4. Application of MARKS.
a. MARKS applies to all unclassified Army records, including For Official Use Only
(FOUO), regardless of media. MARKS apply to all classified Army records through SECRET.
Records that are TOP SECRET may be set up under MARKS or in any manner that will make
accountability and control easier. Regardless of the arrangement used, however, the disposition
instructions in AR 25-400-2 will be applied to TOP SECRET records.
b. MARKS does not apply to record copies of international agreements covered under AR
550-51; publications and blank forms stocked for filling requisitions; reference materials and
books in formally organized and officially designated libraries; and reproduction materials, such
as stencils and multilith masters.
5. Principles of MARKS.
a. Within the MARKS system, records are identified and filed under the number of the
primary directive that prescribes those records be created, maintained, and used.
b. The file number is the key to MARKS. It identifies the records for filing and retrieval.
MARKS numbers are made up by the prescribing directive number followed by an alpha suffix.
c. Within each record series there is a file number for "general correspondence." The general
correspondence number is the applicable record series number, which is derived from the
publication series number. These file numbers do not contain an alpha suffix but are further
divided between "ACTION" and "NONACTION" correspondence.
d. A distinction is made between retention periods in peacetime and during mobilization or
the conduct of military operations, where this applies.
e. Privacy Act applicability is pinpointed where appropriate (AR 340-21). NARA authority
numbers that document the legal authority for the destruction of the records are provided.
f. The "Office Administrative Housekeeping Files" deviate from this principle for
convenience and accessibility. Housekeeping files are found in front of the 1 Administration
series and are numbered 1a through 1oo. These are records that develop because an office exists,
not why an office exists.
6. Unauthorized Destruction, Damage, or Removal of Records.
In cases of accidental loss or destruction of records by fire or other cause, reconstruct as
much of the lost or destroyed records as possible. A series can often be reconstructed from other
copies of the information maintained in other elements of the Army. Also, identify records that
cannot be reconstructed on Standard Form (SF) 135 (Records Transmittal and Receipt) at the
time that records of the same period are transferred to the records holding area (RHA). At the
time period for these records to be retired, RHA personnel will submit the SF 135 to the Federal