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About Us

The Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO), located near Washington, D.C., was established in 1993, after the U.S. Senate called for the Department of Defense to form a single office to oversee and manage POW/MIA issues.

On behalf of the Secretary of Defense, DPMO works to limit the loss or capture of Americans who are serving abroad, and to bring home those who are captured or killed while serving our country.

"Keeping the Promise" is DPMO's motto, which refers to the promise made by the U.S. Government to recover and account for missing Americans. It requires a worldwide effort to ensure progress toward achieving the fullest possible accounting of our missing servicemembers.

DPMO's mission requires a team of more than 100 civilian and military personnel who have expertise in the following areas: (1) Plans, policy, control and oversight; (2) Gathering and analyzing case-related information; and (3) informative and timely outreach to families and the public.

We acknowledge that we will not be able to resolve all cases due to the horrific realties of war, yet our efforts continue to achieve new success every day.

DPMO Mission Statement

We lead the national effort to achieve the fullest possible accounting
for our missing DoD personnel and to inform their families and the public.

DPMO Vision

  • Achieve the fullest possible accounting for our missing
  • Leave no one unaccounted for in future conflicts
  • A unified accounting community
  • Fully informed and engaged families and public

Core Values

We make the promise a reality.

We do the right thing for the right reason.

Open Communications:
We build and foster trust with all.

We honor the sacrifices of our missing and their families.

DPMO Core Competencies

  • Policy, control, oversight, and strategy
  • Negotiations
    • Foreign governments for initial and sustained access
    • Intra-U.S. Government coordination
  • Field activities
    • Research, analysis, and investigations
    • Communications and outreach
    • Declassification and review
    • Moscow office operations
  • DoD support to the U.S. side of the U.S.-Russia Joint Commission