The basic Military Funeral Honors ceremony consists of the folding and presentation of the United States flag to the Veterans' family and the playing of Taps. The ceremony is performed by a funeral honors detail consisting of at least two members of the U. S. Armed Forces.
The funeral honors rendered will be determined by the status of the Veteran. They may be “Full Military Honors,” “7 Person Detail” or a “Standard Honors Team Detail.”
At least one member of the funeral honors detail will be from the military service in which the deceased Veteran served. Taps may be played by a bugler or, if a bugler is not available, by using a quality recorded version. Military Funeral Honor Teams may act as Pall Bearers if requested by the Veteran/family.
Below are the most commonly asked questions regarding Military Funeral Honors:
What Benefits may a Veteran be eligible for at the time of death?
- Burial in a national cemetery
- A government headstone or marker
- A burial flag
- Presidential Memorial Certificate
- A burial allowance
Who is not eligible for Military Funeral Honors?
- Any person separated from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions or whose character of service results in a bar to Veteran's benefits.
- Any person who was ordered to report to an induction station, but was not actually inducted into military service.
- Any person discharged from the Selected Reserve prior to completing one term of enlistment or period of initial obligated service for reasons other than a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.
- Any person convicted of a Federal or State capital crime sentenced to death or life imprisonment.
How do I establish Veteran eligibility?
The preferred method is the DD Form 214, “Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.” If the DD Form 214 is not available, any discharge document showing other than dishonorable service can be used. The DD Form 214 may be obtained by filling out a Standard Form 180 and sending it to:
National Personnel Records Center (NPRC)
9700 Page Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63132
The Standard Form 180 may be obtained from the National Records Center or via the following website: http://www.archives.gov/research/order/standard-form-180.pdf
What about a Veteran's spouse and dependent?
Burial benefits in a national cemetery are available for eligible spouses and dependents including burial with the Veteran, perpetual care, and the spouse or dependent’s name and date of birth and death inscribed on the Veteran's headstone, at no cost to the family. Eligible spouses and dependents may be buried, even if they predecease the Veteran.
Is anyone else eligible to receive funeral honors?
Yes. Members of the Commissioned Officer Corps of the Public Health Service (PHS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as members of a Uniformed Service, are also eligible to receive funeral honors.
For NOAA personnel, eligibility is established using NOAA Form 56-16, Report of Transfer or Discharge. If the family does not have a copy of the NOAA Form 56-16, it may be obtained by contacting the Chief, Officer Services Division, NOAA Commissioned Personnel Center at (301) 713-7715 or by writing:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Commissioned Personnel Center
Chief, Officer Services Division (CPC1)
1315 East-West Highway, Room 12100
Silver Spring, MD 20910
For PHS personnel, funeral honors eligibility is established using PHS Form 1867, Statement of Service (equivalent to the DD Form 214). If the family does not have a copy of the Statement of Service, it may be obtained by contacting the Privacy Coordinator for the Commissioned Corps at (240) 453-6041 or writing:
Division of Commissioned Personnel/HRS/PSC
Attention: Privacy Act Coordinator
5600 Fishers Lane, 4-36
Rockville, MD 20857
As part of our services, Tibbs Funeral Home & Cremation will assist you in ensuring that your loved one receives the Veteran tribute rightly earned.
Complete information on Veteran’s burial benefits may be found at: http://www.cem.va.gov/