What is Wounded in Action?

Introduction Wounded in Action (WIA) describes combatants who have been wounded while fighting in a combat zone during wartime, but have not been killed. Background Typically, it implies that they are temporarily or permanently incapable of bearing arms or continuing to fight. Generally, the Wounded in Action are far more numerous than those killed. Common… Read More

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What is Missing in Action?

Introduction Missing in action (MIA) is a casualty classification assigned to combatants, military chaplains, combat medics, and prisoners of war who are reported missing during wartime or ceasefire. They may have been killed, wounded, captured, executed, or deserted. If deceased, neither their remains nor grave has been positively identified. Becoming MIA has been an occupational… Read More

What is Killed in Action?

Introduction Killed in action (KIA) is a casualty classification generally used by militaries to describe the deaths of their own combatants at the hands of hostile forces. Background The United States Department of Defence, for example, says that those declared KIA need not have fired their weapons but have been killed due to hostile attack.… Read More

What is DUSTWUN?

Introduction Duty Status – Whereabouts Unknown (DUSTWUN) is a transitory casualty status assigned to United States servicemembers who cannot be located but have not been confirmed dead or captured. A servicemember can have DUSTWUN status for only ten days. Refer to Desertion. Background US soldier Bowe Bergdahl came to national attention in the United States… Read More

What is National POW/MIA Recognition Day?

Introduction In the United States, National Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) Recognition Day is observed on the third Friday in September. It honours those who were POWs and those who are still MIA. It is most associated with those who were POWs during the Vietnam War. National Vietnam War Veterans Day is 29 March,… Read More