Sequence of Events for Military Funeral Honors


  • The caisson or funeral coach arrives at the gravesite. Military members present arms (render a salute).

  • Casket team secures the casket. Non-commissioned officer-in-charge (NCOIC), officer-in-charge (OIC) and chaplain salute.

  • Chaplain (military or civilian) leads the way to the gravesite, followed by casket team.

  • Casket team sets down the casket and secures the flag.

  • NCOIC/OIC ensures that the flag is stretched out, level and centered over the casket.

  • Family is seated.

  • NCOIC/OIC backs away and chaplain performs the service.

  • For those eligible (i.e., general officers), a cannon salute is fired at conclusion of the interment service and before benediction.

  • Chaplain concludes the service and backs away; NCOIC/OIC steps up to the casket.

  • Cemetery representative asks family members to rise for honors.

  • NCOIC/OIC presents arms to initiate the rifle volley.

  • Rifle volley complete; bugler plays Taps.

  • Family is asked to be seated.

  • Casket team leader starts to fold the flag.

  • Once the flag fold is completed, the flag is passed to the NCOIC/OIC.

  • Casket team leaves gravesite.

  • The flag is presented to the next of kin.

  • For veterans of the Army, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard, an Arlington Lady presents cards of condolence to the next of kin, on behalf of their service chief and the Lady herself.

  • Chaplain/clergy extend condolences.

  • Cemetery representative announces that the service has concluded.

For more information on military funeral honors, please see our fact sheet