Information Paper

Military Medical Recordkeeping
During and After the Gulf War

Information Papers are reports of what we know today about military equipment and/or procedures used in the Gulf War of 1990-1991. This particular information paper on military medical recordkeeping is not an investigative report, but is meant to provide the reader with a basic understanding of military medical recordkeeping. The paper will focus on background information, components, how military medical recordkeeping operates, and the effectiveness of military medical recordkeeping. This is an interim paper, not a final paper. We hope that you will read this and contact us with any information that would help us better understand military medical recordkeeping and more accurately report its use during the Gulf War. Please contact my office to report any new information by calling:


Bernard Rostker
Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses
Department of Defense


Last Update: August 11, 1999

Many veterans of the Gulf War have been experiencing a variety of physical symptoms, collectively called Gulf War illnesses. In response to veterans’ concerns, the Department of Defense established a task force in June 1995 to investigate those incidents and circumstances relating to possible causes. The Office of the Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Gulf War Illnesses assumed responsibility for these investigations on November 12, 1996 and continues to gather information on military medical recordkeeping during and after the Gulf War. The office’s interim report is contained here.

To inform the public about the progress of this office, the Department of Defense is publishing (on the Internet and elsewhere) accounts related to the possible causes of illness among Gulf War veterans, along with whatever documentary evidence or personal testimony was used in compiling the accounts. The following information paper will aid in understanding incidents involving military medical recordkeeping.


A. Origin of the Issue
B. Purpose of the Paper
C. Organization of the Narrative
D. Types of Medical Records
A. Pre-Gulf War Policy
B. Gulf War Policy
C. Gulf War Practice
D. Post-Gulf War Policy
E. Post-Gulf War Practice
F. The Future
TAB A - Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Office Symbols
TAB B - Bibliography
TAB C - Selected Medical Record Forms


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