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Duty Status and Whereabouts Unknown

Terminology used by the United States Department of Defense to indicate that a person can neither be located, nor confirmed to have been killed or captured. It is similar to MIA, but has a DoD policy imposed time limit of ten days before the person must either be accounted for, or reclassified - typically as MIA.

DUSTWUN is not to be confused with AWOL, or Absent Without Leave, which is an entirely separate legal distinction. DUSTWUN is typically used in cases where the person has gone missing as in combat, kidnapping, natural disaster, etcetera, whereas AWOL indicates that they have left of their own accord and may have taken the first steps towards desertion.

Military personnel in a combat zone are typically classed as DUSTWUN immediately upon reports that they may have gone missing or been captured. Accountability for, and if necessary recovery of, DUSTWUN personnel is typically a, if not the, top priority for commanders.

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