervisory chain-of-command, local Inspector General, or your office Human Resources representative.If the allegations of time and attendance abuse are repeated or egregious, have not been addressed by your local Inspector General or other military investigative entity, involve a senior official, or you believe other circumstances apply, you are encouraged to file the complaint with the DoD Hotline by visiting our "Submit a Complaint" page.

Government vehicle misuse:  Report minor incidents of misuse of Government vehicles to your local Inspector General or military investigative service.  It would be helpful to have the license tag number, color, model, and make of the subject vehicle, in addition to date, time, and location that the misuse was observed.  If the allegations of Government vehicle misuse are repeated or egregious, have not been addressed by your local Inspector General, or other military investigative entity or involves a senior official, you are encouraged to file the complaint with the DoD Hotline by visiting our "Submit a Complaint" page. 


What other avenues of redress are available to me to resolve my complaints?

There are a multitude of resource available to you, depending upon the subject matter. 

You are encouraged to review our 'Read Before Filing' page to find answers, resources, and assistance information that may expeditiously point you in the correct direction.

Please also visit our 'Helpful Links' page for a comprehensive listing of useful websites, both DoD related and non-DoD related.


I am about to be fired, reprimanded, discharged, dismissed, or sentenced. Can you stop this?

A complaint lodged with the DoD Hotline will not stop any impending action against you.

For military service members undergoing, or about to undergo, Non-Judicial Punishment (NJP), or other Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) proceedings, contact your command Legal Services Office for assistance.

Where there is an established personnel, management, or appeal process, you are encouraged to contact your respective Human Resources personnel for guidance concerning available options which may address your situation.


I have a problem with my management and believe I may have been discriminated against, or was on the receiving end of a prohibited personnel practice. What do I do

If you believe you are experiencing discrimination, the established grievance channel for military members is to file a complaint with either your Equal Opportunity (EO) office or your Human Resource Office, Human Resource Service Center, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) advisor, or your Alternate Dispute Resolution coordinator to discuss how to proceed.  Because filing timelines apply, be sure to consult with your EO or EEO officer as soon as you believe you experienced an act of discrimination or other management wrongdoing.

Appropriated fund civilian employees who wish to report prohibited personnel practices should contact the Merit System Protection Board (MSPB) at, or the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) at

For disagreements concerning performance evaluations, please contact the appropriate Human Resources personnel that services your organization for guidance.

If you believe you have a claim of reprisal, please visit our "Reprisal Complaints" page to see if your situation meets the requirements.


I have an emergency to report.  Should I contact your office?

The DoD Hotline provides an avenue to report fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement regarding programs and personnel under the purview of the Department of Defense, but it is not equipped or staffed to handle immediate 911-type emergencies, or matters that require urgent police or medical attention.  Contact your nearest emergency services department and/or law enforcement officials for that type of assistance.

However, if you are looking for more information on how to file a complaint or provide information relating to threats to national or Homeland Defense, human trafficking, or unauthorized disclosure, please do not hesitate to contact the DoD Hotline at 1-800-424-9098.


The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has established a national suicide prevention hotline to ensure veterans in emotional crisis have free, 24/7 access to trained counselors. To operate the Veterans Hotline, the VA partnered with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

The Veterans Crisis Line:  1-800-273-TALK (8255)


Can I submit my complaint directly to the DoD Inspector General or must I go to my local IG?

Although you may contact the DoD Hotline at any time, a more expeditious route towards resolution of your problem might best be served by first contacting your local or command-level Inspector General's office.

In tandem with this page, you are also encouraged to visit our 'Read Before Filing' page.  In many instances, your local Inspector General has direct cognizance, purview, and oversight over programs, personnel, and operations regarding your problem.  Your local Inspector General will also assist in guiding you to other channels of resolution, where appropriate.


Can I come to your offices to file a Hotline complaint?

The DoD Hotline is not staffed to accept walk-in complaints. We encourage you to submit your complaint, and any supporting documentation, via the online complaint form.  Our experience has shown that written complaints, in a Complainant's own words provide our office with the best starting point for analysis.  If our office needs additional information, you will be contacted.


Does the DoD Hotline take telephone complaints?

While the DoD Hotline office will provide you assistance via telephone, we encourage you to submit your complaint, and any supporting documentation, via the online complaint form.  Our experience has shown that written complaints, in a Complainant's own words and provide our office with the best starting point for analysis. After filing your complaint, you will be contacted if we need additional information.  


What can I expect when I call the DoD Hotline?

You can expect your call to be answered by a trained, professional, and courteous investigator whose purpose is to answer your Hotline related questions and to provide guidance on submitting a complaint.


