Killed in action (KIA) is a casualty classification generally used by
militaries to describe the deaths of their own combatants at the hands
of hostile forces. The
United States Department of Defense, for
example, says that those declared KIA need not have fired their
weapons but have been killed due to hostile attack. KIAs do not come
from incidents such as accidental vehicle crashes and other
"non-hostile" events or terrorism. KIA can be applied both to
front-line combat troops and to naval, air and support troops. Someone
who is killed in action during a particular event is denoted with a
† (dagger) beside their name to signify their death in that event or
Further, KIA denotes one to have been killed in action on the
battlefield whereas died of wounds (DOW) relates to someone who
survived to reach a medical treatment facility. The North Atlantic
Treaty Organization (NATO) also uses DWRIA, rather than DOW, for "died
of wounds received in action". However, historically, militaries and
historians have used the former acronym.
PKIA means "presumed killed in action" This term is used when
personnel are lost in battle, initially listed MIA, but after not
being found, are later presumed to have not survived.
KIFA means "killed in flight accident". This term is used when
personnel are killed in an aerial mishap that did not result from
2 See also
4 External links
NATO defines "killed in action" or a battle casualty as when a
combatant is killed outright or who dies as a result of wounds or
other injuries before reaching a medical treatment facility or help
from fellow soldiers.
Prisoner of war
Prisoner of war (POW)
Missing in action
Missing in action (MIA)
Wounded in action (WIA)
^ "U.S. Department of Defense Dictionary: killed in action". Archived
from the original on 2012-09-27. Retrieved 2007-02-04.
^ "Paul L. Milius". public.navy.mil. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
^ http://topdefinitions.com/2013/06/15/killed-in-action-is/ Killed in
NATO Glossary of terms and definitions (PDF), NATO, 2013,
p. 123, archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-03
Media related to
Killed in action at