ARMY ESCORT BRIEFING

INTRODUCTION

Good morning (afternoon), I am _________________ of the ______________Casualty Assistance Center(CAC) (or OCONUS mortuary). The purpose of this briefing is to familiarize you with your duties as a military escort for the remains of (rank and name of deceased.). This briefing will cover your duties from the time you depart the preparing mortuary until you return to your unit.

Your mission as an escort is to ensure that (rank and name of the deceased soldier’s) remains are safeguarded and properly moved from the time of release from the preparing mortuary until delivery to the receiving funeral home selected by the Person Authorized to Direct Disposition (PADD).

I’d like to emphasize the importance of this assignment, and the requirement that you maintain the highest standards of conduct and courtesy, including neatness of appearance and sobriety. You will not discuss the purpose of your travel with anyone other than the carrier’s agents and representatives. Furthermore, you will not discuss with anyone rumors, speculation, or circumstances of the incident surrounding the death of the soldier.

You will wear the Class "A" uniform and be well groomed when you depart the preparing mortuary. This will be your duty uniform until the completion of your mission.

Because of the nature of this mission, you are the Army’s representative; therefore your conduct and attitude will be above reproach. You must exercise tact and diplomacy throughout this mission. Further guidance concerning your duties is included in DA PAM 638-2, Chapter 6. A copy is attached for your use.

During this mission, you are responsible to this (CAC or OCONUS mortuary) and the Casualty and Memorial Affairs Operations Center, Disposition Branch. If you need assistance at any time during this mission, contact (CAC or OCONUS mortuary) or contact Human Resources Command (HRC), Casualty and Memorial Affairs Operations Center (CMAOC), Disposition Branch. (Hand the escort the point of contact information sheet)

TRANSPORTATION

As an escort, you will be issued either a Transportation Request (TR), an airline ticket, or train ticket and itinerary to your final destination prior to leaving this installation. You will also receive a TR/ticket and Government bill of Lading (GBL), for the deceased. These documents authorize transportation by common carrier for you and the deceased, and your return trip to your duty station.

Upon completion of this mission you will return to your duty station using the mode of transportation that has been arranged by the CAC. You are/are not authorized a rental car.

This office will advise you of your departure time and place. Before departing with the remains, you will verify the identity of the remains by checking the head card that is affixed to the head portion of the shipping container. Inside the head envelope will be the transit burial permit that must be given to the receiving funeral director.

The interment flag will be hand carried by you during the escort mission.

TRAVEL BY AIR

The remains will travel feet first when being transported from one point to another. The only exception is during transport by aircraft when the head of the casket will be towards the nose of the aircraft. This is done to prevent damage to the remains during take off and landing.

Upon arrival at the cargo terminal of the airport, you will surrender the TR/GBL for the remains. You will then proceed to the airline terminal where you will surrender your ticket to the agent or pick up your electronic airfare tickets.

After receiving gate information, you will proceed to the appropriate gate and inform the agent that you are escorting human remains on Flight # ______ and request to be taken onto the tarmac/flight line to observe the loading of the remains. Airline personnel will take you to the side of the aircraft where you can check the head envelope to ensure that the correct remains are loaded. You will then wait for the remains to be loaded. As the remains are loaded on or off the aircraft you will render the hand salute. If the trip involves aircraft transfers, follow the same procedures at each transfer point.

Should there be a change in your flight schedule of two or more hours, you must call the receiving funeral director and the shipping CAC to inform them of the change. You are authorized on your travel orders to make official telephone calls in the event you require to communicate your status. If you will be detained overnight or should some other emergency arise, you will call the receiving CAC, the shipping CAC, the receiving funeral director, and CMAOC to advise them of the situation.

Upon arrival at your final destination, you will supervise the unloading of the remains. While on the tarmac, if you checked baggage, you may watch for your baggage to be unloaded and secure it at this time. Remember to render the hand salute as the remains are off loaded from the aircraft.

Proceed to the cargo terminal where you should be met by the receiving funeral director and possibly the CAO and family of the deceased. If no one meets you at the airport, you will contact the receiving funeral director and, if necessary, the receiving CAC for further instructions.

Before the funeral director assumes responsibility for the remains, you will remove the head envelope and burial permit from the shipping container and give them to the funeral director. You will assist the funeral director in removing the casket from the shipping container and then inspect the casket for any damages. If damages are noted, you will insure that they are annotated on the GBL (or freight invoice) that accompany the remains. The cargo representative should have the GBL (or freight invoice). Damage to the casket must also be noted on DA From 5329, Escort Report.

Before the casket is loaded into the hearse, you will drape the interment flag on the casket with the stars over the left shoulder of the remains. You will accompany the remains in the hearse to the receiving funeral home. If you have been authorized a rental car arrange to meet the funeral director before the hearse leaves the airport. You will follow the hearse to the receiving funeral home.

