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Armed Forces Medical Examiner System

The Armed Forces Medical Examiner System (AFMES) is committed to being the Department of Defense’s (DoD's) leader in providing medical-legal services and emerging technologies essential for the readiness, sustainability and survivability of our service members. AFMES provides the DoD and other federal agencies comprehensive forensic investigative services, to include forensic pathology, DNA Forensics, forensic toxicology, and medical mortality surveillance. AFMES is not only the single worldwide medical examiner system, but it also supports the entire U.S. federal government.

Official seal of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner SystemMission 

Investigate deaths, Identify the fallen, Improve readiness

Vision 

Be the global leader in comprehensive and innovative medicolegal services enhancing the readiness, sustainability, and survivability of those we serve.

AFMES Fact Sheets

Description File
This Fact Sheet describes the purpose of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System's Department of Defense DNA Operations AFMES DoD DNA Operations Fact Sheet 2018
This Fact Sheet describes the purpose of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System's Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory. AFMES DNA FAQs 2018
This Fact Sheet describes the purpose of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System. AFMES Fact Sheet 2018

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Earthquake shakes Dover Air Force Base

Article
12/1/2017
A map of Delaware and the surrounding areas where a magnitude 4.1 earthquake occurred Nov. 30, 2017, six miles northeast of Dover is shown. (Courtesy photo)

On November 30, 2017, a magnitude 4.1 earthquake occurred six miles northeast of Dover, Delaware

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Armed Forces Medical Examiner System

Commentary: Medicolegal death investigations from a federal viewpoint

Article
11/24/2017
A view of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System facility is shown July 21, 2017, on Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. Pursuant to a Base Relocation and Closure, the new AFMES facility was constructed adjoined with the Charles C. Carson Center for Mortuary Affairs. Prior to the BRAC, AFMES called Rockville, Maryland, home. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashlin Federick)

Investigators at AFMES face unique challenges inherent to the military structure and area of responsibility

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Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | Medical-Legal Examinations

DPAA accounts for 183 missing service members in fiscal year 2017

Article
10/27/2017
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency conducts a ceremony for POW/MIA Recognition Day at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii, Sept. 15, 2017. POW/MIA Recognition Day, first established in 1979 through a proclamation from President Jimmy Carter, is an observance to honor and recognize the sacrifices of those Americans who have been prisoners of war and to remind the Nation of those who are still missing in action. Today, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency is conducting worldwide operations to provide the fullest possible accounting for those classified as still missing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew J. Bruch)

DPAA works closely with the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, part of the Research and Development Directorate of the Military Health System

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Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | DNA Identification Laboratory

USS Oklahoma Display Board

Photo
12/2/2016
Todd Weiler, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, and Ronald Keohane, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy; listen to Deborah Skillman, Director, Casualty, Mortuary Affairs and Military Funeral Honors from the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy, explain the display board of confirmed USS Oklahoma remains identified by the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory Nov. 4, 2016, at Armed Forces Medical Examiner System on Dover Air Force Base, Del. Weiler and Keohane received briefings and met with personnel at the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations, AFMES and the Joint Personal Effects Depot. (U.S. Air Force photo by Roland Balik)

Todd Weiler, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, and Ronald Keohane, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy; listen to Deborah Skillman, Director, Casualty, Mortuary Affairs and Military Funeral Honors from the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy, explain the display board of confirmed USS Oklahoma remains identified by the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory Nov. 4, 2016, at Armed Forces Medical Examiner System on Dover Air Force Base, Del. Weiler and Keohane received briefings and met with personnel at the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations, AFMES and the Joint Personal Effects Depot. (U.S. Air Force photo by Roland Balik)

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Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | DoD DNA Operations

