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The military funeral honors provided at Arlington National Cemetery differ from those provided in other national cemeteries.
Military funeral honors can be provided by the decedent’s branch of service. The cemetery staff will arrange for the military funeral honors when military funeral honors are requested. The honors will include service specific casket team (also referred to as body bearers or pallbearers), firing party, and a bugler. Additional honors may be available for certain senior non-commissioned officers (pay grade of E-9) depending upon the branch of service. A military chaplain may be scheduled by the cemetery staff, unless the family minister is desired and provided by the next-of-kin or the funeral home.
Please note, in accordance with guidance from the Secretary of the Army (SecArmy Memorandum Subject: Funeral Honors at Arlington National Cemetery for Soldiers Who Die as a Result of Wounds Received in Action, dated 02 January 2009), all service members who die from wounds received as a result of enemy action and are being interred, inurned or memorialized at Arlington National Cemetery are eligible to receive full military funeral honors.
Commissioned and Warrant Officers
In addition to the military funeral honors provided above, the caisson, band, and escort troops may be scheduled by the cemetery staff, if requested. The caparisoned (riderless) horse is used only for Army and Marine Colonels and above. For General/Flag Officers of the Navy, Coast Guard, and Marines, the Minute Guns are provided. For General/Flag Officers of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marines, the Gun Salute is provided.
If the temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, then all elements of the band may not be available to perform. A modified band will then provide the honors. Additionally, certain weather conditions may make it unsafe for the horses pulling the caisson to support a funeral service.
Certified Active Military Service
Former members of a group that has been certified as active military service for the purpose of receiving veteran benefits, under Section 401 of Public Law 95-202, are therefore entitled to inurnment in the Columbarium and are also deemed entitled to military funeral honors. Military funeral honors will be provided such honors when requested. The honors will include casket bearers (pallbearers), firing party, and a bugler. A military chaplain may be scheduled by the cemetery staff unless the family minister is desired and provided by the next-of-kin or the funeral home.
Dependents With No Military Service
The cemetery staff will arrange for casket bearers (pallbearers) and the family may request a military chaplain.