Commander’s Reference

Commanders of honor guards, when your unit needs support, there is help. The Authorized Provider Partnership Program provides trained personnel who may assist a military funeral honors detail by providing additional elements of honors such as a firing party, pallbearers or a bugler upon request from the military service.

Prior to engaging authorized providers, it will be helpful for you to:

  • Understand the laws and Department of Defense policy and instructions governing the use of AP3.
  • Determine the organization you will partner with for the AP3.
  • Establish a training program and training schedule.
  • Assist authorized providers with obtaining material and equipment.
  • Establish an AP3 recognition program.

A variety of organizations can provide AP3 partners. Various Veterans Service Organizations exist and are currently supporting the AP3 program. Two nationally recognized VSOs include Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and The American Legion. Veterans from VSOs are very active and interested in providing support to honor the service of our nation’s veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs maintains a VSO directory listing organizations providing services to the veteran community.

To receive assistance from these groups, your military service component must:

  • Establish a training program for AP3 participants
  • Publish service Military Funeral Honors ceremony standards and schedule training
  • Approve reimbursement or financial support to authorized providers for expenses incurred while assisting the detail

Consider authorized providers as partners in military funeral honors. Take the time to locate, engage and develop authorized providers while maintaining a good working relationship to ensure professionalism and proficiency in rendering military funeral honors. A sample letter of introduction is provided for your use to:

  • Explain the program
  • Introduce your unit
  • Invite organizations to participate

A viable program must include training, materials and equipment required for a professional appearance and delivery of military funeral honors. Materials and equipment are available for issue as determined by the secretary of the military department concerned.

Discussing the Program

At your first meeting with a partner, you may want to address the following:

  • Appreciation for their willingness to work with your unit
  • Roles and responsibilities of the military and the partner
  • Ceremony elements the partner will provide
  • Training
  • Benefits
  • Reimbursement of partner expenses
  • Recognition program

Questions? You can call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 or visit Military OneSource. OCONUS/International? Click here for calling options.

2020 Domestic Violence Awareness Month Toolkit

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the Department of Defense participates as a way to raise awareness through a servicewide campaign.

The resources on this page will help you as service providers and leaders:

  • Raise awareness of domestic abuse
  • Provide those affected by abuse with resources and safety tips
  • Show family members and friends how to help loved ones stay safe

The 2020 campaign, “United to End Domestic Abuse,” makes a stand: The military respects, supports and defends victims of domestic abuse.

The public health measures designed to slow coronavirus disease 2019 have created conditions that may contribute to domestic abuse. Quarantine increases victims’ risk by keeping them home with their abuser. It may cut them off from friends, relatives and crisis shelters.

The focus of this campaign is on helping friends and family of victims of domestic abuse be aware of ways to help, while showing those directly affected that help is available.

If you are participating in this campaign in your community, please refer to and download the 2020 Domestic Violence Awareness Month Messaging and Resources Guide: United to End Domestic Abuse for more information and messaging.

Social media

Include social media in your campaign efforts by sharing resources and posts throughout October from the following sites:

Articles and printable resources

Customizable banners by service branch

Flyers by service branch (two versions)

Know, Ask, Learn flyers

Respect, Support, Defend flyers

Posters by service branch (two versions)

Know, Ask, Learn posters

Respect, Support, Defend posters

Never Forget: Visit Our National Memorials Honoring 9/11

9-11 Pentagon Memorial

On September 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 people perished during the single largest terrorist attack in American history. Almost 20 years later, millions of Americans still remember the events of that day. You can honor those who died by taking a journey to one of the three September 11 national memorials.

The National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Dedicated on Sept. 11, 2008, the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial is a beautiful open space shaded by 85 crape myrtle trees. The memorial contains 184 memorial units: benches surrounded by a lit water pool, each engraved with the name of a deceased service member or civilian. These benches honor all those who died at the Pentagon during the attack, including passengers on American Airlines Flight 77, which terrorists hijacked and crashed into the building.

The open-air memorial is free and open 24 hours a day. Check out the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial website for more information and to plan a visit. You can also learn about each family, friend or loved one that perished at the Pentagon, while experiencing the memorial virtually on Defense.gov. Note: The memorial will be closed from 5-11 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2019.

As a family member and a survivor, I have a love-hate relationship with the Pentagon Memorial. The love is having a place to go to honor my sister and coworkers. The love is the design, and the care that went into building it. The love is seeing all the people who supported it, who visit it every year. And the hate… I hate it, because I wish it wasn’t there. That 9/11 didn’t happen at all.

Katherine D., a retired Pentagon worker, surviving family member and building survivor who volunteers at the memorial

The 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York City

The 9/11 Memorial & Museum are two connected sites of remembrance and education, honoring those who perished at the World Trade Center in both the skyscrapers and American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175.

The outdoor National September 11 Memorial features almost-acre sized reflecting pools and the largest manmade waterfalls in North America, nestled within the foundations of where the “Twin Towers” once stood.

The National September 11 Museum is the only national museum of its kind exclusively dedicated to recording the events of 9/11, as well as the lingering influence of the attacks on the country’s culture and politics. The museum features both permanent and visiting exhibitions, encouraging repeated visits to see these events from a different perspective.

While the memorial is free, the museum does charge for admission.

The Flight 93 National Memorial in Stoystown, Pennsylvania

The third national memorial dedicated to the events of September 11, 2001 is the Flight 93 National Memorial, located at the crash site of United Airlines Flight 93 in southwestern Pennsylvania. Here, the passengers and crew wrestled control away from their terrorist hijackers, purposefully crashing the plane to prevent another attack, saving lives and thwarting an attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Visitors are encouraged to explore the full outdoor memorial and the Visitor Center to learn more about the memorial’s design and the 40 passengers and crew it honors. The National Park Service maintains this memorial and its grounds year-round. There is no entrance fee.

Plan a trip that takes in the 9/11 memorials

As your military life takes you across this country, add a stop to visit one of these memorials to learn about those who died during the September 11 terrorist attacks. It is important not to forget what happened.