Todd Weiler

Photo
12/2/2016
Todd Weiler, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, listens to Dr. Timothy McMahon, Chief of Forensic Services for the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, explain the different types of identification procedures used to identify remains recovered from the USS Oklahoma and processed by the AFDIL Nov. 4, 2016, at AFMES on Dover Air Force Base, Del. The AFDIL, a subdivision of AFMES, is the sole Department of Defense DNA laboratory tasked with identifying human remains from current and past conflicts. (U.S. Air Force photo by Roland Balik)

Todd Weiler, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, listens to Dr. Timothy McMahon, Chief of Forensic Services for the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, explain the different types of identification procedures used to identify remains recovered from the USS Oklahoma and processed by the AFDIL Nov. 4, 2016, at AFMES on Dover Air Force Base, Del. The AFDIL, a subdivision of AFMES, is the sole Department of Defense DNA laboratory tasked with identifying human remains from current and past conflicts. (U.S. Air Force photo by Roland Balik)

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Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | DoD DNA Operations

Sean Patterson with the USS Oklahoma Identification Board

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12/2/2016
Sean Patterson, Armed Forces Medical Examiner System Department of Defense DNA Registry DNA analyst, stands in front of the USS Oklahoma Identification Board Nov. 29, 2016, at AFMES on Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. The board provides a picture for all 393 unaccounted service members from the ship. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ashlin Federick)

Sean Patterson, Armed Forces Medical Examiner System Department of Defense DNA Registry DNA analyst, stands in front of the USS Oklahoma Identification Board Nov. 29, 2016, at AFMES on Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. The board provides a picture for all 393 unaccounted service members from the ship. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ashlin Federick)

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Sean Patterson with the USS Oklahoma History Board

Photo
12/2/2016
Sean Patterson, Armed Forces Medical Examiner System Department of Defense DNA Registry DNA analyst, stands in front of the USS Oklahoma History Board Nov. 29, 2016, at AFMES on Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. The board tells what happened to the USS Oklahoma during the attack on Pearl Harbor and the difficulty of identifying the 429 service members who were lost. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ashlin Federick)

Sean Patterson, Armed Forces Medical Examiner System Department of Defense DNA Registry DNA analyst, stands in front of the USS Oklahoma History Board Nov. 29, 2016, at AFMES on Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. The board tells what happened to the USS Oklahoma during the attack on Pearl Harbor and the difficulty of identifying the 429 service members who were lost. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ashlin Federick)

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Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | DoD DNA Operations

Skeletal Remains from the Mexican-American War

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9/30/2016
The skeletal remains of the possible U.S. soldiers were solemnly carried to an awaiting vehicle by the U.S. Army Old Guard ceremonial team, under the watchful gaze of senior military, university and government leaders. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The skeletal remains of the possible U.S. soldiers were solemnly carried to an awaiting vehicle by the U.S. Army Old Guard ceremonial team, under the watchful gaze of senior military, university and government leaders. (U.S. Air Force photo)

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Armed Forces Medical Examiner System

Skeletal Remains Returned to U.S. Soil

Photo
9/30/2016
On Sept. 28, 2016, approximately 170 years after the war, as many as 13 skeletal remains were returned to U.S. soil and honored during a solemn movement at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. (U.S. Air Force photo)

On Sept. 28, 2016, approximately 170 years after the war, as many as 13 skeletal remains were returned to U.S. soil and honored during a solemn movement at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. (U.S. Air Force photo)

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Armed Forces Medical Examiner System

AFMES Form 25: Histology Request and Specimen Storage

Form/Template
6/1/2016

Use this form to obtain information/specimens needed for histology tissue processing and/or specimen storage.

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Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner

DoD Instruction 5154.30: Armed Forces Medical Examiner System AFMES Operations

Policy

This instruction establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and provides direction for forensic medicine activities throughout DoD In accordance with the authority in DoD Directive (DoDD) 5124.02, and provides for the continued operation and governance of AFMES, a component of the Defense Health Agency (DHA) under DoDD 5136.13, in carrying out assigned functions, including those under Section 1471 of Title 10, United States Code (U.S.C.).

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DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

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