Burial in Arlington National Cemetery

Regular Army: Active Duty

Benefit Fact Sheet

Summary
For the four million people who visit annually, Arlington National Cemetery represents many different things. For some, it is a chance to walk among headstones that chronicle American history; for many, it is an opportunity to remember and honor the nation's war heroes; and for others, it is a place to say a last farewell during funeral services for a Family member or friend.
Eligibility

Soldiers who die while on active duty, retired members of the Armed Forces, and certain Veterans and Family members are eligible for burial at Arlington National Cemetery.

Benefit Highlights

Eligibility for Interment (Ground Burial of Casketed or Cremated Remains)

The persons specified below are eligible for ground burial in Arlington National Cemetery. The last period of active duty of former members of the Armed Forces must have ended honorably. Interment may be casketed or cremated remains.

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

  • Any Veteran who is retired from active military service with the Armed Forces. This includes any Veteran who is retired from the Reserves is eligible upon reaching age 60 and drawing retired pay; and who served a period of active duty (other than for training). If, at the time of death, a retired member of the Armed Forces is not entitled to receive retired pay stemming from their service in the Armed Forces until some future date (gray area retiree), the retired member will not be eligible for ground burial. However, most Veterans, who have at least one day of active service for other than training and an Honorable Discharge, are eligible for above-ground inurnment.

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

  • Any former member of the Armed Forces who has been awarded one of the following decorations:

    • Medal of Honor

    • Distinguished Service Cross

    • Navy Cross

    • Air Force Cross

    • Distinguished Service Medal

    • Silver Star

    • Purple Heart

  • 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 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 their tenure classified in class I under the provisions of Section 411 of the Act of 13 August 1946, 60 Stat. 1002, as amended (22 U.S.C. 866, 1964 ed.).

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

  • The Spouse, Surviving Spouse, minor Child(ren), or permanently dependent Child(ren), and certain unmarried adult Children of any of the above eligible Veterans.

  • Surviving Spouses of Soldiers who are interred in Arlington National Cemetery as part of a group burial may be interred/inurned in the cemetery, but not in the same gravesite as the group burial.

  • The surviving Spouse, minor Child(ren), or permanently dependent Child(ren) of any person already buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

  • The parents of a minor Child(ren), or permanently dependent Child(ren) whose remains, based on the eligibility of a parent, are already buried in Arlington National Cemetery. A Spouse divorced from the primary eligible, or Widowed and remarried, is not eligible for interment.

Eligibility for Inurnment in the Columbarium or Niche Wall

The following persons are eligible for inurnment in the Columbarium at Arlington National Cemetery. The last period of active duty (other than for training) of former members of the Armed Forces must have ended honorably.