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Casualty Assistance – Department of Defense Policy

These resources include Department of Defense directives, instruction and guidance for casualty and mortuary affairs-related issues.

Under Secretary of Defense Memorandum, “Supplemental Guidance – Family Member Transportation to Attend Dignified Transfers at Dover Air Force Base,” May 25, 2018. This Department of Defense policy expands DoD-sponsored transportation to surviving family members to witness the dignified transfer of their military service member or DoD civilian if they died overseas and the Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner directs a forensic pathology investigation of the remains at Dover Air Force Base.

Directive-type Memorandum 16-003, “Policy Guidance for the Disinterment of Unidentified Human Remains,” May 5, 2016 This directive-type memorandum establishes policy, assigns responsibilities and provides standards and procedures for Department of Defense disinterment from cemeteries administered by the Department of the Army, Department of Veterans Affairs and the American Battle Monuments Commission, for identification purposes, of all unidentified human remains in graves marked “unknown.”

DoD Instruction 1005.06, “Display of the National Flag at Half-staff,” July 17, 2015 This instruction establishes policy and assigns responsibilities for display of the national flag of the United States at half-staff on the death of present and former principal officials of the federal government, during national days of mourning or when directed by proclamation by the president of the United States, governor of any state, territory or U.S. possession, the mayor of the District of Columbia, or by the secretary of defense.

DoD Directive 1300.22E, “Mortuary Affairs Policy,” Oct. 30, 2015 This reissued directive establishes the Central Joint Mortuary Affairs Board as a permanent standing Department of Defense board to develop recommendations for Department of Defense mortuary affairs policy, procedures, mobilization planning, and mortuary services. It also provides overarching policy guidance to establish tactics, techniques and procedures for mortuary affairs.

DoD Instruction 1300.15, “Military Funeral Support,” Oct. 22, 2007 This instruction assigns responsibilities and establishes uniform policies for military funeral honors support.

DoD Instruction 1300.18, “Department of Defense Personnel Casualty Matters, Policies and Procedures,” Jan. 8, 2008, incorporating change Aug. 14, 2009 This instruction assigns responsibilities and establishes uniform personnel policies and procedures for reporting, recording, notifying and assisting the next-of-kin whenever Department of Defense casualties are sustained.

DoD Directive 1332.27, “Survivor Annuity Programs for the Uniformed Services,” June 26, 2003, certified as current April 23, 2007 This directive updates the responsibilities, functions, authorities and relationships associated with the Survivor Annuity Programs.

DoD Instruction 1332.42, “Survivor Annuity Program Administration,” June 23, 2009 This instruction prescribes procedures for administering the Survivor Annuity Program.

DoD Instruction 1344.08, “Interment Allowance for Deceased Military Personnel,” March 11, 2009, incorporating change April 17, 2013 This instruction establishes policy and assigns responsibilities to ensure that survivors of military personnel are reimbursed for interment expenses on a uniform basis.

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