The military's medical evaluation process is complex, and understanding it is sometimes overwhelming for service members and their families. But service members don't have to navigate this process alone. The Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs have simplified and streamlined the process for service members and their families through the creation of the Integrated Disability Evaluation System, or IDES. Additionally, your Physical Evaluation Board liaison officer acts as your main intermediary during the process, providing valuable guidance and serving as a patient advocate. He or she will help you through the ups and downs of the system, from recommendation for a medical board through return to duty or separation from service.