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Understanding deployment health assessments

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- In order to perform at your peak, it's important for service members to be physically and psychologically healthy.

To maximize the health readiness of the U.S. military, the Department of Defense and Congress implemented a multi-step health assessment process for personnel deploying around the world. This five step process enables service members to take control of their physical and psychological health by identifying any health challenges that may arise throughout the deployment cycle.

The deployment health assessment program was designed to maintain and improve the readiness, fitness and well-being of military personnel before, during and after deployment.

The program can help health care providers screen, identify, evaluate, and refer you for treatment.

Who has to complete the health assessments?

If you are an active duty service, Guard or Reserve member, and will be deploying outside of the U.S. to locations without a fixed medical treatment facility for more than 30 days, you are required to complete health assessments pre- and post-deployment. Deployments of less than 30 days may still require you to complete a deployment health assessment at the discretion of the combatant commander, service commander or commander exercising operational control.

What should I expect from the health assessments?

  • Pre-Deployment Health Assessment: As part of the pre-deployment health assessment, you will complete DD Form 2795 and meet with a health care professional to discuss your general health and any concerns you may have. During the assessment, your overall health will be evaluated to determine your ability to deploy. If you are able to deploy, the requirements for the deployed location will be administered during this stage.
  • Post-Deployment Health Assessment, DD Form 2796: The DD Form 2796 assesses your general health, occupational and environmental exposures and psychological health after deployment. Following deployment, you will complete the DD Form 2796. The DD Form 2796 is administered during in-theater medical out-processing or within 30 days of returning to home or processing station.
  • Post-Deployment Health Reassessment, DD Form 2900: The DD Form 2900 (DHA 3, 4 and 5) is designed to address the health care needs and concerns that can occur following deployment, with an emphasis on psychological health. Since health concerns often emerge weeks or months after deployment rather than immediately at the end of deployment, the DD Form 2900 (DHA 3) is typically administered 90-180 days after you return home, the DHA 4 is administered 181 days - 1 year after return and the DHA 5 is administered 18-30 months after your return. The DHA 4 and 5 are typically in conjunction with your annual PHA. You will receive an email from ASIMS on how to access the electronic or web enabled DD Form 2900.
Why do I need to complete all assessments?

By completing all assessments, a health professional can help you identify, track, evaluate and resolve any physical or psychological challenges or concerns you may be facing. Identifying health and readjustment concerns early can help you resolve challenges that could - if left unattended - negatively affect your deployment status, career or personal health.

Why is it important that I provide honest feedback?

Each step in the deployment health assessment process requires self-reported data, including demographic and health information, and an interview with a health provider. It's important that you're honest with yourself and your health provider so that health concerns can be addressed early. Early intervention greatly assists successful treatment, and can benefit yourself, your family and your unit.
  • Yourself: By discussing any health challenges openly with your provider, you will be able to identify and care for health concerns before they become heightened concerns. Minor aches and pains, anxiety or sleeplessness could be symptoms of a larger health concern.
  • Your family: Completion of the deployment health assessments can give your family peace of mind knowing that you have been screened for health concerns you may be experiencing.
  • Your unit: Your leaders, buddies and fellow warriors depend on you to be fully mission-ready. By completing the deployment health assessments, you will help maintain the physical and psychological fitness needed to serve at peak performance and accomplish your given mission.
If you have any questions concerning the DHA process, call Public Health at (803) 895-6193.