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Military Health System

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Force Health Protection

Ensuring force health protection is one of the Department of Defense's (DOD’s) most critical priorities, and global health engagement is an essential part of that initiative. The U.S. military’s global reach means that our service members are affected by public health issues around the world. We have a responsibility to keep our forces medically ready and protected from all manner of global health threats, and this requires that we proactively engage these threats as comprehensively as possible. 

Global Biosurveillance

The DOD operates research and surveillance laboratories around the world–including Egypt, Peru, Thailand and several other countries. In close collaboration with host nation colleagues, DOD personnel at these facilities perform imperative, on-the-ground medical epidemiology and research, and monitor emerging global infectious disease threats.  These efforts result in important and long-lasting relationships with our international colleagues, as well as critical knowledge that is shared with counterparts at CDC, USAID, and the broader global health community. 

Medical Research & Development

The DOD has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in research to aid in the fight against global health threats. These investments have led to exciting breakthroughs in preventive medicine and vaccine research, with work underway to develop effective vaccines and other countermeasures to protect Service members, as well as citizens around the world, from deadly diseases like Ebola, malaria, dengue fever, and HIV

Preventive Medicine

Preventing the emergence of health crises, and well as mitigating those that have already erupted, is a necessity for ensuring global health security. DOD recognizes this need through its implementation of programs like the Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program (DHAPP), an on-the-ground effort that works alongside the President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in 60 countries around the world in the prevention, care, and treatment of HIV to help stem the spread of the virus in the developing world.

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MHS Training Directive for Medical Stability Operations


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Joint Pub 3-07, Stability Operations, September 29, 2011

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Last Updated: October 31, 2022
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