Military Funeral Honors
"Honoring Those Who Served"
Overseen by the Department of Defense (DOD) the Military Funeral Honors Program establishes procedures for requesting and rendering military funeral honors. By law, an honor guard detail for the burial of an eligible veteran shall consist of at least two members of the armed forces. One member of the detail shall be a representative of the veteran’s service branch.
The honor detail will, at a minimum, perform a ceremony that includes the playing of Taps and the folding and presentation of the American flag to the next of kin. Taps will be played by a bugler, if available, or by a ceremonial bugle.
The DOD program calls for funeral home directors to request military funeral honors on behalf of the Veteran's family. However, the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration cemetery staff can also assist with arranging military funeral honors at VA national cemeteries.
Veteran Service Organizations (VS0) and Authorized Provider Partnership Programs may also assist in providing military funeral honors, such as detail elements for funeral honors such as rifle detail, pallbearers or escort services.
The DOD began the implementation plan for providing military funeral honors for eligible Veterans on January 1, 2000. Upon the family's request, Public Law 106-65 requires that every eligible Veteran receive a military funeral honors ceremony.
Questions or comments concerning the DOD military funeral honors program* may be sent to the address listed below:
Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
(Military Community and Family Policy)
1500 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20380-4000
For assistance please contact Military OneSource at 800-342-9647.
* External Link Disclaimer: Links marked with an asterisk ( * ) are external links. By clicking on these links, you will leave the Department of Veterans Affairs website. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the linked website.