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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.

DOD Directive 1300.22, “Mortuary Affairs Policy,” Oct. 30, 2015, incorporating Change 2, September 2, 2021

This reissued directive:

  • Establishes policy and assigns responsibilities for DOD Mortuary Affairs
  • Cancels the Secretary of the Army designation as the DOD Executive Agent for the Contingency Fatality Operations portion of Mortuary Affairs
  • Establishes the Central Joint Mortuary Affairs Board as a permanent standing DOD board to develop recommendations for DOD Mortuary Affairs policy, procedures, mobilization planning and mortuary services
  • Provides overarching policy for DOD’s development of tactics, techniques and procedures for mortuary affairs

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 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 Instruction 1300.15, “Military Funeral Support,” Dec. 27, 2017, incorporating Change 1, April 9, 2021

This instruction establishes policy, assigns responsibilities and provides direction for military funeral support in accordance with the authority in DOD Directive 5124.02.

DOD Instruction 1300.18, “Department of Defense Personnel Casualty Matters, Policies and Procedures,” Jan. 8, 2008, incorporating Change 1, 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 DOD casualties are sustained.

DOD Instruction 1300.29, “Mortuary Affairs Program,” June 28, 2021

This instruction establishes policy and assigns responsibilities, and prescribes procedures for the DOD Mortuary Affairs Program and dignified transfers to:

  • Implement Section 562 of Public Law 109-364, Section 564 of Public Law 109-163, and Sections 573 and 580A of Public Law 116-92.
  • Prohibit delays in transportation of human remains and allow for ramp ceremonies with certain restrictions.
  • Expand the travel entitlement of family members to observe DTs at Dover Air Force Base.

DOD Instruction 1332.42, “Survivor Benefit Plan,” Dec. 30, 2020

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 2, March 25, 2020

This instruction establishes policy and assigns responsibilities to ensure that survivors of military personnel are reimbursed for interment expenses on a uniform basis.

DOD Instruction 1348.36, “Gold Star Lapel Button, Service Flag, and Service Lapel Button,” Dec. 21, 2016, incorporating Change 1, Sept. 25, 2020

This issuance establishes policy, assigns responsibilities and provides procedures for the administration of the DOD Gold Star Lapel Button Program and the Service Flag and Service Lapel Button Program.


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