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Military Funeral Honors Eligibility

air force honor guard

The Defense Department provides military funeral honors to recognize the sacrifice and contributions of our nation’s veterans. The following individuals are eligible to receive military funeral honors:

  • Military members who die while on active duty
  • Veterans who served in the active military, naval or air service, and were discharged or released from that service by means of an “honorable” or “under honorable conditions” discharge
  • Members or former members of the selected reserves who were discharged or released from service by means of an “honorable” or “under honorable conditions” discharge

Understanding military funeral honors and eligibility

Providing military funeral honors is the nation’s way of showing gratitude and paying final tribute to a veteran’s honorable military service. Review the MilLife Learning eTutorial to better understand the Military Funeral Honors Program and eligibility.

Other eligible beneficiaries include:

  • Members of the Commissioned Officers Corps of the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Certain civilian or contractual groups who have been given active-duty determinations may also be eligible for funeral honors, as they may have been named active-duty designees for the military, Navy or the Department of the Air Force services

The following persons are not eligible for military funeral honors:

  • Individuals separated from the armed forces under dishonorable conditions or those who have been barred from veteran’s benefits
  • Those who have been convicted of a federal or state capital crime
  • A person who is found to have committed but who has not yet been convicted of a federal or state capital crime by reason of their not being available for trial due to their death or flight to avoid prosecution
  • A person convicted of a federal or state crime causing the person to be a Tier III sex offender
  • Anyone who was ordered to report to an induction station but was not actually inducted into military service
  • Any person who the secretaries of the military department deny military funeral honors

To establish a veteran’s eligibility for military funeral honors, a DD Form 214, “Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty” or any discharge document showing honorable service is required. The DD Form 214 may be obtained by using the online order form or completing a Standard Form 180.

For all inquiries regarding military funeral honors, please contact the appropriate military funeral honors coordinator listed in the Military Funeral Honors Directory.

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