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Defense Medical Surveillance System

The Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division (AFHSD) operates the Defense Medical Surveillance System (DMSS), a continuously expanding relational database that documents military and medical experiences of service members throughout their careers. As the central repository of medical surveillance data for the U.S. Armed Forces, DMSS contains up-to-date and historical data on diseases and medical events (e.g., hospitalizations, ambulatory visits, reportable medical events, HIV tests, and casualty data) and longitudinal data on personnel and deployments. AFHSD routinely publishes summaries of notifiable diseases, trends of illnesses of special surveillance interest and field reports describing outbreaks and case occurrences in the Medical Surveillance Monthly Report (MSMR), the principal vehicle for disseminating medical surveillance information of broad interest. Through DMSS, AFHSD provides the sole link between the DOD Serum Repository and other databases.

DMSS Data Structure

Selected Data Tables Integrated within the DMSS for all DoD Beneficiaries*


*Last Updated: October 2021


  1. Personnel Data contains all persons serving in the Active/Reserve/Guard components.
  2. Casualty data for active duty and activated Reserve/Guard component deaths.
  3. Medical encounters are for active component, activated Reserves and National Guard, and other beneficiaries of the military health care system (except prescription data and immunizations).
  4. Reportable Events as outlined in the Armed Forces Reportable Events Guidelines.
  5. Deployment rosters represent major deployments beginning with Persian Gulf War.
  6. Health assessment "Deployment" questionnaires administered before/after major deployments.


  1. DMSS — Defense Medical Surveillance System
  2. DMED — Defense Medical Epidemiology Database

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Preserving the Health of U.S. Armed Forces with DMSS and DoDSR

Preserving the Health of U.S. Armed Forces with DMSS and DoDSR

The Defense Medical Surveillance System (DMSS) and the DoD Serum Repository (DoDSR) provide unprecedented capabilities for conducting comprehensive population-based surveillance of the U.S. Armed Forces.

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Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division | Defense Medical Surveillance System | DoD Serum Repository
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Last Updated: October 27, 2021

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