If the funeral director elects not to remove the casket from the shipping container before leaving the airport, do not drape the flag on the shipping container. Inspection of the casket for damage during shipping will be done at the funeral home.

Upon arrival at the receiving funeral home, you will remove the flag from the casket and re-inspect the casket for damage. Any damage will be noted on DA Form 5329. The funeral director will inspect the remains and complete Part II of DA Form 5329. You will inspect the uniform of the deceased to ensure that the uniform, brass and decorations are still correctly placed on the uniform. You will contact the receiving CAC first if you need instructions for the repair or replacement of the casket or additional preparation of the remains. If you cannot contact the receiving CAC, you may also contact CMAOC and ask for the on call Disposition Branch representative. Drape the interment flag on the casket in accordance with the guidance provided in DA Pam 638-2 Appendix C.

Once the remains arrive at the receiving funeral home, you are required to return to your duty station on the next reasonable flight. You may/may not stay overnight at the receiving funeral home location.

TRAVEL BY HEARSE

Missions within a 300-mile radius of the preparing mortuary may be accomplished through travel by hearse. Transportation will be provided for you and the remains by the government from the shipping CAC directly to the receiving funeral home or other authorized consignment location such as a cemetery.

Before the casket is loaded into the hearse, you will drape the interment flag on the casket with the stars over the left shoulder of the remains. You will accompany the remains in the hearse to the receiving funeral home. If you have been authorized a rental car arrange to meet the funeral home before the hearse leaves the preparing mortuary. You will follow the hearse to the receiving funeral home.

Upon arrival at the receiving funeral home, you will remove the flag from the casket and inspect the casket for damage. Any damage will be noted on DA Form 5329. The funeral director will inspect the remains and complete Part II of DA Form 5329. You will inspect the uniform of the deceased to ensure that the uniform, brass and decorations are still correctly placed on the uniform. Upon arrival at the receiving funeral home, you will remove the flag from the casket and re-inspect the casket for damage. Any damage will be noted on DA Form 5329. The funeral director will inspect the remains and complete Part II of DA Form 5329. You will inspect the uniform of the deceased to ensure that the uniform, brass and decorations are still correctly placed on the uniform. You will contact the receiving CAC first if you need instructions for the repair or replacement of the casket or additional preparation of the remains. If you cannot contact the receiving CAC, you may also contact CMAOC and ask for the on call Disposition Branch representative. Drape the interment flag on the casket in accordance with the guidance provided in Appendix C.

Ensure you provide the receiving funeral director with the envelope containing the transit permit.

Once the remains arrive at the receiving funeral home, you are required to return to your duty station. You may/may not stay overnight at the receiving funeral home location.

Upon completion of this mission you will return to your duty station using the mode of transportation arranged for you by the CAC.

TRAVEL BY TRAIN

If the remains are to be shipped by train to the final destination, you and the remains will be provided transportation to the train station. At the train station, you will surrender your TR/tickets to the ticket agent. The agent will keep the ticket issued for the remains and give you a ticket for your transportation and a claim check for the remains. Retain this claim check, as it will have to be given to the agent at the final destination. You will supervise the loading of the remains prior to taking your seat on the train. You will render the hand salute as the remains are loaded onto the train. You will check that the railway car carrying the remains is not removed from the train during the trip. This information can be obtained from the conductor during each stop.

Should there be a change in your train schedule of two or more hours, you must call the receiving funeral director and the receiving CAC to inform them of the change. You are authorized on your travel orders to make official telephone calls in the event you require to communicate your status. If you are detained overnight or should some other emergency arise, you will call the receiving CAC, the shipping CAC, the receiving funeral director, and CMAOC to advise them of the situation.

At the final destination, proceed to the freight section where you will be met by the receiving funeral director and possibly the Casualty Assistance Officer and the family.

If no one meets you and the remains at the train station, you will call the receiving funeral director and if necessary, the receiving CAC for further instructions.

Before the funeral director assumes responsibility for the remains, you will remove the head envelope and burial permit from the shipping container and give them to the funeral director.

You and the funeral director will then remove the casket from the shipping container and inspect the casket for any damage. If any are noted, you will insure that they are annotated on the GBL that accompanied the remains. The cargo representative will have the GBL. You will also note any damage to the casket on DA Form 5329, Escort Report.

You will then drape the interment flag on the casket with the stars over the left shoulder of the remains. You will accompany the remains to the funeral home and once again re-inspect the casket for any damage. Upon arrival at the receiving funeral home, you will remove the flag from the casket and re-inspect the casket for damage. Any damage will be noted on DA Form 5329. The funeral director will inspect the remains and complete Part II of DA Form 5329. You will inspect the uniform of the deceased to ensure that the uniform, brass and decorations are still correctly placed on the uniform. You will contact the receiving CAC first if you need instructions for the repair or replacement of the casket or additional preparation of the remains. If you cannot contact the receiving CAC, you may also contact CMAOC and ask for the on call Disposition Branch representative. Drape the interment flag on the casket in accordance with the guidance provided in DA Pam 638-2, Appendix C.

