Past Conflict Accounting


The United States has made a sacred promise to its citizens that it will bring home with dignity all those who have served. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) is responsible for determining the fate of our missing and, where possible, recovering and identifying those who have made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of a grateful nation. This program facilitates efforts to provide the fullest possible accounting for missing Department of Defense personnel from past conflicts and to provide answers to their families and the nation.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Defense Pow/Mia Accounting Agency (Dpaa), Department of Defense
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2019 Awardees developed new and innovative approaches needed to advance historical research and analysis tied to the Agency's mission to find, recover, and identify missing military personnel lost in past conflicts, to include a nationwide "hub and spoke" network somewhat akin to crowdsourcing, albeit with a quality control aspect built in. These new approaches identified new sources of records and data and provided opportunities to leverage the capabilities of external prgainizations and individuals, such as military unit historians and university military history classes. The result has been to increase the Agency's capability and capacity for historical research and analysis at a modest cost, thereby greatly enhancing DPAA's efforts to find missing personnel and to provide much-appreciated information and/or closure to the families of the missing.
Fiscal Year 2021 Despite COVID-19 travel restrictions and health and safety related concerns, the program continued to result in new and innovative approaches and processes for the Agency to work with partners for field recoveries worldwide and to develop information of possible loss sites where remains of missing military personnel could be recovered. An outside study demonstrated that these efforts resulted in cost avoidance even as overall Agency capacity was increased. Program utilized the expertise and resources of cultural resource management, archeology and forensic anthropology entities able to conduct terrestrial and underwater operations worldwide. Program directly contributed to multiple successful field recoveries and the recovery and return of missing military personnel lost in past conflicts (going back to and including WWII). Program also generated new field techniques and approaches that offer the potential to increase the overall efficiency of the Agency's field activities.
Fiscal Year 2022 FY22 constituted another positive increment in the trend line of DPAA’s partner expansion. Despite the challenges to partner projects and PI team functionality with continued impacts of COVID-19, the team accelerated its level of effort in all key performance indicators. From the 63 planned field missions (plus a few others that were withdrawn), the year ended with 46 partner missions launched. Although every field project presents its own special blend of challenges and opportunities, this FY was notable for including very complex efforts in Southeast Asia, in very deep-water areas, and with multi-year arrangements in specific countries (Philippines) or to test certain approaches (mountain sites). Planning this number of field projects alone is commendable; the increasing complexity and productivity of partners demonstrates a clear maturation of the program. The PI Research Team (PIRT) also dramatically expanded efforts to work on 69 separate projects of varying complexity and scope. These efforts included some foundational research that DPAA staff simply does not have the time or ability to conduct as well as some focused, case-progression research. We expanded the number of research partners, the types of arrangements used to work with them, and the forms of research pursued through collaborative effort. Finally, as the nascent innovation program steps into being, over the course of FY22 we still worked on four separate pilot projects again of varying complexity and scope. The results and lessons learned through that effort will inform the agency-wide program soon to launch.
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015
Public Law -Section 916 of Public Law 113-291
EO 12372 - "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs"
10 US Code 1501a U.S.C.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Applicants can be any private entity. A private entity is defined as any self-sustaining, non-Federal person or organization, established, operated, and controlled by any individual(s) acting outside the scope of any official capacity as officers, employees, or agents of the Federal Government
Beneficiary Eligibility
Beneficiaries of an assistance award can be any private entity which is defined as any self-sustaining, non-Federal person or organization, established, operated, and controlled by any individual(s) acting outside the scope of any official capacity as officers, employees, or agents of the Federal Government.
Credentials may be required in some instances, for example when a grant is issued that will entail field work requiring an archeologist or forensic anthropologist to ensure an excavation is conducted in accordance with applicable medico-legal standards. Applicants will submit evidence that all proposed entities and personnel are qualified and capable of performing such specified tasks or projects which may require certain scientific or other technical training/certification.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.
Application Procedure
This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.
Award Procedure
Applicant should submit proposals as provided for in the relevant announcement. Merit based procedures will be used for award decisions and evaluators will use the evaluation criteria set forth in the announcement to determine if the application meets the pertinent requirements and merits an award.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 90 to 120 days. A representative range required to approve or disapprove a proposal is 90 to 120 days, however, awards relating to higher priority projects will generally take less time.
From 1 to 15 days. Any appeal should be submitted to the DPAA Headquarters designated Point of Contact for consideration by the appointed Senior Executive Service appellate authority.
Provisions applicable to renewal or extension procedures will be set out in the pertinent announcement.
How are proposals selected?
Evaluation criteria will be set forth in the announcement. Typical criteria will include: (1) overall technical and scientific merit; (2) potential contribution to stated goals and objectives identified in the announcement; (3) applicants capabilities, experience and demonstrated expertise; (4) plans and resource to accomplish the pertinent objectives stated in the announcement; and (5) cost realism.
How may assistance be used?
