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Persons Eligible For Burial In Arlington National Cemetery
32 CFR Ch. V (7𢴗7 Edition) 
§ 553.15

For Further Information Or Clarification Call 703- 607-8585

Army Alters Rules For Arlington National Cemetery - 1 June 2002
 

(a) Any active duty member of the Armed Forces (except those members serving on active duty for training only).

(b) Any retired member of the Armed Forces. A retired member of the Armed Forces, in the context of this paragraph, is a retired member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or a Reserve component who has served on active duty (other than for training), is carried on an official retired list, and is entitled to receive retired pay stemming from service in the Armed Forces. If, at the time of death, a retired member of the Armed Forces is not entitled to receive retired pay stemming from his service in the Armed Forces until some future date, the retired member will not be eligible for burial.

(c) Any former member of the Armed Forces separated for physical disability prior to 1 October 1949 who has served on active duty (other than for training) and who would have been eligible for retirement under the provisions of 10 U.S.C. 1201 had that statute been in effect on the date of his separation.

(d) Any former member of the Armed Forces whose last active duty (other than for training) military service terminated honorably and who has been awarded one of the following decorations:

(1) Medal of Honor.

(2) Distinguished Service Cross (Air Force Cross or Navy Cross).

(3) Distinguished Service Medal.

(4) Silver Star.

(5) Purple Heart.

(e) Persons who have held any of the following positions, provided their last period of active duty (other than for training) as a member of the Armed Forces terminated honorably: 

(1) An elective office of the United States Government.

(2) Office of the Chief Justice of the United States or of an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

(3) An office listed in 5 U.S.C. 5312 or 5 U.S.C. 5313.

(4) The Chief of a mission who was at any time during his tenure classified in class I under the provisions of 411 of the Act of 13 August 1946, 60 Stat. 1002, as amended (22 U.S.C. 866, 1964 ed.).

(f) Any former prisoner of war who, while a prisoner of war, served honorably in the active military, naval, or air service, whose last period of active military, naval, or air service terminated honorably and who died on or after November 30, 1993.

(1) The term 憫former prisoner of war拻 means a person who, while serving in the active military, naval, or air service, was forcibly detained or interned in line of duty

(i) By an enemy government or its agents, or a hostile force, during a period of war; or 

(ii) By a foreign government or its agents, or a hostile force, under circumstances which the Secretary of Veterans Affairs finds to have been comparable to the circumstances under which persons have generally been forcibly detained or interned by enemy governments during periods of war.

(2) The term 憫active military, naval, or air service拻 includes active duty, any period of active duty for training during which the individual concerned was disabled or died from a disease or injury incurred or aggravated in line of duty, and any period of inactive duty training during which the individual concerned was disabled or died from an injury incurred or aggravated in line of duty.

(g) The spouse, widow or widower, minor child and, at the discretion of the Secretary of the Army, unmarried adult child of any of the persons listed above.

(1) The term 憫spouse拻 refers to a widow or widower of an eligible member, including the widow or widower of a member of the Armed Forces who was lost or buried at sea or officially determined to be permanently absent in a status of missing or missing in action. A surviving spouse who has re-married and whose remarriage is void, terminated by death, or dissolved by annulment or divorce by a court with basic authority to render such decrees regains eligibility for burial in Arlington National Cemetery unless it is determined that the decree of annulment or divorce was secured through fraud or collusion.

(2) An unmarried adult child may be interred in the same grave in which the parent has been or will be interred, provided that child was incapable of self-support up to the time of death because of physical or mental condition. At the time of death of an adult child, a request for interment will be submitted to the Superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery. The request must be accompanied by a notarized statement from an individual who has direct knowledge as to the marital status, degree of dependency of the deceased child, the name of that child's parent, and the military service upon which the burial is being requested. A certificate of a physician who has attended the decedent as to the nature and duration of the physical and/or mental disability must also accompany the request for interment.

(h) Widows or widowers of service members who are interred in Arlington National Cemetery as part of a group burial may be interred in the same cemetery but not in the same grave. 

(i) The surviving spouse, minor child, and, at the discretion of the Secretary of the Army, unmarried adult child of any person already buried in Arlington.

(j) The parents of a minor child or unmarried adult child whose remains, based on the eligibility of a parent, are already buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

[42 FR 25725, May 19, 1977, as amended at 59 FR 60559, Nov. 25, 1994]

Historical Chronology Eligibility For Burial at Arlington National Cemetery
(Provided by the Arlington National Cemetery)
1864 - Only soldiers and civilian employees of the War Department who shall die in the service of the Country and residents of the Freedmans Village

1872 - All soldiers and sailors who are honorably discharged from the service of the United States who die in a destitute condition 

1873 - All honorably discharged soldiers, sailors, or marines who served in the late war either in the regular or volunteer forces 

1890 - Wives and widows of eligible veterans 

1908 - Minor children and adult daughters of eligible veterans 

1911 - Personnel of the Revenue Cutter Service (predecessor of the USCG) who die in the service or who, after honorable discharge, die in destitute condition 

1920 - All soldiers, sailors, and marines who served, or hereafter shall have served, during any war in which the U.S. has been or may hereafter be, engaged. (Peace time not authorized) 

1948 - All members and former members of the armed services whose last service terminated honorably; the spouse, minor children and with the discretion of the Secretary of the Army, unmarried daughters of these service members 

1959 - Members of the Reserve Components, the Army and Air National Guard, and the ROTC whose death occurs while in active duty status 

1967 - Burials were limited to members of the active Armed Forces, retired members of the Armed Forces, and any member of the Armed Forces awarded the Medal of Honor, elected officials and persons holding high level positions in the government provided they had active federal military service which terminated honorably 

1977 - Expanded eligibility criteria to include former members of the Armed Forces separated for physical disability of 30% or greater prior to October 1, 1949; recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, Air Force Cross 

1980 - Inurnment in the Columbarium Complex was extended to all honorably discharged veterans

1988 - Inurnment option was expanded for former members of the Merchant Marine who during a time of war 1994 - Ground burial was extended to former Prisoners of War, provided they were honorably discharged

Updated: 22 December 2007

Webmaster: Michael Robert Patterson