Department of Defense policy states that “casualty procedures shall be uniform across the military departments except to the extent necessary to reflect the traditional practices or customs of a particular military department.”
Casualty reporting using the Defense Casualty Information Processing System, a single standard system supporting uniform procedures, accounting and accurate reporting of casualties; and ensuring support of family members, benefits tracking, coordinating mortuary affairs services and the return of personal effects and human remains
Personal casualty notification by a minimum of a two-person uniformed notification team to surviving family members as identified on the service member's Record of Emergency Data
Assignment of a casualty assistance officer or representative who works directly with the family as long as assistance is needed or requested by the family
Casualty assistance including transportation assistance; applying for and receiving benefits and entitlements; obtaining copies of records, reports and investigations; legal assistance (including tax issues); ensuring receipt of personal effects; mortuary and funeral honors; relocation, including shipment of household goods; liaising with other federal agencies; providing information and referral, including bereavement counseling and spiritual support; and other assistance as requested by the surviving family
Transportation of family members to bedside for wounded, ill and injured service members, transportation of family members to burial for active duty fatalities, transportation to unit or installation memorial services, and transportation of family members to Dover Air Force Base, Dover, Del. to observe the dignified transfer of loved ones who die in the theater of combat operations
Comprehensive guides for all primary next-of-kin of active duty fatalities:
- A Survivor's Guide to Benefits: Taking Care of Our Families, available online at www.militaryonesource.mil/survivorsguide; the guide details the federal benefits available to families of the fallen including coordinated benefit information from the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Social Security Administration
- The Days Ahead, Essential Papers for Families of a Fallen Service Member, a comprehensive binder organizing tool designed to assist families in the days following the death of their loved one
All active duty members, DoD civilians, and activated National Guard and reserve members are eligible.
These programs are available worldwide on military installations and through distance methods when the surviving PNOK is not located near a military installation.
Department of Defense Policy
Department of Defense Legislation
Department of Defense Service Regulations and Orders