The VI is reviewed and classified by the releasing authority. This classification will determine how the image is transmitted.
DVIDS (Released only)
Per DoDI 5040.02, unclassified imagery, with associated captions and metadata, must be submitted to DMA via DVIDS (DoD Style Guide, Chapter 6).
Submitting to the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS) is by far the most common and most expedient way of submitting unclassified, released imagery. DVIDS forwards a copy of all received images directly to the Defense VI Archive (DVIA) 180 days after receiving it; the original version remains in DVIDS.
DoD imagery used on social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, etc.) is considered a permanent, released DoD record. The original, hi-res version of the images and video used on social media must also be sent to DVIDS for archiving.
DVIDS accepts only officially released public domain imagery. Do not send unreleased, copyrighted or For Official Use Only (FOUO) files (DoD Style Guide, Chapter 6).
FOUO/CUI imagery to DMA
DoD VI products designated as "For Official Use Only" or "Controlled Unclassified Information" with no established public release clearance should not be sent to DVIDS. DoD VI not forwarded to DMA is handled by the originating command in accordance with the DoD VI Records Schedule and DoDD 8000.01 in coordination with the service or DoD Records Manager.
Classified VI imagery
Classified DoD VI products will not be sent to DVIDS and shall be handled by the originating command in accordance with the DoD VI Records Schedule and DoDD 8000.01 in coordination with the service or DoD Records Manager (DoD Style Guide, Chapter 6, pg 42).
All publicly released VI imagery must be transmitted expeditiously to the Defense Media Activity (DMA) Joint Mission Center (JMC) via DVIDS unless restricted by the on-scene commander. The JMC serves as the DoD central reception and distribution point for joint-interest VI. The JMC has a primary mission of distributing operational VI to the Joint Staff for briefings.
- Unclassified VI cleared for public release by the appropriate authority is provided to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Public Affairs (OSD) for potential release to internal and external media.
- VI may be provided to service headquarters staff and other government agencies.
The DMA JMC will release images based on their classification:
- Released - VI is sent to DMA and is cleared for public release.
- For Official Use Only (FOUO) - The VI has been sent to DMA (not DVIDS) but is for official use by DoD or other governmental agencies. The VI is not cleared for public release.
- Classified - DMA can only accept VI classified up to level secret submitted via the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet). Coordinate with DMA before transmitting any classified VI. Classified VI is held by the originating command.