Increased reliance on optical components in harsh radiation environments requires a deeper understanding of the radiation-induced behavior of common optical elements. Of particular interest is the impact of ionizing radiation on both optical transmission and absorption. The present work focuses on an examination of the optical response of singlecrystal Nd:YAG, Cr:YAG and co-doped Nd:Cr:YAG to pulses of gamma-radiation. In-situ, transient optical behavior was observed by measuring the transmittance of the materials at 1064 nm before, during and after exposure to 30-60 krad (Si) of pulsed gamma radiation. The gamma-radiation-induced response of the Cr-doped materials was seen to exhibit exceptional radiation resistance as compared to the undoped YAG and to the Nd-doped materials. Furthermore, the addition of Cr3+ into the Nd:YAG crystal matrix was seen to greatly improve the radiation resistance of the laser materials. Both transient and permanent effects will be discussed.