Armed Forces Medical Examiner System (AFMES)

Armed Forces Medical Examiner

Armed Forces Medical Examiner System

JTAPIC Support

The Armed Forces Medical Examiner System (AFMES) provides multi-faceted support to the JTAPIC mission, including:

  • Provide injury description, wound coding, and injury analysis to partners and customers for combat related deaths of Service Members.
  • Facilitate the transfer of personal protective equipment from deceased Service Members to the appropriate agencies.
  • Facilitate the transfer of evidence obtained during the forensic pathology investigations of deceased Service Members to the appropriate agencies.


Investigate deaths, Identify the fallen, Improve readiness


Support to the JTAPIC mission is but one aspect of AFMES' support to the Department of Defense. The Office of the Forensic Pathology Investigations (FPI) is the operational component of AFMES and conducts forensic pathology investigations worldwide in accordance with Title 10 U.S. Code 1471. Board certified forensic pathologists, forensic anthropologists, medicolegal death investigators, and forensic photographers are always available and deployment can be accomplished worldwide in 4-48 hours, depending on location providing complete, multi-faceted forensic investigation. In addition to performing these investigations, FPI conducts mortality surveillance on all U.S. Service Members and administers training programs for forensic pathology fellows, pathology residents, medical students, military investigators, and mortuary affairs personnel.

AFMES also operates the DoD DNA Operations, which consists of the Armed Forces Repository of Specimen Samples for the Identification of Remains (AFRSSIR), and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL). AFRSSIR stores blood stain cards and maintains a database on all service members to assist in their retrieval for human remains identification. DNA specimens are also collected from civilian government employees and civilian contractors who support military missions in hostile foreign environments. Similarly, AFDIL provides worldwide scientific consultation, research and education services in the field of forensic DNA analysis to the Department of Defense and other agencies, and is instrumental in helping identify deceased service members from both current and past conflicts.

AFMES' Division of Forensic Toxicology is DoD's centralized laboratory which performs routine toxicological examinations on Class A, B and C military aircraft, ground and ship (sea) mishaps in which no fatalities occur (referred to as incidents); FPI cases to include all military aircraft, ground and ship (sea) accidents involving fatalities; selected military autopsies; biological specimens from AFOSI, CID and NCIS criminal investigations; blood for legal alcohol and drug tests in DUI and DWI medicolegal determinations; blood and urine in fitness for duty interrogations; and selected cases of national interest. The division also performs quality oversight of the DoD Drug Testing Program through certification, proficiency testing and inspections.