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Armed Forces Medical Examiner System

The Armed Forces Medical Examiner System (AFMES) is committed to being the Department of Defense’s (DoD's) leader in providing medical-legal services and emerging technologies essential for the readiness, sustainability and survivability of our service members. AFMES provides the DoD and other federal agencies comprehensive forensic investigative services, to include forensic pathology, DNA Forensics, forensic toxicology, and medical mortality surveillance. AFMES is not only the single worldwide medical examiner system, but it also supports the entire U.S. federal government.

Official seal of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner SystemMission 

Investigate deaths, Identify the fallen, Improve readiness

Vision 

Be the global leader in comprehensive and innovative medicolegal services enhancing the readiness, sustainability, and survivability of those we serve.

AFMES Fact Sheets

File Date
AFMES DoD DNA Operations Fact Sheet 2018 8/22/2018
AFMES DNA FAQs 2018 6/27/2018
AFMES Fact Sheet 2018 6/7/2018

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Total Force Airmen: Supporting the DoD – in and out of uniform

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6/25/2020
Three soldiers at a desk, two sitting and one standing, pointing at a piece of paper

"The Liberty Wing’s mission: Provide combat-ready Airmen for global engagement"

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AFMES upgrades tech during COVID-19

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5/8/2020
Image of two technicians with a CT scanner machine

The new custom built scanner replaces a nearly 15-year-old scanner that was running on dated technology.

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AFMES missions continue through COVID-19

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4/17/2020
Two men sitting at a table going through sample bottles

AFMES is a resilient organization that is committed to accomplishing the mission during the global pandemic.

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First female takes command as AFMES director

Article
2/28/2020
Air Force Lt. Col. Alice Briones, Armed Forces Medical Examiner System deputy director, has been named director of AFMES, effective February 21, 2020, making Briones the first female director. U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, Defense Health Agency director, selected Briones after she served as deputy director of AFMES since April 2017.

Briones enlisted in the U.S. Army as a Combat Medic in 1990

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AFRSSIR Supply Order Request

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2/12/2020

Fill out this request to place and order with the Armed Forces Repository of Specimen Sample for the Identification of Human Remains

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Guidelines for the Collection and Shipment of Toxicology Specimens

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2/11/2020

This document describes the processes to follow when submitting toxicology specimens

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CBD oil off limits for service members

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1/23/2020
A service member checks the label on a supplement. Service members must remain diligent and check labels on consumer products and follow official guidance on CBD products. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nicole Leidholm)

The use of CBD products is prohibited for use by service members

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DoD adds fentanyl to drug testing panel

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11/22/2019
An Airman from the 436th Air Wing inspects a bottle before being asked to provide a urine sample November 8, 2019. The DoD has a zero tolerance policy for the illegal or improper use of drugs by service members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nicole Leidholm)

Fentanyl is an opioid, similar to heroin

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Folklore vampire possibly identified

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8/12/2019
Dr. Kristen E. Pearlstein, Collections Manager, National Museum of Health and Medicine displays remains of “JB-55” during a Science Café at the museum, Silver Spring, Maryland. “JB-55” remains were that of a suspected “vampire” in the mid-1800s. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Robert M. Trujillo)

According to legend, residents of Jewett City, Connecticut, were being terrorized by recently deceased vampires

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Colony Glacier: Joint team unearths lost service members

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7/17/2019
Recovery team members traverse Colony Glacier, Alaska, June 2019. The recovery team was searching for remains from a C-124 Globemaster II that crashed into Gannett Mountain, Alaska, on Nov. 22, 1952, while flying from McChord Air Force Base, Washington, to Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska resulting in the loss of 52 service members. (Courtesy photo)

This is part one of a two-part series on the Colony Glacier recovery efforts

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AFMES Joint MWD Lab ensures DoD kennels are meeting the standard

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7/8/2019
Air Force Staff Sgt. Vivian Johnson, AFMES Joint MWD Laboratory NCO in charge (left), discusses the upcoming Military Working Dog kennel inspection schedule with Army Staff Sgt. Joseph Tutt, AFMES Joint MWD laboratory manager (center), and Navy Lt. Ken Lindsay, AFMES Joint MWD Laboratory chief, June 7, 2019. Johnson and Tutt conduct random inspections each month to ensure training aids for the MWDs are being handled correctly and those handling them have the proper authorization. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nicole Leidholm)

Site visits provide an excellent opportunity to educate MWD sites

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Histology: Where art and science merge

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6/13/2019
Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Tyler Wiedmeyer, Armed Forces Medical Examiner System histotechnichian, looks at slides of tissues under a microscope before handing them off to a medical examiner June 6, 2019. The stained tissues help medical examiners see down to the cellular level for a diagnosis of cause of death. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nicole Leidholm)

Without a histotechnician, tissue processing would take much longer to be completed

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Armed Forces Medical Examiner System Consultation Request Form

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5/22/2019

Medical information received is considered during the consultative process and is used to form a database for education and research in pathology.

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AFMES celebrates lab week

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5/8/2019
The purpose of lab week is to increase public awareness of the importance of laboratory professionals and their role in clinical diagnostics and medicine. The exceptional efforts and behind-the-scenes work of laboratories is essential to protecting public health. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nicole Leidholm)

AFMES celebrated its lab week by embracing science and lab techs

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Dignity, reverence, respect: The mortuary affairs specialist

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4/18/2019
Army Cpl. Daveson Tamanyon, 54th Quartermaster Company mortuary affairs specialist, lays out a U.S. Army uniform during a training exercise at the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System, Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. Soldiers in this career field perform duties related to deceased personnel, including searching for fallen and missing service members, helping to disinter remains and assist in the preparation and preservation of remains. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nicole Leidholm)

Soldiers in this career field perform duties related to deceased personnel

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Armed Forces Medical Examiner System
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