About Personnel Recovery

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Preserving the lives of those participating in a US-sponsored activity or mission is one of the highest priorities of the Department of Defense (DOD).

It is part of the Warrior's Ethos: "I will never leave a fallen comrade."

Personnel recovery is the sum of military, diplomatic, and civil efforts to affect the recovery and reintegration of isolated personnel. Isolated personnel are those US military, DOD civilians, and DOD contractor personnel (and others designated by the President or Secretary of Defense) who are separated from their unit while participating in a US-sponsored military activity or mission and who are, or may be, in a situation where they must survive, evade, resist, or escape.

The importance of Army personnel recovery is underscored by what it achieves at the tactical, operational and strategic levels.

  1. Returns physically and mentally healthy recovered personnel to duty.
  2. Sustains morale of the fighting force knowing they won’t be left behind.
  3. Increases operational performance by gathering lessons learned to adjust training and operations.
  4. Denies adversaries the opportunity to influence our military strategy and national will by exploiting the intelligence and propaganda value of isolated personnel.