Anne Rathmell Davis heads

Investigations and Analysis Team

WASHINGTON, DC.- April 23, 1997 (GulfLINK) - When Anne Rathmell Davis was growing up in a small town in north central Pennsylvania, she never dreamed that someday she would become a "public servant" Born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania to John and Bernice Rathmell, Davis has served the Department of Defense for the last 22 years, on active duty, as a Reserve Marine, and as a civil servant.

Davis was appointed by Dr. Bernard Rostker, Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Gulf War Illnesses, on January 18, 1997, as director, Investigation and Analysis Directorate (IAD). Responsible for collection and evaluation of all information related to Gulf War veterans’ illnesses, Davis manages more than 60 government and contractor personnel who are investigating possible causes of Gulf War illnesses and the results of these investigations are made public to veterans, the Congress, the Presidential Advisory, and the general public. Davis describes the central focus of the IAD as "a commitment to extensive in-depth investigations, active data collection from original sources, and keeping the public informed on everything we are doing, everything we find, everything we know, and everything we learn."

Davis graduated from Officer Candidate School in 1975 and then went on to earn a doctorate degree in law from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1978. From 1991-1992, she held several advisory positions at Marine Corps Headquarters, acting as joint doctrine officer for the Doctrine Development Branch of the War Fighting Center; marine issue writer for the Battle Assessment Team; special projects officer, Human Resources Division; and associate counsel, Office of Counsel for the Commandant. Davis was also mobilized for Desert Storm, and served as a Joint Doctrine Officer in the Doctrine Development Branch of the Warfighting Center at Quantico, and then as the Women Marine Issue Writer for the Combat Development Command Battle Assessment Team.

For Davis, her assigned task bears special meaning. Her father, John Rathmell, is a World War II veteran. Her brother, Porter Rathmell, was killed in Vietnam. Her husband, Robert Davis, recently retired after nearly 21 years in the Marine Corps. About her family, she says, "All of us served our country not only because it was the right thing to do, but because we believe the United States armed forces embody fundamental values like honor, integrity, and loyalty. I take doubts about whether the Department of Defense has acted in good faith with regard to Gulf War illnesses very personally. This isn’t just a job for me - "taking care of our own" has been deeply ingrained in me, both by the Marine Corps and by my family. You have my personal commitment that my team will fully investigate what happened in the Gulf War so that the Department of Defense can do everything possible to take care of those who serve, who have served, and who will serve our country.