The Torchlight Initiative

Examining cancers and disorders within the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Community.


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About The Torchlight Initiative

Torchlight is a non-government organization composed of current and former ICBM community members and their families.

Our mission is to address health issues of vital interest to the ICBM community, specifically, to address the higher rates of cancer and associated disorders amongst those that operated, maintained, supported, or protected ICBM delivery systems.

Our goal is to ensure the current and future ICBM environment is safe for all current and future personnel while continuing to support the vital deterrent capability inherent in the ICBM mission.

We will advocate for this community and ensure former and current community members receive education, health monitoring, health care, and when appropriate, VA claim service connection.


USAF’s New ICBM Cancer Study to Examine ‘Everyone Possible’ | May 18, 2023

The Air Force is pressing to find out why some Airmen and former Airmen who worked wth the nation’s intercontinental continental ballistic missile fleet are being diagnosed with blood cancer—years after the service dismissed such concerns in the early 2000s.

Air Force expands cancer review of nuclear missile personnel | FEB 23, 2023

HEALTH NEWS FLORIDA | The Air Force’s review of cancers among its nuclear missile corps will include all personnel who worked on, guarded, supported or operated the nation’s ground-based warheads, Air Force Global Strike Command announced Wednesday.

They handled nuclear missiles. Now they’re getting cancer | FEB 3, 2023

WASHINGTON POST | Mark Holmes spent his last 16 months battling Stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, undergoing chemotherapy, committing his life story to home video for his kids to one day watch and wondering how he had gone from picture-perfect health to bedbound. When the former Air Force major died at 37 in 2020, he had no idea others from his base had developed the same cancer.

Nuclear strike chief seeks cancer review of missile crews | JAN 28, 2023

ASSOCIATED PRESS | The top Air Force general in charge of the nation’s air- and ground-launched nuclear missiles has requested an official investigation into the number of airmen who are reporting blood cancer diagnoses after serving at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana.

Missileers Worry About New Signs of Link Between Service and Cancer, Latest in Toxic Exposure Concerns | JAN 26, 2023

MILITARY.COM | The community of missileers who have spent years standing watch in concrete bunkers for days at a time while operating America’s nuclear arsenal are voicing concern about a presentation detailing a possible link between their service and cancer.

The Air Force is looking into a possible link between cancer and missile crew duty | JAN 24, 2023

|The Air Force is looking into a possible association between cancer and missile combat crew member service at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana after a Space Force lieutenant colonel discovered that some former Malmstrom missileers developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) after serving at the base between the late 1990s and the late 2000s.


PRESS RELEASE | Following recent reporting on the high incidence of cancer among Missileers who served at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Cascade County, Montana, U.S. Senator Jon Tester is demanding answers and urging senior leaders at the Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to take immediate action to ensure every potentially impacted veteran or servicemember is identified and receives an appropriate health assessment.

Military probing whether cancers linked to nuclear silo work | JAN 23, 2023

ASSOCIATED PRESS | Nine military officers who had worked decades ago at a nuclear missile base in Montana have been diagnosed with blood cancer and there are “indications” the disease may be linked to their service, according to military briefing slides obtained by The Associated Press. One of the officers has died.

Pentagon probes blood cancer cases among nine officers who served deep underground in concrete-and-steel nuclear missile bunkers | JAN 23, 2023

DAILY MAIL | Nine military officers who worked decades ago on a nuclear missile base in Montana have been diagnosed with blood cancer and there are ‘indications’ it’s linked to their service, documents show. The officers, known as missileers, were assigned as many as 25 years ago to Malmstrom Air Force Base, home to a vast field of 150 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile silos.



Our Vision


Torchlight educates and builds awareness on the health issues impacting our community and we will encourage the DoD to proactively monitor and screen the community.


Cancer Registry/Cancer Study

Torchlight maintains a self-reported registry of missile community cancer diagnoses to support and inform any data gathered by a formal study.  Torchlight aims to inform future study design and ensure third-party medical and environmental experts participate in any study.


The missile community’s permanent medical records should consistently and completely document all toxic exposures related to service.  We will advocate for our former/current/future missileers and their families to ensure they receive their earned compensation.


This is a cancer registry managed by a NGO. 

We are collecting this info to support or supplement a future study commissioned by proper authorities.  Please feel free to voluntarily register if you are/were part of the missile community and have a diagnosed cancer, blood or autoimmune disorder


Real Heroes. Real Stories.

On the battlefield, concealment is a survival skill | Off that battlefield,
transparency enables survival | Through the telling of each story, we are united as one | In the telling of the collective, we find our own.

These are our stories. This is our story. | A. Dietz


Diagnosed with NHL/Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

January 2022

Ryan Luecke

Diagnosed with NHL/Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.

2020, at the age of 45.

Captain Jason Leo Jenness 04/06/1970-07/22/2001

Diagnosed with NHL/Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma.


Diagnosed with NHL/Mantle Cell Lymphoma.

30 Sep 2022 at age of 42.


MAJOR MARK HOLMES 12/21/1982-05/12/2020

Diagnosed with NHL/Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma

There’s no room for incomplete knowledge or substandard performance when caring for the missile community.

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