Five Generations of Service Since 1925 

Veterans Overview


The United States Military has a time-honored tradition of honoring their fallen.  On January 1, 2000, Military Funeral Honors became a statutory benefit to all veterans with the signing of the National Defense Authorization Act.  The law requires that, upon a family's request, every ELIGIBLE Veteran receive a Military Funeral Honors ceremony to include, a two-person detail for the sounding of "TAPS", folding and presenting the United States Flag.

How To Request Honors

  A family member or authorized representative is encouraged to notify the funeral director or service coordinator of their desire to have Military Funeral Honors rendered at the interment/committal of their loved one.  The funeral director then contacts the appropriate branch of service in which the Veteran served.


Who is eligible for Military Funeral Honors?

• Military members who died while on active duty or in the Selected Reserve

• Former military members who served on active duty or in the Selected Reserve and were discharged under other than dishonorable conditions

• Former military members who completed at least one term of enlistment or period of initial obligated service in the Selected Reserve and were discharged under other than dishonorable conditions

• Further clarification on eligibility is available on our DoD Policy page.

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 capital crime and whose conviction is final (other than a person whose sentence was commuted by the President)

• Any person who has been convicted of a State capital crime and whose conviction is final (other than a person whose sentence was commuted by the Governor of a State)

• Any person who

• is found to have committed a Federal capital crime or a State capital crime, as set forth in section 2411(c) of title 38, but,

• has not been convicted of such crime by reason of such person not being available for trial due to death or flight to avoid prosecution

For additional information, refer to Title 38, United States Code, Section 2411 on the Department of Defense policy of this website.

See also paragraph 4.7.4 of Department of Defense Instruction 1300.15 on the Department of Defense policy of this website.

How do I establish veteran eligibility?

The preferred method is to provide the member's DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. If the DD Form 214 is not available, any discharge document showing honorable service can be used. The DD Form 214 may be obtained by completing a Standard Form 180; once the DD Form 214 is received send it to:

National Personnel Records Center(NPRC)

9700 Page Blvd.

St. Louis, MO 63132

If requested, the NPRC can provide a Standard Form 180 by mail, or it can be downloaded from the Internet at:

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). Certain Civilian or Contractual Groups who have been given  Active Duty Service Determinations are eligible as well as National Guard members.

How is PHS eligibility for Funeral Honors established?

For PHS Personnel, Funeral Honors eligibility is established by submitting 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 by writing: 

Division of Commissioned Corps Officer Support 

Attention: Records Officer 

1101 Wootton Parkway 

Plaza Level, Suite 100 

Rockville, MD 20857

How is NOAA eligibility for Funeral Honors established?

For NOAA personnel, eligibility is established by submitting 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) 

8403 Colesville Rd. 

Suite 500 

Silver Spring, MD 20910

How does a family request Funeral Honors for NOAA or PHS decedents?

The families of PHS and NOAA decedents request Funeral Honors through their funeral director. The funeral director will contact the applicable points of contact at PHS or NOAA to arrange the Funeral Honors detail. 

Military Funeral Honors for PHS or NOAA decedents is provided by the Coast Guard.

How is Funeral Honors eligibility for Civilian or Contractual Groups established?

By virtue of Public Law (P.L.) 95-202, individuals other than current/former uniformed service members can be considered 'veterans' under Title 38 (which contains the laws administered by the VA). Section 401 of P.L. 95-202 established a process whereby the Secretary of Defense could designate certain groups' service as active duty for the purpose of 'all laws administered by the Veterans' Administration.' These 'Active Duty Designees' would be eligible for Military Funeral Honors. 

The Secretary of the Air Force has been delegated the responsibility, under Department of Defense Directive 1000.20., to make determinations under P.L. 95-202. This directive can be found at The groups who could be considered for an 'active duty' designation by the Secretary must have rendered service to the Armed Forces of the United States in a capacity considered civilian employment or contractual service at the time the service was rendered. 

Section 1491 of Title 10, U.S.C. , requires the Secretary of Defense to provide a Funeral Honors detail upon request to any 'veteran.' Section 1491 defines 'veteran' as, among other things, 'a decedent who served in the active military, naval, or air service (as defined in section 101(24) of title 38)... ' Section 101(24), in turn defines the term 'active military, naval, or air service' to include 'active duty.' Since Active Duty Designees have served on 'active duty' for purposes of Title 38, Active Duty Designees would therefore be 'veterans' under title 10, U.S.C. Section 1491 for purposes of receiving Funeral Honors required by that statute. 

The attached list contains a complete listing of those Groups who have been given 'active duty' determinations,  Recognized Groups Under Public Law 95-202.

In this section

Veterans Overview

Veterans Headstones

Veterans Burial Flags

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