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National Cemetery Administration


Advisory Committee on Cemeteries and Memorials (ACCM)

Committee Designation

The Advisory Committee on Cemeteries and Memorials (ACCM) is a statutory committee authorized by Congress (Public Law 93-43, June 18, 1973) and that authorization is codified in Title 38 United States Code, Section 2401.

Objectives and Scope of Activities

To furnish consultation and advice to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs regarding the administration of the national cemeteries, soldier's lots and plots which are the responsibility of the Secretary, and regarding the selection of new national cemetery construction sites, the erection of appropriate memorials and the adequacy of Federal funding for operation of the National Cemetery Administration.

ACCM Committee Members

Gina Farrisee, Chair
ACCM Committee Member: Gina Farrisee, Chair (Virginia)

Paul Adkins
ACCM Committee Member: Paul Adkins (Arizona)

Eric Brown
ACCM Committee Member: Eric Brown (Texas)

Amerophan Callahan
ACCM Committee Member: Amerophan Callahan (Arizona)

Alvin Duncan
ACCM Committee Member: Alvin Duncan (Kentucky)

Thomas Hernandez
ACCM Committee Member: Thomas Hernandez (New Jersey)
New Jersey

Michael Hoplight
ACCM Committee Member: Michael Hoplight (New York)
New York

William Kennedy
ACCM Committee Member: William Kennedy (Montana)

Monica Mohindra
ACCM Committee Member: Monica Mohindra (Maryland)

Jared Peatman
ACCM Committee Member: Jared Peatman (Virginia)

Floyd Watson, Jr.
ACCM Committee Member: Floyd Watson, Jr. (Wyoming)

Candace Wheeler
ACCM Committee Member: Candace Wheeler (Virginia)

Ex-Officio Member:
Karen Durham-Aguilera
ACCM Committee Ex-Officio Member: Karen Durham-Aguilera (Arlington National Cemetery)
Arlington National

Ex-Officio Member:
Tom Sole
ACCM Committee Ex-Officio Member: Tom Sole (American Battle Monuments Commission)
American Battle
Monuments Commission

Ex-Officio Member:
Gia Wagner
ACCM Committee Ex-Officio Member: Gia Wagner (Andersonville National Historic Site)
Andersonville National
Historic Site

About ACCM

The Advisory Committee on Cemeteries and Memorials (ACCM) is one of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Advisory Committees. The Committee is authorized by statute, Title 38 United States Code (U.S.C.) Section 2401, and operates under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), as amended (5 U.S.C. App.).

VA seeks a diverse group of applicants from the general public to consider for service on the Committee. Candidates for membership should be recognized authorities in fields pertinent to the needs of Veterans. Desirable qualifications include one or more of the following: military experience; industry experience related to memorial or burial benefits; government or nongovernment organization experience; familiarity with complex organizations; and diverse professional and personal experience.

Under current VA policy, the Committee's membership is composed of up to 12 members and three ex-officio members representing other federal government agencies responsible for Veteran cemeteries. The Secretary appoints the members of the committee to a two-year terms and may reappoint members for an additional term of service.

The Committee advises the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs with respect to the administration of VA national cemeteries, Soldiers' lots and plots, the selection of cemetery sites, the erection of appropriate memorials, and the adequacy of Federal burial benefits.

The Committee also provides periodic reports to the Secretary and Congress outlining recommendations, concerns and observations of VA's delivery of burial benefits and services to Veterans or work on specific projects, to include the establishment of the Access, Outreach, and Choice Subcommittee to:

  • study the unique burial needs of Native American and Alaskan American Veterans and their impact on the National Cemetery Administration (NCA), Veterans Cemetery Grant Program;
  • determine ways to increase access to the hardest five percent of the Veteran population, such as Veterans who reside in rural areas;
  • review the Emblems of Belief regulation and NCA's decision-making process;
  • assist with the development of an Outreach Ambassador Program and review of outreach plan and materials; and
  • review burial plot allowance discrepancies for eligible surviving spouses and family members.

The Committee's recommendations and insights assist the Secretary in ensuring that burial benefit programs are meeting the needs of the nation's Veterans, spouses and their eligible family members and meeting the mandate to maintain VA national cemeteries as national shrines.