For a long time, the involvement of military personnel in health-related activities has been controversial, with critics arguing that it can blur the lines between humanitarian agencies and the armed forces. Some have even suggested that it has resulted in the mistreatment of humanitarian workers. Yet in 2014 militaries played an important role in the international response to the West African Ebola outbreak, potentially establishing a precedent for future health emergencies.

Bringing together three currently serving and former military officers who were involved in the Ebola response, the panel discussed what role militaries should play in future health crises.