How do I submit a Hotline complaint?

You may submit your complaint, and any supporting documentation, in writing.

Again, you are encouraged to review our 'Read Before Filing' page, which includes a link to a listing of Inspector General office locators by military service.  Please review the list to determine which is the appropriate local or command-level Inspector General to submit your complaint.

After carefully reviewing our 'Read Before Filing' page, this 'Frequently Asked Questions' page, and our 'Helpful Links' page, if you still believe your interests would best be served by filing a complaint with the DoD Office of Inspector General, then visit our 'Submit a Complaint' page for filing procedures.


Do I have to identify myself?


No you do not have to identify yourself. In addition to filing anonymously (where you do not give the DoD Hotline any identifying information), you may also indicate your election of consent or non-consent to disclosure.


When providing consent to the disclosure of your identity outside of the DoD Hotline, disclosure is provided only on a "need-to-know" basis to organizations and other investigative personnel necessary to complete the inquiry into your allegations and to effectuate corrective actions, if any. Sometimes it is beneficial for those investigative personnel tasked to look into the matter to be able to clarify or obtain additional information from the source of the complaint, if needed. Thus, that is the scenario under which such consent would aid the process.


You have two options when you do not provide consent to disclosure of your identity:

  • Release your identity to the DoD OIG only, via DoD Hotline personnel, with the understanding that your information will not be released to anyone outside of the DoD Hotline, including other investigating officials outside of the DoD Hotline, which may be assigned to look into your matter;


  • Identify yourself with the understanding that only the DoD OIG, via DoD Hotline personnel, and the tasked investigator, who may be outside of the DoD Hotline, will know who you are.

If you do not consent to disclosure of your identity, the DoD Hotline will make every effort to protect your identity from disclosure; however, we cannot guarantee confidentiality since disclosure may be required during the investigation or in the course of corrective action. Regardless of the consent disclosure choice you elect (consent or non-consent), your identity may be disclosed if required by applicable legal authority, or the Director, DoD Hotline, determines that such disclosure is otherwise unavoidable to address the matters contained in the complaint.  Such circumstances may include a matter involving a specific danger to health or safety, or a national security issue.


If you file your complaint anonymously, we will not know who you are.  As such, we will not be able to contact you to request additional information.  If you have established a temporary e-mail account to submit an anonymous complaint, without any other identifying or contact information, the DoD Hotline will not provide a response, as we have no method of verifying your identity.


What happens after I file a complaint? Am I guaranteed an investigation?

An investigator will evaluate your complaint and determine if the matter warrants further inquiry.  DoD OIG will send a confirmation letter to let you know the general disposition of our analysis, if you provide your name and contact information.  We appreciate your patience during this process, as the DoD Hotline receives a very high volume of complaints. 

No one is guaranteed an investigation.  Depending upon what allegations are submitted, the DoD OIG may not be the correct entity to file a complaint with, as certain matters do not fall under DoD Inspector General purview or cognizance.  The DoD Inspector General reserves the right to decline to investigate any complaint.

Generally, the DoD OIG does not accept a complaint for inquiry if:

(1) You have not used an appropriate complaint process for military and civilian employees such as Board for Correction of Naval Records, Equal Opportunity/Equal Employment Opportunity, Administrative Grievance Procedure;

(2) Another investigation is being conducted into the matter; or

(3) The matter is not within DoD OIG purview.

If you have any questions regarding the above, or would like to consult our office regarding your specific situation and circumstances, do not hesitate to phone the DoD Hotline at 1-800-424-9098.


Can I expect a DoD Hotline investigator to contact me after I file a complaint?

Upon receipt of your written complaint and any supporting documentation, a DoD Hotline investigator will evaluate your complaint.  If our office does not require additional information you will not be contacted by our office, outside of a brief acknowledgement letter.  


If I do not agree with the actions taken by your office, can I appeal?

The results of most OIG investigations or inquiries cannot be "appealed."  However, if you have new and relevant information to further augment your complaint since your original allegations were filed and a decision rendered, you may submit the new information and request reconsideration.

If you are merely unhappy because you do not agree with the outcome, the OIG will not conduct further investigation.

The results of two types of whistleblower reprisal investigations, however, provide formal appeal rights: 

For an employee of a Defense contractor or subcontractor who alleged reprisal:

  • If the head of an executive agency issues an order denying relief or has not issued an order within 210 days after the submission of a whistleblower reprisal complaint, or
  • In the case of an extension of time for investigation agreed to by DoD IG and the employee, not later than 30 days after the expiration of the extension of time, and
  • There is no showing that such delay is due to the bad faith of the complainant, then

the employee is considered to have exhausted all administrative remedies for the complaint, and the employee may bring an action against the contractor in the appropriate U.S. District Court.  Such an action may not be brought more than two years after the date on which the administrative remedies were exhausted. 

