What is a MIA?

MIA = Missing In Action
Merriam Webster Dictionary: a soldier who was not found after a battle and who may or may not be dead; an active duty member of the armed forces who is missing in action; a member of the armed forces whose whereabouts following a combat mission are unknown and whose death cannot be established beyond reasonable doubt .

US Code Definition of Missing Person (NOTE – includes civilian DoD employees and contractors as well as armed forces).


The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency’s mission is to provide the fullest possible accounting for our missing personnel from past conflicts to their families and the nation. Within this mission, we search for missing personnel from World War II (WWII), the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, the Gulf Wars, and other recent conflicts. Our research and operational missions include coordination with hundreds of countries and municipalities around the world. As this map shows, at present, more than 83,000 Americans remain missing from WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and the Gulf Wars/other conflicts. Out of the 83,000 missing, 75% of the losses are located in the Asia-Pacific, and over 41,000 of the missing are presumed lost at sea (i.e. ship losses, known aircraft water losses, etc.).


 Unaccounted for From Past Conflicts
 WWII Korean War   Vietnam War Cold War  Iraq & Other Conflicts  Total
 Total MIA 73,118 7,780  1,618  126  6 82,648

WWII Iraq and Other Conflicts Iraq and Other Conflicts