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News | Sept. 18, 2020

DIA honors prisoners of war and those missing in action

By DIA Public Affairs

Established by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 and commemorated every third Friday in September, National Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Recognition Day honors those Americans who were prisoners of war and those who served and never returned home.

The Defense Intelligence Agency plays a lead role in the Department of Defense effort to locate and repatriate every last U.S. service member taken captive or killed in combat.

The Intelligence community’s POW/MIA Cell is integrated within DIA, working closely with IC and Department of Defense partners. Following a directive from Congress, the IC POW/MIA Analytic Cell was established Sep. 18, 2001, to serve as the focal point for post-1990 POW/MIA and personnel recovery-related all-source analysis within the intelligence community. The cell’s mission has subsequently expanded to include U.S. civilians, and designated foreigners held hostage, kidnapped or missing.

The DIA Connections podcast explores the Agency’s efforts to locate and repatriate the remains of service members lost but not forgotten from the Vietnam War.