Arlington National Cemetery

marine decorates grave in arlington cemetery

The following information will assist you in making arrangements for applying for burial or inurnment at Arlington National Cemetery

Who Is Eligible For Interment At Arlington National Cemetery?

Burial

Due to limited space, only honorably discharged members in certain categories are eligible for burial in Arlington National Cemetery, this includes:

  • Members who died on active duty and their immediate family
  • Retirees and their immediate family
  • Recipients of the Purple Heart, or Silver Star and above
  • Any honorably discharged POW who died after Nov. 30, 1993

Inurnment

There is more space available for inurnment, the storage of cremated remains in a Columbarium - or wall. Inurnment is limited to honorably discharged members including:

  • All those listed above
  • Veterans and their immediate family
  • Reservists, National Guard, or Air National Guard members who die while on active duty for training or full-time service and their immediate family
  • Reserve or National Guard members with at least one day of active duty (other than for training) and who are qualified to collect retired pay

Scheduling a Funeral at Arlington

Upon the death of the veteran or eligible family member, you should contact a local funeral home to arrange for any desired services in the hometown and assistance. The next-of-kin or funeral director should contact the customer service center at 877-907-8585 to arrange for the service at Arlington

After you call you will be given a case number and asked to send copies of the veteran's DD-214, death certificate, and cremation certificate if applicable. You can email, fax, or mail them.

Be prepared, since there is a large demand for interment in Arlington it may take several weeks to several months until your request is approved. Also, special requests such as full military honors or use of a chapel may add to the approval time.

Burial/Inurnment Costs at Arlington

There are no fees or costs for a burial or inurnment.  However, all costs associated with preparation of the remains, casket or urn, and shipping of the remains to the Washington, DC area are at the expense of the estate unless the deceased is currently on active duty.

Please check with your local VA office and Social Security office to determine if any benefits are available from either or both agencies.

Assignment of Gravesites/Niches

Gravesites/niches are assigned the afternoon before the interment service. If other family members are buried in Arlington you can request a location near to them, however limited space may prevent the cemetery from accommodating such requests.

Military Honors

Standard Honors

Standard graveside honors can be provided enlisted service members by the appropriate branch of service at Arlington National Cemetery. These honors include:

  • A casket team
  • A firing party
  • A bugler

Additionally, some branches of the armed services will use the caisson for service members who have reached the top NCO grade.

The cemetery staff will make arrangements for military honors when requested by the next of kin or representative. A military chaplain may also be requested.

Full Honors

In addition to the standard military honors, certain deceased military veterans may also receive:

  • An escort platoon (size varies according to the rank of the deceased)
  • A military band
  • A caisson
  • A colors team

All service members who die from wounds received as result of enemy action are eligible to receive full military honors,

Family Members

When a family member is buried at Arlington, the military service in which the veteran served will provide a casket team and a chaplain. No other military honors will be rendered unless the spouse served in the military.

Active Duty Deaths

Any member of the Uniformed Services who dies while on active duty (other than for training) will generally have their affairs processed by a casualty assistance officer from their respective branch of service. An active duty statement from the commanding officer will be required for verification of eligibility.

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