Once the remains arrive at the funeral home, you will be required to return to your duty station on the next reasonably scheduled train. You may/may not stay the night at the receiving funeral home location.

MEETING THE FAMILY

It is not required that the escort meets the family of the deceased soldier or remain for the funeral and interment. However, if you do meet the family, the following guidance is provided: relay only official information to the family that you have received from the CAC or CMAOC. Do not speculate or make assumptions concerning the death of the soldier. Do not discuss entitlements or benefits or the eligibility to receive entitlements or benefits. Refer these kinds of questions to the CAO.

You are an official representative of the Secretary of the Army and your conduct must be above reproach. You will avoid any appearance of impropriety with the family members of the deceased soldier or accept any gifts or gratuities offered to you.

ESCORT FOR CREMATED REMAINS

Cremated remains of soldiers may be transported by air or ground transportation. Cremated remains are transported in an urn, protected by a shipping box. You will hand carry the urn to the designated consignee (the PADD or a designee of the PADD). The urn must stay in your possession at all times during the trip. You will also hand carry the folded interment flag and required documents. At no time will you use your POV to transport cremated remains. Local transportation to the common carrier will be provided by the preparing mortuary or a government owned vehicle.

Should there be a change in your travel schedule of two or more hours, you must call the receiving funeral director and the receiving CAC to inform them of the change. You are authorized on your travel orders to make official telephone calls in the event you require to communicate your status. If you are detained overnight or should some other emergency arise, you will call the receiving CAC, the shipping CAC, the receiving funeral director, and CMAOC to advise them of the situation.

The designated consignee, the CAO or a family representative may meet you at the final destination. If no one meets you, you will contact the CAO so that the CAO can arrange for you to deliver the urn to the designated consignee.

When you arrive at the receiving funeral home or place designated by the PADD, you will inspect the urn for damage. You will annotate any damage to the urn on DA From 5329 and contact the receiving CAC or, if necessary, CMAOC, Disposition Branch for instructions concerning repair or replacement of the urn.

You will advise the funeral director that during the funeral service, the flag is folded in a cocked hat design and placed to the right of the urn (see DA Pam 638-2 Appendix C).

Once the remains have been released to the PADD, or designated consignee, you are required to return to your duty station. You may/may not stay the night in the area of the receiving funeral home.

SENTIMENTAL PERSONAL EFFECTS (PE)

When sentimental PE are shipped with the remains, you will receive a DA Form 54, Record of Personal Effects, from the summary court-martial. Ensure that the items on this form are in your possession or on the remains. You will hand carry the DA Form 54 to the final destination. The CAC will contact the CAO to ensure he/she will be at the receiving funeral home to meet you and the remains upon arrival. When the receiving funeral director takes control of the remains ensure that: the CAO witnesses the transfer of custody of the PE to the receiving funeral director and the receiving funeral director acknowledge receipt of the personal effects. This transfer is annotated on the on the DA From 54.

PAYMENT OF FUNERAL AND INTERMENT EXPENSES

The Army provides the PADD with an allowance to defray the funeral and interment expenses. The CAO will provide the PADD with the necessary forms and assist the PADD in submitting their claim for reimbursement. You must advise the receiving funeral director that the PADD must submit a copy of the General Price List and the Statement of Funeral Goods and Services with the claim. The claim cannot be paid until these documents are received by the receiving CAC.

CONCLUSION

Do you have any questions concerning your duties, responsibilities, or any other aspect of this mission?

 

POINT OF CONTACT LIST

The escort will maintain contact with the following activities during their escort mission:

1. The shipping CAC: the CAC having geographic responsibility for arranging transportation for the remains after preparation is completed. The shipping CAC is usually the preparing CAC, but not necessarily always. Changes in travel itinerary casket damage or any other problems encountered by the escort will be reported to the shipping CAC.

2. The receiving CAC: the CAC having geographic responsibility for the location of the receiving funeral home. Changes in travel itinerary will be reported to the receiving CAC.

3. CMAOC: Casualty and Memorial Affairs Operations Center, Alexandria, Virginia.

The office having overall responsibility for the conduct of mortuary affairs for the Army.

Casket damage during shipment and any unusual problems will be reported to CMAOC.

4. Receiving funeral home: the commercial mortuary service provider engaged by the PADD to provide funeral and interment services. Changes in travel itinerary will be reported to the receiving funeral home.

5. CAO: Casualty Assistance Officer: the Army’s representative to pass information to the family of the deceased soldier.

 

For this mission, these are your POCs:

1. Shipping CAC: ________________________________ telephone:

2. Receiving CAC: ________________________________ telephone:

3. CMAOC: Disposition Branch, telephone (703) 325-7576/5322.

4. Receiving funeral home: _____________________________ telephone:

5. CAO: _________________________

telephone: ________________