National cemeteries no longer have facilities for
viewing remains. If the NOK desires a viewing before
interment, the remains must be consigned to a local
Unless extraordinary circumstances exist with
respect to the condition of remains, interment in
national cemeteries will not be made on Saturdays,
Sundays, or holidays.
NAVAL PLOTS AND CEMETERIES
LEARNING OBJECTIVE: Recall policy
for interment at a naval cemetery.
With two exceptions, MEDDEN Affairs exercises
technical direction of naval plots and cemeteries.
Presently, there are only a few active naval cemeteries,
so plot availability is extremely limited.
reason, decedents who are eligible for interment in
national cemeteries will not normally be authorized
interment in a naval plot or cemetery.
exceptional or unusual circumstances will be referred
to BUMED for determination.
L E A R N I N G O B J E C T I V E :
R e c a l l
guidelines for group interments.
When remains of two or more individuals killed in
the same incident cannot be individually identified, a
priority message detailing the circumstances should be
sent to MEDDEN Affairs. MEDDEN Affairs will then
determine if there is a need for an identification
specialist to be sent. If remains cannot be individually
identified, the collective remains will be interred as a
group interment. Group interments should be made in
a national cemetery, within the 50 United States, as
close to the midpoint of the two most widely separated
homes of record of known deceased individuals
involved, or as otherwise directed by the program
managers. MEDDEN Affairs will coordinate with the
other services as required. Procedures followed in
group interments are:
1. Unidentified remains should be prepared,
wrapped and placed into the minimum number
of caskets possible without overcrowding.
Partially segregated but identifiable remains
should be wrapped separately.
2. One or more escorts should be provided, as long
as the number of escorts does not exceed the
number of deceased persons.
3. The PNOK and two blood relatives of each
deceased member in a group interment are
authorized round-trip transportation to the place
of interment at government expense.
4. The ceremonies should be conducted with full
military honors and be in accordance with the
religious preferences applicable to all
denominations represented within the group.
Photographs should be provided to the PNOK, if
5. The headstone or headstones should be
inscribed with the names of all known deceased
The Decedent Affairs Program consists of the
search, recovery, identification, care, and disposition
of remains of deceased personnel for whom the
Department of the Navy is responsible. Large medical
treatment facilities normally manage decedent affairs
However, when a death occurs at small
independent operational units, senior Hospital
Corpsmen will be responsible for the proper
management of this program. For this reason, basic
components of the Decedent Affairs Program were
covered in this chapter.
For further guidance, you
should consult the Decedent Affairs Manual or contact
the Naval office of Medical/Dental Affairs, Mortuary
Affairs Section, Great Lakes, Illinois.