Standard Honors Funeral Escorts
Enlisted service members interred/inurned at Arlington National Cemetery will receive honors provided by the decedent’s branch of service. These honors include:
- A casket team (body bearers / pall bearers)
- A firing party
- A bugler
Additionally, all branches of the armed services may use the caisson, if available, for service members who have reached the senior non-Commissioned Officer (pay grade of E-9). The cemetery staff will make arrangements for military funeral honors when requested by the next-of-kin or representative. A military chaplain may also be requested.
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),
enlisted members who die as a result of wounds received in action and are being interred/inurned at Arlington National Cemetery are eligible to receive full military funeral honors, to include an escort platoon, a colors team, a band, and a caisson section.
Full Military Funeral Honors Funeral Escorts
In addition to the standard military funeral honors, those eligible for full military funeral honors at Arlington National Cemetery may also receive:
- An escort platoon (size varies according to the rank of the deceased)
- A military band
Additionally, those eligible for full military funeral honors at Arlington National Cemetery may use the caisson, if available. Officers in the rank of colonel and above in the Army and the Marine Corps may be provided a caparisoned (riderless) horse, if available. General/flag officers may receive a cannon salute (17 guns for a four-star general, 15 for a three-star, 13 for a two-star, 11 for a one-star), if available. The President of the United States is entitled to a 21-gun salute, while other high state officials receive 19 guns.
Armed Forces Honors
Armed Forces Honors are the same as a full military funeral honors funeral, except that escort platoons from each of the services participate. These funerals are reserved for the President of the United States (as commander-in-chief), Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff or officers granted multiple-service command.
Military Spouses and Family Members
When a spouse or other dependent of a current or former member of the Armed Forces is buried at Arlington, the military service in which the primary party served will provide a casket team and a chaplain. No other military funeral honors will be rendered unless the spouse also served in the military.
Burial flags used for military honors at Arlington National Cemetery measure 5’ x 9 ½’. Most funeral homes will obtain the US Flag on behalf of the veteran’s family. Requests for a burial flag must be made at the time of need (time of death). Burial flags may be obtained from VA regional offices and most U.S. post offices by completing VA Form 21-2008, Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes,
and submitting it with a copy of the veteran's discharge papers at either of the locations. You can also
download the Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes form online from the Department of Veterans Affairs website.