During World War II, thousands of service members were involved in the secret program to build an atomic bomb (the same project that DTRA traces its roots back to) known as the Manhattan Project. Thousands more were part of the U.S. occupation of Japan immediately following the dropping of two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Japan's unconditional surrender. And after the war ended, through decades of the Cold War, many more troops were involved in atmospheric and underground testing of nuclear weapons. Starting in 2019, the Secretary of Defense will honor these 550,000 veterans, or their next-of-kin, with an Atomic Veterans Service Certificate (AVSC).***

Authorized in the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, the AVSC is intended to recognize all the veterans who were or could have been exposed to radiation during their service to the nation. DTRA was selected to manage the AVSC program due to its existing expertise of determining radiation exposure through the Nuclear Test Personnel Review (NTPR) Program, and has already started issuing certificates.

Atomic Veterans

Veterans or their next-of-kin will need to print and fill out the application (links below) and send it into DTRA at this address:

Defense Threat Reduction Agency
8725 John J. Kingman Rd. STOP 6201
Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-6201

For a list of qualifying atmospheric testing operations and information, please refer to our Operation/Project fact sheets located at

***NOTE: The Atomic Veterans Service Certificate does not affect, guarantee or preclude any benefits for service members or their surviving dependents. All claims for medical or financial benefits are independent of the AVSC, and need to be made to, and processed by, the departments of Veterans Affairs, Justice or Energy. Additional details and contact information can be found on our web page for the Nuclear Test Personnel Review Program.



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