FALLS CHURCH, Va. — The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs today announced the 2018 Health Related Behaviors Survey (HRBS) will be launched by the RAND Corporation starting the week of Oct 22. DoD asked the independent, non-profit RAND Corporation to design, field, and analyze this confidential web-based survey. Westat will assist with data collection. Active Component, Reserve Component and National Guard, and Coast Guard members will be randomly selected to complete a confidential health survey via the Internet. The HRBS has been conducted approximately every 3 years since 1980 and is used to measure the health related behaviors and lifestyles of military personnel that have the potential to impact readiness.

To protect Service members’ privacy, the survey is confidential. This means that DoD, the Services, and the service member’s chain of command will never know who has completed the survey. RAND and the survey subcontractor, Westat will never provide DoD with survey responses linked to names, other personal identifiers, or military records. These procedures are in place to encourage service members to participate in the survey without fear that anyone will match answers back to names.

“This health survey is important to the DoD and the Services, and I strongly encourage you to participate,” said Mr. Thomas McCaffery, Acting Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs. “We use data from this survey to improve education, training, treatment, and counseling to support the Services and optimize individual and overall health status and fitness.”

For those who will be asked to participate, a secure e-mail invitation will be sent together with several follow-up reminders by mail and email to complete the survey. The survey will likely take 20-25 minutes to complete and Service members are asked to be as candid as possible when responding.

Although participation in the survey is entirely voluntary, we hope that service members will recognize its importance and find time to sit down privately and answer these health-related questions. The survey can be completed using a government computer during duty hours or a home computer with Internet access. You may also use a smartphone or tablet to take the survey.

As in past years, a summary report with the survey results will be posted to the DoD website as soon as the final report is ready.

The results of the last HRB Survey, which was conducted in 2015, are available at https://www.rand.org/nsrd/projects/hrbs.html