Report | Sept. 29, 2020

Evaluation of Medical Protocols and Deaths of Recruits in the Department of Defense (DODIG-2020-131)


Publicly Released: October 1, 2020

Section 566 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 directed the DoD OIG to conduct “an assessment of the deaths of recruits at facilities under the jurisdiction of the Secretaries of the military departments, and the effectiveness of the current medical protocols on the training bases.” Section 566 required the DoD OIG to submit a report on the results of the assessment that includes responses to the following 11 questions:

(1) The number of recruits who died during basic training in the 5 years preceding the date of the report.

(2) The causes of deaths described in (1).

(3) The types of medical treatment that were provided to recruits described in (1).

(4) Whether any of the deaths identified in (1) were found to be a result of medical negligence.

(5) A description of medical capabilities and personnel available to the recruits at each facility.

(6) A description of medical resources accessible to the recruits at the company level at each facility.

(7) A description of 24-hour medical resources available to recruits at each facility.

(8) An evaluation of the guidelines and resources in place to monitor sick recruits.

(9) An evaluation of how supervisors evaluate and determine whether a sick recruit should continue training or further seek medical assistance.

(10) An evaluation of how the Secretaries of the military departments can increase visibility of the comprehensive medical status of a sick recruit to instructors and supervisors in order to provide better situational awareness of the medical status.

(11) An evaluation of how to improve medical care for recruits.


The DoD OIG Evaluations Component conducted this review and developed responses to the National Defense Authorization Act questions.