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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 rifle party, pallbearers or a bugler upon request from the military service.

Prior to engaging authorized providers, ensure you do the following:

  • Understand the laws and Defense Department policy and instructions governing the use of AP3.
  • Determine the organizations 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 are currently supporting the AP3. 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, ensure you address the following:

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

For more information on the AP3, review the Honoring Those Who Serve: Military Funeral Honors Program PowerPoint, which includes a section on AP3 beginning with slide 12.

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

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