Pursuant to 10 USC 1501, the Secretary of Defense designated DPAA as the “single organization within the Department of Defense to have responsibility for Department matters relating to missing persons from past conflicts, including accounting for missing persons and persons whose remains have not been recovered from the conflict in which they were lost.” 10 USC 1501a provides the Secretary of Defense with authority to "enter into a cooperative agreement with, or make a grant to, a private entity for purposes related to the support of the activities of the designated Defense Agency." The Secretary of Defense delegated his 10 USC 1501a grant and cooperative agreement authority to DPAA to support DPAA's mission of locating and recovering the remains of missing persons from past conflicts, identifying those remains when possible, and providing answers to the families of the missing and the nation. Therefore, assistance must for purposes related to supporting efforts to account for missing Department of Defense personnel from past conflicts and provide answers to their families and the nation. Examples of programs of assistance include supporting universities, academic institutions, research institutions, non-profit organizations, and other non-federal entity in developing novel or new techniques approaches, procedures and techniques related to: • Conducting terrestrial archaeological field work in a more efficient and cost effective manner to assist in recovering remains of the missing and other socially important objectives; • Engaging in underwater remote sensing and surveys to improve the ability to detect, for example underwater aircraft crash locations; and • Developing new historical research and analysis capabilities, data mining and document archives/search methodologies to increase the effectiveness of identifying critical historical information that can contribute to providing information to families of the missing as well as contributing to other social goals.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: Required reporting will be specified in the announcement and the award. Required progress reporting will be specified in the announcement and the award. Required expenditure reporting will be specified in the announcement and the award, as will be provision regarding required monitoring.
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503
Record keeping requirements will be according to the terms and conditions of the award, which will include appropriate provisions related to recipient records required by the Code of Federal Regulations..
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
The period of time the assistance will be available will generality be one year but this will be specified in the pertinent announcement as well as in the terms and conditions of the award. Likewise, any restrictions placed on the time permitted to spend the money awarded will be specified in the announcement and the award. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: quarterly unless otherwise specified in the announcement/award. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: Quarterly.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None/Not specified.
Headquarters Office
George R Gillette
Director, Partnerships and Innovation and Grants Officer (Interim)
Washington, DC 20301 US
Phone: Office: 703-699-1191
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Cooperative Agreements (Discretionary Grants)) FY 22$10,866,000.00; FY 23 est $19,200,000.00; FY 24 est $20,848,000.00; FY 21$16,283,825.00; FY 20$30,167,765.00; FY 19$10,823,331.00; FY 18$1,250,000.00; FY 17 Estimate Not Available -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Range: $188,000 to $18,500,000 Average: $3,500,000
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
See for general information on the past conflict accounting mission and information about opportunities to help determine the fate of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2018 Funding was used for a cooperative agreement that set up innovative new efforts related to DoD's mission to account for missing military personnel from covered past conflicts. This agreement funded, for example, forensic anthropological field research that advanced techniques and procedures used to investigate and excavate locations where missing military personnel were believed to be located. In addition, this agreement resulted in new arrangements for conducting both terrestrial and underwater field investigations and recoveries with a variety of sub-awardees that offered the needed skills and experience to support DoD's accounting mission. The agreement was with a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting military, medical, academic and government clients by administering, managing and supporting preeminent scientific programs that benefit members of the armed forces and civilians alike.
Fiscal Year 2019 A project to develop an innovative program for establishing new methodologies and processes for conducting systematic historical research and analyses of unresolved casualty cases, battles, and other war-related events to include creative approaches to archival research, secondary source analysis, oral history interviews, site investigations, and any other pertinent (e.g., computer-based) assessments designed to advance DPAA’s mission to account for missing military personnel lost in past conflicts (back to and including WWII). The goal is to identify viable new ways for conducting historical research and analysis needed to locate, recover, and identifying remains to return to families. In addition, these new methodologies should better generate a more complete story of the circumstances of loss for each casualty that can be shared with family members.
Fiscal Year 2022 Innovation and Development – continued with its second year of piloting Innovation’s “first track” portfolio. This pilot effort will last four fiscal years and test timeframe balance between 1) staying abreast of trending techniques, technologies, and procedures; and 2) allowing enough time to significantly progress (more than 80%) and/or complete innovation studies within the agency’s identified tracks or focus areas. Current projects include an Isotopes study, Underwater Innovation on deep water research and Assessing DPAA’s Legacy Data. Terrestrial Partner- 28 partner missions were completed this year, with PI tracking a total of 445 operational personnel working a total of ~8,320 “deployed” person days dedicated to “in the field” recovery operations. A key example on scope of partner supported missions is how the team executed their mission as a successful field school, but they also assisted DPAA PI in building, testing, and creating a demonstration video for the use of a new partner wet-screening system. The success of the system meant widespread adoption for other partner teams, vastly increasing DPAA and our partners’ ability to process more soil at recovery sites. Underwater Partner- partnered with 13 organizations in order to complete 18 field missions in 13 countries. In Europe our partners completed (8) U/W IT surveys and (3) U/W excavations, and in the Indo-Pacific region partners completed (6) U/W IT surveys and one U/W excavation. One ongoing example is an investigation that led to the start of an ongoing recovery mission of a wrecked B-24 with 8 unaccounted personnel. Research- coordinated and executed 69 active research projects, including 53 large-scale projects and 16 smaller-scale projects. This represents an overall 38% increase over the previous fiscal year’s activity. Of the projects worked in FY22, 65 will continue into FY23, and four have been completed.
Fiscal Year 2023 Continued developing information of possible loss sites where remains of missing military personnel could be recovered through multiple portfolios.


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