For an employee who alleged reprisal under Presidential Policy Directive 19:

An employee who has exhausted the required review process may request an external review by a three-member panel chaired by the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community. 


How can I file a request under the Freedom of Information Act?

Once your case is closed, you may seek the results through a Freedom of Information Act  (FOIA) request. 

You may review the instructions on our DoD OIG website on our FOIA Page on how to submit a request under the Freedom of Information Act. You may either fill out the request form online, or submit your written request  following address:

Department of Defense Office of Inspector General
 DoD IG FOIA Requester Service Center
 ATTN:  FOIA/PA Chief, West Tower Suite 10B24
 4800 Mark Center Drive
 Alexandria, VA 22350-1500

Facsimile: 571-372-7498



Common Questions and Requests for Assistance

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.


How can I verify employment for military members or find out if someone is in the military?

The National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records (NPRC-MPR) is the repository for all military personnel, service, health, and medical records of discharged and deceased veterans of all services during the 20th century.  All records of military service can be obtained through the National Archives and Records Administration at:

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.

To obtain a copy of your own DD-214, you may visit this link:

Military veterans and next of kin of deceased former military members may now use a new online military personnel records system to request documents at:

You may also find it helpful to review the following:  Request Copies of Military Personnel Records Online

Here are additional address and telephone contact information:

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

Phone: 1-86-NARA-NARA (1-866-272-6272)


I am seeking a correction to my military records. Who can I contact?

In order to get your military service records upgraded or to submit requests for changes, you must contact your respective service Board for Correction of Military Records.  Alternatively, you may 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:

U.S. Army
Army Review Boards Agency (ARBA)
1901 South Bell Street
Arlington, VA  22202-4508
Phone:  1-703-607-1600
Web Site:

U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps
Board of Correction of Naval Records
2 Navy Annex, Room 2432
Washington, DC  20370-5100
Phone:  1-703-614-1402/1316
Web Site:

Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records
1535 Command Drive
EE Wing, 3rd Floor
Andrews Air Force Base, MD  20762-7002
Phone:  1-240-857-3502
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: 1-202-477-4099 
Web Site:


Replacement of Military Service Medals, Decorations, and Awards: I've been out of the service for several years. Whom do I contact about medals that I earned but were never received or have been lost?

The National Personnel Records Center's website provides information on requests for the issuance or replacement of military service medals, decorations, and awards. That site is National Archives Military Awards and Decorations.


Who can I speak with regarding my pay and allowance questions?

Pay issues are best serviced by the relevant Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) office.  The following numbers are provided for your reference:

Military Pay:  1-888-332-7411
Army Military Pay:  1-888-729-2769
Civilian Pay:  1-800-538-9043 (DFAS Indianapolis) or 1-800-729-3277 (DFAS Cleveland)
Retired Military:  1-800-321-1080
Retired Civilian:  1-888-767-6738
Contract/Vendor Pay:  1-800-756-4571

To file a complaint regarding your pay and allowance issues, you may send correspondence to:


I need more information regarding child support and alimony issues?

Please visit the Defense Finance and Accounting Services web page pertaining to the garnishment of wages for child support and alimony:

You may also seek assistance from a civilian lawyer or your Legal Services/Staff Judge Advocate's office.


I have a dispute regarding a debt with the Department of Veterans Affairs or other agency. Can your office help me?

Federal delinquent debt is reported to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and under the Treasury Offset Program, delinquent accounts are subject to administrative offset (garnishment) of United States government funds due individuals from various sources, to include federal salary offset or withholding of federal benefit amounts.

To better understand allowable offset amounts, you are encouraged to contact your relevant Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) office. The following numbers are provided for your reference:

Military Pay: 1-888-332-7411 Army Military Pay: 1-888-729-2769
Civilian Pay: 1-800-538-9043 (DFAS Indianapolis) or 1-800-729-3277 (DFAS Cleveland)
Retired Military: 1-800-321-1080
Retired Civilian: 1-888-767-6738
Contract/Vendor Pay: 1-800-756-4571

For additional information and contact numbers, you may also visit

If your concerns involve the actual offset amounts and percentages, or if you are disputing the total amount of the debt, or even the existence of the debt itself, you would better be serviced by contacting the Federal agency, office, or program from which the alleged debt originated. For example, if your dispute is regarding a Veterans Affairs (VA) loan, you must contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. For a comprehensive listing of other Federal agencies, click here.


