Because of this hands-on process at the individual record level, these databases have high validity. All investigations by AMSARA have institutional review board approval and oversight.

Nonmedical Databases

Army Accessions Command Database

Army Accessions Command is the executive agent for the acting under secretary of defense, military personnel policy, for screening and processing potential recruits. Its database of importance for this study is the one maintained by its subordinate command, MEPCOM.

The MEPCOM Integrated Resource System is the database that provided information to the committee for this study. This is an administrative database encompassing many management functions of MEPCOM. It contains all data on each applicant relevant to the accession process, including outcome information on physical examinations, medical failure codes, ICD codes for all failures, and waiver status. Individual applicants are identified by their Social Security numbers. This database does not include health information acquired by recruiters of individual Service recruiting commands from individual applicants.

Defense Manpower Data Center Databases

The Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) maintains the largest archive of personnel, manpower, training, and financial data in the Department of Defense. Of the numerous individual databases it maintains, several are routinely used for personnel research, studies, and analyses. For example, the Active Duty Military Personnel File provides an inventory of all individuals on active duty. It is a standardized and centralized database of present and past members of the active-duty force. Historical data back to 1971 are available. This file includes such data elements as the following:

  • Personal data, including Social Security numbers, education level, home of record, date of birth, marital status, number of dependents, race, and ethnic group.

  • Military data, including Service, pay grade, Armed Forces Qualification Test percentile, military primary duty and secondary occupation, unit identification code, months of service, duty location, estimated termination of service date, basic active-duty service date, date of current rank, pay entry base date, foreign language ability, and major command code.

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