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JPRA History


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. The Department appointed the US Air Force as the Executive Agent for Joint Combat Search and Rescue (JCSAR). In 1999 JPRA was created as an agency under the Commander in Chief, US Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) and was named the Office of Primary Responsibility (OPR)or DoD-wide PR matters. After the disestablishment of USJFCOM, JPRA was designated a Chairman’s Controlled Activity in August 2011.


JPRA currently provides … for commanders, forces, and individuals on joint PR activities through development and conduct of education and training courses, and specialized individual training.


The agency assesses, advises, and evaluates PR curriculum and establishes Joint PR standards in collaboration with the DoD Components for formal Joint PR training, including Code of Conduct and SERE. JPRA also provides DoD Components with analytical support, technology research and integration, maintenance of databases and archives, and development of lessons learned. JPRA encourages partnerships by assisting with non-DoD agencies, multinational partners, and others, with PR-related education and training programs.


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






The Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA) is a Chairman's Controlled Activity. JPRA is designated as DoD's office of primary responsibility for DoD-wide personnel recovery matters, less policy. JPRA is headquartered in Fort Belvoir, Virginia with schools located in Fredericksburg, VA and Spokane, WA.
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