Frequently Asked Questions About the 2015 HRBS

  • What is the DoD HRBS?

    The DoD HRBS is the Department of Defense Health Related Behaviors Survey. HRBS assesses the health-related behaviors and lifestyles of military personnel that have the potential to impact readiness. The survey results are used to monitor service members’ needs, develop policies, and improve health programs and services for military members and their families. It is conducted roughly every three years.

  • What areas does the survey cover?

    The survey covers seven areas: health promotion and disease prevention, substance use, mental and emotional health, physical health and functional limitations, sexual behavior and health, sexual orientation, transgender identity and health, and deployment experiences and health.

  • Who is eligible to take the survey?

    Depending on the year, all Active and Reserve Component service members in the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy. Although not part of DoD, members of the Coast Guard are also eligible to participate. Personnel are randomly selected to take the survey so not all service members are invited. Deployed service members, trainees, and those in the most senior officer ranks (above O-6) are not eligible.

  • Who participated in the 2015 HRBS?

    The results you see here are based on the responses of roughly 18,000 active duty service members in the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy. Participants were randomly selected.

  • When was the survey conducted?

    The survey was conducted between November 2015 and April 2016. The data generated from this survey is the latest and most comprehensive data on this topic. A new survey is being fielded in 2018 and those results should be available in 2020.

  • Who created the survey? And who analyzed the results?

    DoD, and specifically the Defense Health Agency (DHA), asked the RAND Corporation and its data collection contractor, ICF International, to conduct an independent, objective assessment of Service members’ health status and health-related behaviors using the HRBS. RAND revised the 2011 HRBS survey instrument for the 2015 implementation.

  • Who is the RAND Corporation?

    RAND is a private, nonprofit organization that conducts research and analysis to help improve public policy and decision-making.

  • Who is ICF International?

    ICF is a leading consulting services and technology solutions firm. ICF manages the technical aspects of the web survey operations.

  • How are the survey findings used?

    Many researchers, both in the military and the civilian world, use HRBS data to identify areas where health and health-related behaviors may negatively impact force readiness. Comparing results from prior surveys allows researchers and senior military leaders to understand trends in health and health behavior over time. Results from the survey are also used to make policy and program decisions and are shared with the Secretary of Defense, Congress, and the White House.