This program combines the Current Decedent Affairs Program and Graves Registration (RR) Program. It may be activated to support large numbers of military personnel committed to a strategic area. In the initial phase, it originates as GR, providing search, recovery, and evacuation of remains to a processing point. It terminates in Current Decedent Affairs Program functions, requiring identification and preparation of remains in a mortuary and shipment to a final destination designated by the NOK. The Concurrent Return Program may be phased into either the Current Decedent Affairs Program or GR Program as the situation dictates. Remains buried in temporary cemeteries (under the GR Program or in emergencies) may be disinterred and evacuated under the Concurrent Return Program if conditions and capabilities permit.
When the tactical situation permits, remains will be returned to the NOK as expeditiously as possible, consistent with the proper care of remains and availability of transportation. The GR Program provides for the search, recovery, evacuation, initial identification, and burial in temporary cemeteries when the tactical situation does not permit concurrent return. It is only operational when authorized by the responsible commander during major military operations. When necessary, the GR Program includes the establishment and maintenance of temporary burial sites for later disinterment, preparation, and transportation to the place designated by the NOK. Operational details of the program are contained in NAVMED P-5016/ NAVMC 2509-A, Handling of Deceased Personnel in Theaters of Operations.
This program can only be activated upon the enactment of special legislation. It provides for permanent disposition of remains of those persons buried in temporary cemeteries who could not be evacuated under the Concurrent Return Program. The special legislation could authorize the establishment of one or more permanent American cemeteries in the overseas area and give the NOK the option of having the remains buried therein or shipped to another place of his or her choosing. Within the Navy, the COMNAVMEDCOM will advise field activities of the activation of a Return of Remains Program.
Navy and Marine Corps members who expire while serving on active duty or active and inactive duty for training and who have not been dropped from the rolls of their organizations prior to their demise are entitled to Decedent Affairs Program benefits. Generally, all persons under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Navy are entitled to some decedent benefits, i.e., bona fide dependents, retirees, and civilian employees who are TDY within CONUS or employed overseas. For details see BUMEDINST 5360.1.
As soon as possible after it is determined that a casualty has occurred, submit casualty report in accordance with MILPERSMAN 4210100. When death occurs, the Personnel Casualty Report (Death), Report Symbol NMPC 1770-4 Officer/Enlisted, is required. For missing personnel, the report is entitled Personnel Casualty Report (Missing/Missing in action), Report Symbol NMPC 1770-4 Officer/Enlisted.
A personnel casualty report is required on all members of the Navy, retired members, certain former members, certain dependents, other members of the Armed Forces, civilians serving with or attached to Navy commands who become casualties, and others whose deaths occur on naval reservations or aboard ships.
Personnel casualty reports will be submitted by the commander, commanding officer, immediate superior in command of the member, or by the command or activity that learns of a casualty occurring to a member while he or she is in the commands area and away from the regular duty station or en route between duty stations. The members command shall supplement the personnel casualty report that was previously submitted by another command on