The Defense Department is close to naming the second director of the recently formed Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Agency (DPAA), SOFREP has learned. In recent weeks, reliable sources have indicated that the field of candidates has been narrowed down to three people.

The wheels of change that lead to the formation of DPAA began rolling in early 2014, when then-Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel directed the undersecretary of defense for policy to provide recommendations for reorganizing the DoD’s efforts to account for missing personnel in our nation’s past conflicts.

Hagel said, “Finding, recovering, and identifying the remains of these individuals is one of our highest responsibilities, and I believed that DoD could more effectively and transparently account for our missing personnel while ensuring their families receive timely and accurate information.”

In 2015, the DPAA was formed through consolidation of three federal operations: the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO), which was based in the D.C. area; the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) that remains based in Hawaii where the forensic laboratories are located and where the search teams are launched for missions to recover unaccounted-for American remains; and the Air Force’s Life Sciences Equipment Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.