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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.

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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 Identifcation Laboratory

AFMES, helping bring loved ones home one FRS at a time

Article
4/7/2017
Personnel from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System Department of Defense DNA Registry Family Reference Sample-Laboratory Automation group pose for a photo, at AFMES on Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. The FRS-LA group’s primary mission is to process family reference samples for the past accounting community as well as current day operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashlin Federick)

The Family Reference Sample-Laboratory Automation group was established in October 2016

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Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | DoD DNA Operations

AFMES participates in AAFS

Article
2/21/2017
Personnel from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System pose for a photo Feb. 14, 2017, at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences’69th Annual Scientific Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana. More than 12 personnel from AFMES participated in the AAFS meeting. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashlin Federick)

More than 12 personnel from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System on Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, participated in the American Academy of Forensic Sciences’ 69th Annual Scientific Meeting February 13-18

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Armed Forces Medical Examiner System

The Department of Defense's watchdog

Article
2/7/2017
U.S. Army Maj. Lynn Wagner, Armed Forces Medical Examiner System Division of Forensic Toxicology Special Forensic Toxicology Drug Testing Facility chief (left), and Dr. Jeffrey Walterscheid, AFMES Division of Forensic Toxicology chief toxicologist, pose for a photo. Wagner and Walterscheid want to let service members know they are watching and making sure they do not get away with doing synthetic cannabinoids. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashlin Federick)

The Special Forensic Toxicology Drug Testing Laboratory is one of three DoD laboratories certified to test for synthetic cannabinoids, or Spice drugs

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Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | Forensic Toxicology

Science, Ancestry and Identity: What I learned from following my DNA

Article
1/6/2017
Air Force Senior Airman Ashlin Federick, Armed Forces Medical Examiner System photojournalist, has her cheek swabbed with a Bode buccal swab by Jennie McMahon, AFMES Department of Defense DNA Registry supervisory DNA analyst, at AFMES on Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. Buccal swabs are used to retrieve DNA samples from family references to identify human remains. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashlin Federick)

DNA can be used to provide closure to families of the missing

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Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | DoD DNA Operations

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 ...

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Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | DoD DNA Operations

Sean Patterson with the USS Oklahoma Identification 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 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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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 ...

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Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | DoD DNA Operations

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 ...

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Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | DoD DNA Operations

USS Oklahoma 75 Years later: DNA is not just science, it's personal

Article
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)

Display board created by DoD DNA Registry analyst dedicated to the history of the USS Oklahoma

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Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | DoD DNA Operations | Military Medical History

Skeletal Remains from the Mexican-American War

Photo
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

Mexican-American War remains arrive in U.S. for dignified transfer

Article
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 transferred for examination to the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System

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Military Medical History | Armed Forces Medical Examiner System

Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory plays a vital role in Korean and Cold War identification

Article
8/19/2016
Dave McClung, nephew of Marine Master Sgt. William McClung, gets his cheek swabbed for a family reference by Kerriann Meyers, Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory Past Accounting Section assistant technical leader. McClung was one of 51 family members to give a cheek swab during the briefings. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashlin Federick)

The Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory collects, runs and controls a database of family reference samples for past conflicts

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Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | DNA Identifcation Laboratory

Armed Forces Medical Examiner System welcomes new director

Article
7/22/2016
Army Col. Louis Finelli (right) receives the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System guidon from Navy Rear Adm. Colin Chinn, Defense Health Agency director of research, development and acquisition, during a Change of Directorship Ceremony July 18, 2016, at the Landings on Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman William Johnson)

Army Col. Louis Finelli was appointed as the new AFMES director

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Armed Forces Medical Examiner System
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