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The Journal of Workers Compensation

One important expansion of the DBA legislation was the War Hazards Compensation Act (WHCA), enacted in 1942 and rolled onto the previous DBA legislation. As written, the WHCA enables the U.S. government to reimburse insurers for medical and compensation benefits paid under DBA insurance when an employee’s injury arises from “war risk hazard,” which was an obvious concern in the opening days of America’s involvement in World War II.

Today, war risk hazard carries a very broad definition that extends to war, terrorist attacks, armed conflict against the United States or its allies, and war or armed conflict between the military forces of any origin or in any country in which a person covered by the WHCA may be serving. In situations considered a war risk hazard, any benefits for injuries caused by bullets, bombs, missiles, and any other weapons of war will be reimbursed to the insurer by the government in addition to a nominal service charge for handling the claims.


FollowingWorldWar II, atremendousamountofpostwarreconstruction was funded by the U.S. government — the most obvious example being the Marshall Plan, which generated a spike in DBA insurance activity as U.S. contractors took on large-scale projects around the globe. Following the reconstruction boom, the DBA insurance marketplace settled into a relatively routine level of activity. With a military draft still in place concurrent with ongoing and robust recruiting efforts, the U.S. military generally had the human resources necessary for most support roles from within its own ranks. Even after the suspension of the military draft in 1973 and the institution of an all-volunteer military in the closing days of the Vietnam War, the military continued to staff most routine support roles from within. This practice remained the status quo throughout the remainder of the Cold War period.

After Iraqi troops marched into Kuwait in 1990, the first Gulf War represented the largest military deployment since the transition to an all- volunteer force. The need to free up enlisted personnel for frontline jobs for which they were trained meant that an increasing number of support roles would need to be performed by civilians under contract to the U.S. government. These roles ran the gamut from operating base commissaries and maintaining vehicles to providing routine security.

These “force multipliers” lived and worked next to soldiers throughout the deployments of the first Gulf War. Today, with the actions in Afghanistan following the September 11 terrorist attacks, and since the Iraq invasion


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