Military Funeral Honors with Escort

Old Guard caisson platoon conducts funeral escort

Those military members who attained the grade of E-9, CW-4 and CW-5, and O-4 and above, or service members regardless of rank who receive the Medal of Honor, who were prisoners of war (POWs) or who were killed in action, may receive military funeral honors with funeral escort provided by the decedent's branch of service. The cemetery staff will make arrangements for military funeral honors when requested by the next of kin. A military chaplain may also be requested.

The elements of military funeral honors with escort include:

  • A casket team (body bearers/pallbearers)
  • A firing party 
  • A bugler
  • Folding of and presentation of the U.S. flag
  • A marching element (size varies according to the rank of the deceased)
  • A military band

Additionally, those eligible for funeral escort at Arlington National Cemetery may request the caisson, if available.

Army and Marine Corps colonels and general officers may be provided a caparisoned (riderless) horse, if available. Army general officers may receive a battery 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. Minute guns may be used for general officers/flag officers of the Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy, if available. The President of the United States is entitled to a 21-gun salute, while other high state officials receive 19 guns.

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 January 2, 2009), all service members who die from wounds received as result of enemy action and are being interred, inurned or memorialized at Arlington National Cemetery are eligible to receive military funeral honors with funeral escort.