The Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA) serves the nation and its warfighters by working to prevent isolating events, preparing the warfighters in the event they are isolated, and responding when isolating events occur.

     The JPRA has its roots in World War II and the Korean War. In 1942, a military intelligence service was formed to aid US forces to evade and escape from the enemy. In 1952, the Department of Defense (DoD) designated the US Air Force as executive agent (EA) for escape and evasion activities. Training was mostly for pilots and aircrew as they were considered the most likely to be isolated. After the Korean War DoD implemented a Code of Conduct for the Services; it was revised after the Vietnam conflict.

     In the early 1990s, DOD began to focus more on the importance of personnel recovery (PR) and in 1991 the Joint Services Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) Agency (JSSA) was designated the DoD EA for DoD Prisoner of War/Missing in Action matters. In 1994, the Joint Staff appointed the JSSA as the focal point for PR and the US Air Force as the Executive Agent for Joint Combat Search and Rescue (JCSAR). In 1999, DoD created JPRA as an agency under the Commander in Chief, US Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) and was named the Office of Primary Responsibility (OPR) for DoD-wide PR matters. After the disestablishment of USJFCOM, JPRA was designated a Chairman’s Controlled Activity in August 2011.

     The agency leads the DoD PR enterprise by providing strategic direction, oversight, operational support, analysis, capability development, and training and education to improve PR interoperability between DoD, the interagency, and our multinational partners.

     JPRA continues the tradition and moral imperative, to leave no one behind.

Seal Description

     The blue background, symbolizing sky and space, exemplify the limitless boundaries of DoD recovery operations worldwide.

     The eagle and wreath are adapted from the seal of the Department of Defense and symbolize the commitment of Department of Defense forces to protect isolated personnel and the swiftness of response.

     The stars denote the six articles of the Code of Conduct, which stand as guiding lights to help the US warriors navigate the dangerous territories of Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) toward ultimate recovery.

     The broken chain depicts the mental and physical oppression that the Code of Conduct, personnel recovery training and DoD recovery forces serve to defeat.

     The laurel (left side of the wreath) represents honors received in combat and the olive branch (right side of the wreath) represents defending peace.

     The red and white border connotes the personal sacrifices of past warriors who have suffered physical and mental anguish in their loss of freedom, and even life, in defense of the country’s ideals and the valor with which all services carry out their personnel recovery mission.

     Their experiences encompass and define all personnel recovery activities to better enable all warriors, so That Others May Live and Return With Honor.

From The Institute of Heraldry