Eligibility for interment in Arlington National Cemetery

Only those who qualify as a primarily or derivatively eligible person may be interned in Arlington National Cemetery, provided that the last period of active duty of the service member or veteran ended with an honorable discharge.

Primarily eligible persons. The following are primarily eligible persons for interment:

Derivatively eligible persons.

The following individuals are derivatively eligible persons for purposes of interment who may be interred if space is available in the gravesite of the primarily eligible person:

Eligibility for Inurnment in Arlington National Cemetery Columbarium.

The following persons are eligible for inurnment in the Arlington National Cemetery Columbarium, unless otherwise prohibited as provided for in US Code 553.19–553.20, provided that the last period of active duty of the service member or veteran ended with an honorable discharge.

Documents Required for Scheduling a Funeral Service

Scheduling a Funeral at Arlington National Cemetery

Upon the death of the veteran or veteran's spouse, the PNOK or PADD should contact a local funeral home to arrange for any desired services in the hometown. The PNOK, PADD or the funeral director should telephone the Arlington National Cemetery's Customer Service Center at 1-877-907-8585 to arrange for the interment/inurnment service.

The process to schedule a burial at Arlington National Cemetery can be complex and each family's request is handled individually with the utmost care and professionalism. Each request is unique and the length of time it takes for scheduling is typically several weeks to several months and depends on many factors, including the family's ability to provide all eligibility documents, any special requests, requests for full military honors (which can take longer to schedule than standard honors because of additional military resources such as escorts and the caisson), requests for one of the chapels located on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, etc.

When the family or funeral home makes the first call to the Customer Service Center, they are given a case number for tracking purposes and are asked to fax or e-mail all required documents for review. The cemetery staff will need to establish and confirm the service member is eligible for burial at Arlington. You should have all required documentation together before you calling to schedule the service. Any documents requested by the cemetery staff can be e-mailed to arlingtoncemetery.isb@mail.mil and must include the Case Number provided by the Customer Service Center. Note: Arlington will not respond to other inquiries via this email box.

The required documents are the DD214 (or service equivalent) to establish eligibility for the service member, Death Certificate, and Cremation Certificate, if applicable. It is the family's responsibility to provide the service member's eligibility documents. A service will not be scheduled until all required documents are received.

Families will be required to validate that an urn contains 100% of the decedent's remains before Arlington National Cemetery conducts the burial service.

Additional References (primary sources for this web page tailored to USNA '70)

US Code Part 553 National Military Cemeteries (Click for PDF File)

Arlington National Cemetery Funeral Information (Click to go to Website)

Updated: March 14, 2018
Curator: Ed Moore