The authorized provider partnership program, or AP3, provides commanders of honor guards additional detail elements for veteran funerals. Prior to engaging Authorized Providers, it will be helpful for you to:
- Understand the governing laws and Department of Defense directives governing the use of AP3 for Military Funeral Honors.
- Determine the organization you will partner with for the AP3.
- Establish a training program and training schedule.
- Establish and maintain supplies.
- Establish an AP3 recognition program.
There are a variety of organizations that can provide AP3 partners. One of the most accessible is veterans service organizations, or VSOs, such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. These veterans are very active and are interested in providing support to honor the service of their peers. The Department of Veterans Affairs maintains a VSO directory that can help identify potential partners. Other available resources are: military retirees and Reserve Officer Training Corps, or ROTC, members.
For these organizations to participate with your unit in Military Funeral Honors, the unit must establish a training program with published standards and schedule for the AP3 participants. The commander should consider authorized providers as partners in conducting Military Funeral Honors. Take the time to locate, approach and engage an Authorized Provider organization and maintain a good working relationship.
A viable program must include adequate supplies to provide partner training, participation and recognition. These supplies are provided free of charge to units by the Department of Defense. Commanders must be familiar with the governing laws and directives for this program.
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 to provide Military Funeral Honors
- Roles and responsibilities of the military and the partner
- Ceremony elements the partner will provide
- Reimbursement of partner expenses
- Recognition program
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