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We developed one of the three major components of an enterprise architecture, the operational architecture, for the US Department of Defense's Military Health Systems (MHS). The MHS is an enormous operation: its electronic patient record (the Composite Healthcare System) in conjunction with other supporting systems, creates, updates, and accesses medical records for many millions of Department of Defense personnel and their families worldwide. As of 2002, the US Army, Navy, and Air Force manage as many as 154 medical treatment facilities worldwide. This article reports on our real experience and the lessons learned as we developed this system's operational architecture.