List of Names

In consideration of the President's declaration of a National Emergency following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, the Department of Defense (DoD) no longer routinely releases lists of names of DoD personnel, including military, civilians, and contractors.

Subsequently, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) was sued for withholding names of DoD employees. The court agreed with OPM, determining there is no public interest in such a release, while there is a privacy harm. The court re-emphasized the importance of balancing the public's interest in the activities and operations of the Government with privacy interests. It was determined that if a list of names or the release of names does not shed any light on Government operations, that information may be withheld. It also means that DoD employees have a privacy interest in the fact that they are DoD employees. The decision upholds DoD’s November 9, 2001 policy. For further information, refer to the opinion from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, CPI v. OPM Memorandum Opinion.