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Defense Medical Surveillance System

The Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch (AFHSB) 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. AFHSB 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, AFHSB 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*

Information on the type of data DMSS provides for U.S. military health surveillance.

*Last Updated: February 2017


  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 healthcare 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

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 while protecting the privacy and confidentiality of service members. The systems together provide glimpses of the capabilities and potential uses of public health surveillance systems of the future.  The research advantages of the DMSS and DoDSR The DMSS and DoDSR enable researchers to focus time and attention on solving methodological problems, interpreting results, producing summaries and reports.  DMSS includes personnel data, medical data, laboratory data, deployment data, and DoDSR data. Benefactors of the DMSS and DoDSR are epidemiologists, preventive medicine doctors, data analysts, DoD policy makers, Military Commanders and public health officers. Learn how to harness the full value of the DMSS and DoDSR at

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 Branch | Defense Medical Surveillance System | DoD Serum Repository
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