Military Records

Filing Manuals

Are you new to archival research? Review the Getting Started pages.

These manuals outline the filing classification systems used by staff in the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and various departments and agencies of the federal government.

Allied Commission (Italy)

The Allied Commission Archives Branch used a three-digit numerical system to classify records. Five-digit indicator numbers denote Headquarters, regional, provincial, and American Military Government (AMG) subseries, followed by three-digit subindicators that correspond to subordinate organizational levels by subject, and then serial numbers in sequential order.


See the Research Topics page for Army Records.

Coast Guard

The United States Coast Guard produced these filing manuals as guidance on classifying files by subject. The 1936 manual uses a decimal classification scheme; the 1950 manual uses an alpha-numeric classification scheme.

See the Research Topics page for Coast Guard Records.

Department of Defense, European Command, Office of Military Government for Germany (U.S.)

Department of the Interior

Federal Works Agency

See the Research Topics page for Records Relating to the New Deal and the New Deal.

Marine Corps

See the Research Topics page for Naval and Marine Records.

National Archives and Records Administration


Navy Filing Manuals

Navy-Marine Corps Standard Subject Classification System

Navy Standard Subject Identification Codes (SSICs)

See the Research Topics page for Naval and Marine Records.

State Department

Central File for State Department Records (Record Group 59)

See the Research Topics page on the State Department Central Decimal Files.

Foreign Service Post Files (Record Group 84)

U.S. Embassies, U.S. Legations, and U.S. Consulates

U.S. Information Service (USIS) Files

See the Research Topics page on Foreign Service Post Files.

Agency for International Development (Record Group 286)

U.S. Information Agency (Record Group 306)

See the Research Topics page on U.S. Information Agency Files.

War Department

War Department Decimal File System

The United States War Department produced multiple editions of the War Department Decimal File System, beginning in January 1914. The department used the system to classify correspondence, decimal files, and other records.

See the Military and Wars.