I have questions or problems regarding TRICARE. Where can I go online for answers?

For service related TRICARE issues, the following link will provide you information about contacting your regional TRICARE office by phone or by e-mail:

For convenience, telephone numbers and web links are provided below for each TRICARE region:

North Region
Telephone:  877-874-2273

South Region
Telephone:  800-444-5445

West  Region
Telephone:  877-988-9378

While you may always contact the DoD Hotline to report fraud, waste, or abuse, an alternative method for resolution could be to contact the TRICARE Defense Health Agency Program Integrity Office, which is the central coordinating agency to receive such allegations.  This office is committed to preventing, identifying, and assisting in the prosecution of health care fraud.  Contact information for that office is provided below:

Defense Health Agency
Attn:  Program Integrity
16401 East Centretech Parkway
Aurora, CO  80011-9066
Facsimile:  303-676-3981

If you wish to consult our office regarding your specific situation and circumstances, do not hesitate to phone the DoD Hotline at 800-424-9098.


Where can I get Wounded Warrior or other Veterans Crisis information/assistance?


Click here to visit

The National Resource Directory (NRD), also known as the Wounded Warrior Resource Center, is a website that connects wounded warriors, Service Members, Veterans, and their families with those who support them.  The NRD is a partnership between the Departments of Defense, Labor, and Veterans Affairs (VA). 

This site provides access to services and resources at the national, state, and local levels to support recovery, rehabilitation and community reintegration.  Visitors can find information on a variety of topics including benefits & compensation, education & training, employment, family & caregiver support, health, suicide prevention, homeless assistance, housing, transportation & travel, as well as many other services and resources. 

If you are a military veteran and are in emotional crisis, the VA (partnered with Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services) developed the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK).  You may call this line 24/7, free of charge, to speak with a trained counselor.

The Veterans Crisis Line:  800-273-TALK (8255)

National Call Center for Homeless Veterans:  877-4AID-VET (424-3838)

Veterans Affairs Caregiver Support Line:  855-260-3274

Wounded Warrior Resource Center:  800-342-9647

Wounded Warrior Program (AW2)
Telephone: 877-393-9058; DSN 312-221-9113

Telephone: 877-746-8563

Wounded Warrior Regiment
Telephone:  877-487-6299 (24 hours; 365 days of the year)

Wounded Warrior Program (AFW2)
Telephone:  800-581-9437

Another 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 available for resource assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year at:, or over the phone at 800-342-9647.



With respect to resources DoD may have for service members having difficulties with re-adjustment or post traumatic stress disorder, the following information is offered by the official DoD website:

Survivor Support Groups: We recommend that the first stop for family members be to contact the Family Support Center, chaplain, or Life Skills Support Center (LSSC) for assistance with locating survivor support groups in the community. The list below includes a number of private, as well as government, resources. Listing of the private sites is not intended as an official endorsement of those programs.

Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS): TAPS is a national network of peer support for military survivors. They provide referrals to grief counseling options. More information is available at:

Emotional Distress & Stress management web sites listed below:

Department of Veterans Affairs: (free counseling available)

National Veterans Foundation:

Listing of State Directors of Veterans Affairs:

Air Force Aid Society:

Navy & Marine Public Health Center:

Deployment Health Clinical Center web site is


I recently received an e-mail, Skype message, or a phone call from a supposed military member asking me to send money. Is this legitimate or a scam?

The U.S. Government does not send unsolicited requests and does not seek personal or financial information from members of the public via the internet or phone. Contacts of these nature are scams. 

The Department of Defense has become aware of various fraudulent schemes being perpetuated via the internet. These cyber criminals, posing as military members, prey on victims in an attempt to elicit money and/or personal and financial information.  In many instances, the scam perpetrators say they are deployed, whether to Iraq or Afghanistan, and claim to need money for everything from leave papers to a flight back home. They may pose as an Air Force lieutenant, an Army general, or other military member, and provide you with fake or stolen photos.  Often, they will contact members of the public by e-mail, instant messenger, online chat, and internet VOIP phone. 

To read more about these types of scams, please visit the Internet Crime Complaint Center for additional information and ways you can report this. 


Where can I find DoD Directives & Instructions, as well as other federal regulations?

DoD Directives and Instructions are available online at:

Federal regulations are available online at:


Where can I find DoD forms?

DoD forms are available online at: 


Where can I find a listing of frequently used DoD acronyms?

The DoD Directory of Military Terms is a fully searchable site on the web at: