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Military Treatment Facility (MTF)


A Military Treatment Facility (MTF) is a healthcare facility operated by the Department of Defense (DoD) or other branches of the military. It provides medical care services to active duty service members, retirees, and their eligible family members. These facilities offer a wide range of healthcare services, from routine checkups to specialized surgeries and treatments.

Key Takeaways

  1. Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs) are medical facilities operated by the Department of Defense (DoD) that provide healthcare services to active-duty service members, military retirees, and their eligible dependents.
  2. MTFs offer a wide range of services including primary care, specialty care, pharmacy services, physical therapy, and dental care.
  3. Eligibility for treatment at an MTF is determined by the individual’s TRICARE plan and priority status, which typically considers the individual’s military status, length of service, and proximity to the MTF.


The term Military Treatment Facility (MTF) is important in the context of VA benefits because it directly impacts the healthcare services provided to active-duty service members, retirees, and eligible family members.

MTFs are healthcare institutions operated by the Department of Defense, where veterans can receive a wide range of medical services and treatment, including primary care, specialty care, and emergency care.

For those eligible for VA benefits, accessing healthcare at an MTF offers a number of advantages, such as reduced cost-sharing and access to specialized care specifically tailored to the needs of servicemen and women.

Furthermore, as the care provided at MTFs is integrated with military culture, patients receive treatment from providers who are familiar with veterans’ unique experiences and challenges, ensuring a more inclusive and understanding healthcare experience.


Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs) serve a crucial role in providing comprehensive health care services to service members, retirees, and their families. These facilities are specifically designed to support the unique needs of the military community and ensure that those who serve or have served in the armed forces have access to the highest quality medical care possible. MTFs are strategically located on or near military installations, enabling them to cater to the healthcare requirements of active duty military personnel, reservists, and their dependents.

Additionally, MTFs function as vital training centers for medical professionals within the military healthcare system, ensuring they master the skills necessary to handle the diverse health challenges that may arise in both combat and non-combat situations. One of the main purposes of MTFs is to provide care for beneficiaries of the TRICARE system, the healthcare program serving uniformed service members, retirees, and their families worldwide. As such, a focus is placed on addressing the variety of medical conditions that may be unique to or more common among military personnel.

This may include treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries, or other service-related physical and mental health conditions. MTFs offer various services such as primary care, specialty care, inpatient and outpatient services, surgeries, and mental health support, thus acting as an integral component of the larger military healthcare network. Furthermore, MTFs can be hubs for cutting-edge medical research, contributing to the development of new medical techniques, treatments, and technologies designed to improve the overall health outcomes of those who defend our nation.

Examples of Military Treatment Facility (MTF)

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (Bethesda, Maryland)Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is a tri-service (Army, Navy, and Air Force) Military Treatment Facility located in Bethesda, Maryland. It is one of the most prominent and well-known MTFs in the United States. Walter Reed offers various medical services, including primary care, mental health care, and rehabilitation services for active duty military personnel, retirees, and their eligible family members.

Brooke Army Medical Center (San Antonio, Texas)Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) is an MTF located in San Antonio, Texas, on the Fort Sam Houston military installation. It is the largest and busiest Level I Trauma Center within the Department of Defense(DOD). BAMC serves active duty military personnel, family members, and retirees from all branches of service. The medical center offers a variety of services, including general surgery, orthopedics, emergency medicine, and burn treatment.

Naval Medical Center San Diego (San Diego, California)Naval Medical Center San Diego, also known as Balboa Hospital, is the largest Naval hospital on the West Coast of the United States. Located in San Diego, California, this MTF provides comprehensive health care services to active duty service members from all branches, military retirees, and eligible family members. The medical center offers services such as internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, as well as behavioral health and substance abuse treatment programs.

Military Treatment Facility (MTF) FAQ

What is a Military Treatment Facility (MTF)?

A Military Treatment Facility (MTF) is a healthcare facility operated by the Department of Defense (DoD) that provides medical services to active duty, retired military personnel, and their eligible family members.

Who is eligible to receive care at an MTF?

Active duty servicemembers, retirees, and their eligible family members can receive care at an MTF. Eligibility is determined by the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).

How can I find an MTF near me?

You can locate an MTF near you by visiting the TRICARE website and using the “MTF Locator” tool. This tool allows you to search for MTFs by location, service, and facility type.

Do I need to be enrolled in TRICARE to use an MTF?

Yes, you must be enrolled in TRICARE, the military health insurance program, to receive care at an MTF. You can enroll online, by phone, or by visiting a TRICARE Service Center.

Can I choose my healthcare provider at an MTF?

MTFs typically assign healthcare providers to patients based on availability and the specific needs of the patient. However, you can request a specific provider or change your provider if you are not satisfied with your current one.

Are there any out-of-pocket costs for using an MTF?

Most services provided at an MTF are free of charge for eligible beneficiaries. However, there may be some instances, such as receiving care from a non-network provider, where you may be required to pay a copayment or cost-share.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • TRICARE Health Care Program
  • Direct Care System
  • Department of Defense (DoD) Hospitals
  • Ambulatory Care Centers
  • Active Duty and Retiree Benefits

Sources for More Information