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Killed in action

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, near Colleville-sur-Mer in France, honoring American troops who died in Europe during World War II

Killed in action (KIA) is a casualty classification generally used by militaries to describe the deaths of their own personnel at the hands of enemy or hostile forces at the moment of action.[1] The United States Department of Defense, for example, says that those declared KIA did not need to have fired their weapons, but only to have been killed due to hostile attack. KIAs include those killed by friendly fire in the midst of combat, but not from incidents such as accidental vehicle crashes, murder or other non-hostile events or terrorism. KIA can be applied both to front-line combat troops and to naval, air and support troops.

Furthermore, the term died of wounds (DOW) is used to denote personnel who reach a medical treatment facility before dying.[2] The category died of wounds received in action (DWRIA) is also used for combat related casualties which occur after medical evacuation.[3]

PKIA means presumed killed in action. This term is used when personnel are lost in battle, initially listed missing in action (MIA), but after not being found, are later presumed to have not survived.[4] This is typical of naval battles or engagements on other hostile environments where recovering bodies is difficult. A very large number of soldiers killed in action went unidentified in World War I, like John Kipling, the son of British poet Rudyard Kipling, prompting the formation of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.[5]

In Wikipedia articles about battles, leaders who were killed in action have the symbol ( ) next to their name.[6]

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NATO definition

NATO defines killed in action or a battle casualty as a combatant who is killed outright or who dies as a result of wounds or other injuries before reaching a medical treatment facility or help from fellow comrades.[7]

See also


  1. ^ "U.S. Department of Defense Dictionary: killed in action". Archived from the original on 2012-09-27. Retrieved 2007-02-04.
  2. ^ "Understanding Combat Casualty Care Statistics" (PDF). Defense Technical Information Center.
  3. ^ "DoD Instruction Number 1300.18" (PDF). DPAA.
  4. ^ "USS Milius — Named in honor of Navy pilot Captain Paul L. Milius". US Navy. Archived from the original on 12 January 2018. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  5. ^ Brown, Jonathan (28 August 2006). "The Great War and its aftermath: The son who haunted Kipling". The Independent. Archived from the original on 3 May 2018. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  6. ^ "Template:KIA", Wikipedia, 2019-08-20, retrieved 2024-04-17
  7. ^ AAP-06, NATO Glossary of terms and definitions (PDF), NATO, 2013, p. 123, archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-03
This page was last edited on 26 June 2024, at 18:46
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