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The Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) serves under the Office of the Secretary of Defense to collate personnel, manpower, training, financial, and other data for the Department of Defense. This data catalogues the history of personnel in the military and their family for purposes of healthcare, retirement funding and other administrative needs.

DMDC was established in 1974 as the Manpower Research and Data Analysis Center (MARDAC) and made a DoD tenet activity within the U.S. Navy. In 1976, it was made a Field Activity of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower & Reserve Affairs (OASD (M&RA)) and renamed the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC). One year later, DMDC was transferred to the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) for administrative support and in 1991 was designated a Defense Support Activity supported by DLA. While the name and the supporting activity have varied over the years, DMDC's primary function has always been to support the information management needs of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness (OUSD (P&R)) and its predecessors.

DMDC was established at a time of great turbulence in the Department of Defense. The Southeast Asian conflict had just ended, active military forces and military personnel strengths were being reduced significantly, the Total Force Policy was being initiated, and the All-Volunteer Force era had just begun. To manage through this period, OASD (M&RA) established DMDC to collect and maintain accurate, readily available manpower and personnel data.

The mission of DMDC can be summarized as follows:

  • Collect and maintain an archive of automated manpower, personnel, training, and other databases for the Department of Defense,
  • Support the information requirements of the OUSD (P&R) and other members of the DoD manpower, personnel, and training communities with accurate, timely, and consistent data,
  • Operate DoD-wide personnel programs and conduct research and analysis as directed by the OUSD (P&R).

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