When an autopsy of remains is required or requested, the identification specialist will coordinate the accomplishment to be subsequent to or simultaneous with the identification processing. This will preclude delay and ensure that methods of identification may be included in the autopsy protocol.
Personal effects found on or with remains, after having served all identification purposes, will be disposed of in accordance with current instructions contained in the NAVSUP Manual or MARCORCASPROCMAN, as appropriate.
All remains, except those that have been positively identified and are anatomically complete, will require additional study and processing by an identification specialist. The COMNAVMEDCOM may be requested to provide an identification specialist to visit the activity and make a complete review, to assure that all possible techniques, methods and procedures have been used to permit individual, positive identification. The CMC will be an information addressee when members of the Marine Corps are or may be involved. When members of other services are involved, the COMNAVMEDCOM must be notified by priority message to ensure immediate interdepartmental coordination. Refer to BUMEDINST 5360.1
Mortuary services for the remains of individuals eligible for Decedent Affairs Program benefits within CONUS are provided by naval activities through:
1. Annual contracts awarded to funeral directors serving the local area of activities anticipating 10 or more deaths per year.
2. Individual purchase orders issued by an activity where an annual contract is not in effect.
3. Private arrangements. These are made by the NOK subject to reimbursement limitations (the COMNAVMEDCOM should be contacted).
Annual contracts and individual purchase orders may be issued for primary expenses only and does not include any secondary expenses. The below definitions apply.
PRIMARY EXPENSESExpenses incurred in connection with the recovery, preparation, and encasement of remains, including but not limited to expenses incurred for recovery, removal, embalming, casket, shipping case, cremation, inurnment, clothing, and delivery of the remains to a common carrier terminal, a local cemetery, or crematorium.
SECONDARY EXPENSESExpenses incurred in connection with the funeral and burial of remains, including but not limited to expenses incurred for funeral coach, transportation of relatives to the cemetery, single gravesite, vault, funeral directors services, clergymans services, opening and closing grave, floral tribute, and obituary notices.
The NOK should be tactfully encouraged to allow the Navy to make all primary care arrangements, since greater benefits can be furnished through our procedures. For full information concerning procedures and authorized items, refer to BUMEDINST 5360.1.
It is imperative that preservative treatment be initiated as soon as possible after death. The naval authority with decedent affairs responsibility should maintain close coordination with appropriate military or civilian authorities to ensure the prompt release and delivery of remains to the mortuary facility. All remains must be prepared under approved high standards of the mortuary profession and returned to the final destination in their most normal and lifelike appearance.
Remains may be refrigerated for short periods pending arrival of a transportation vessel or arrival of the government embalmer. To minimize cellular deterioration, remains should be refrigerated above the freezing point at 36° to 40°F or 2.2° to 4.4°C.