8 SOLDIER FUNERAL DETAIL COMPOSITION OF DETAIL C-12. The 8 man funeral detail normally consists of an OIC or NCOIC (depending on the rank of the deceased veteran), an NCOIC of the firing party, a five or six soldier firing party (who also act as pallbearers) and a bugler, if available. For this description there is an OIC of the funeral detail and an NCOIC of the firing party/pallbearers. DETAIL, WEAPONS ARE IN PLACE C-13. Weapons are pre-stacked in an appropriate position, in plain view, and a good distance from the gravesite. The firing party, acting as pallbearers, is pre-positioned along the roadside; awaiting the arrival of the hearse.
The OIC is located where the hearse will stop. RECEIVING THE CASKET C-14. As the hearse approaches, the NCOIC orders the detail to “ATTENTION” and “Present, ARMS. ” Once the hearse has passed the detail, the NCOIC calls the detail to “Order, ARMS” and “Parade, REST. ” The OIC comes to attention and present arms as the hearse approaches his position. The OIC terminates his salute when the hearse comes to a halt. C-15. After the vehicle has come to a halt, the driver gets out and opens the rear door. The driver prepares the casket for movement to the gravesite by removing the stock.
The driver pulls the casket to the rear of the hearse. The OIC, with a nod of his head, signals the NCOIC to move the pallbearers to the end of the hearse, three on each side, to remove the casket. The NCOIC marches the pallbearers into place, then orders “Mark time, MARCH;” “Detail, HALT” and “Center, FACE. ” After the pallbearers are facing inward, the individuals closest to the casket will grasp the handrails and pull the casket from the hearse. Each pallbearer, in turn, grasps a casket handle as it reaches him. The OIC will render a hand salute while the casket is being removed. Moving the Casket C-16.
On the NCOIC’s command of “Ready, FACE,” the pallbearers will execute the appropriate facing movements so that they are all facing the feet of the casket. The NCOIC orders the detail to “Forward, MARCH. ” Led by the OIC, the pallbearers incline to the proper direction to move to the gravesite, ensuring the casket is level and feet first. Once the casket is over the gravesite, the NCOIC commands “Mark Time, MARCH,” and “Detail, HALT. ” Once at the head of the gravesite, the OIC will come to render a hand salute until the casket is placed on the lowering device. To maintain uniformity the pallbearer NCOIC will command “Center, FACE. When pallbearers are facing center, the casket is set on the lowering device. After the casket is set down, the pallbearers come to attention and the OIC will drop his hand salute. MOVING TO THE WEAPONS C-17. On the command “Ready, FACE,” by the pallbearer NCOIC, the pallbearers all face toward the head of the casket. The next command is “Forward, MARCH. ” The pallbearers move from the gravesite to the location of the weapons. Just prior to reaching the stacked arms, the firing party NCOIC, and formerly the pallbearer NCOIC, gives “Mark Time, MARCH” and “Detail, HALT. The firing party NCOIC assumes their position and gives a “File from the Left, Forward, MARCH. ” On the command “March” the firing party performs the proper movements to form a single file to the rear of the weapons. When the firing party are to the rear of the stacked arms, the NCOIC gives “Mark Time, MARCH” and “Detail HALT,” and the appropriate facing movement to face the rifles. Retrieving the Weapons and Conclusion of Religious Services C-18. The next command given is “Take, ARMS. ” On the command of execution, the stack man secures the first two weapons. The left and right soldiers receive the weapons from the stack man.
The left and right soldiers then pass the weapons to the outside soldiers. The stack man grasps his center weapon. The left and right soldiers step toward the stack and remove their weapons, returning to the position of Attention. Once the left and right soldiers retrieve their weapons, the stack man secures his weapon and comes to the position of Attention. Once all of the firing party is at Order Arms, the firing party NCOIC gives them “Parade, REST. ” The firing party will remain at Parade Rest until the end of the religious services. Once the religious services are over, the Chaplain steps away from the casket.
The OIC steps to the head of the casket and renders a hand salute. This is the signal for the firing party NCOIC to command the firing party “ATTENTION. ” Firing of Honors C-19. After bringing the firing party to Attention, the NCOIC gives the command of “Ready. ” At the command of Ready, each rifleman executes Port Arms, faces Half Right, and moves his right foot to the right ten inches. Each rifleman then chambers a round, places his weapon on Fire, and resumes Port Arms. When the firing party has completed the movements, the firing party NCOIC gives the command “Aim. On the command of Aim, the detail shoulders their weapons with the muzzles of the weapons at a 45-degree angle from the horizontal. When the NCOIC commands “FIRE,” the detail fires and returns to Port Arms. On the subsequent commands of “Ready,” each rifleman pulls and returns the charging handle of his weapon. After the third round is fired each rifleman resumes Port Arms, and the firing party NCOIC commands “CEASE FIRE. ” Each rifleman places his weapon on Safe, resumes the position of Order Arms, and faces Half Left. The firing party NCOIC then commands “Present, ARMS” for the playing of “Taps”.
The bugler plays “Taps. ” If a bugler is not available, one soldier is positioned to turn on the high quality recording (and is not part of the firing party). STACKING ARMS C-20. After “Taps”, the NCOIC brings the firing party to “Order, ARMS,” and then commands “Stack, ARMS. ” On the command of execution, Arms, the stack man grasps the barrel of his rifle and places his rifle directly in front of him. At the same time, the left and right soldiers grasp the barrels of their respective rifles, step toward the center and insert the muzzles through the sling loop of the stack man’s weapon.
Both soldiers swing the butts of their rifles out and then down to the ground ensuring the stack is steady. The two outside weapons are then passed to the stack man, who adds them to the stack. RETURNING TO GRAVESITE OR SHELTER C-21. After Stack Arms is complete, the NCOIC moves the firing party two steps backward and gives the appropriate facing movement to have the firing party move back to the gravesite. From this position, the NCOIC will form the firing party in two columns by giving the command “Column of Two to the Right, MARCH. ” Once in Column of Two formation, the NCOIC takes the last position, and gives “Forward, MARCH. The firing party marches to the gravesite along either side of the casket. Once at the gravesite the NCOIC gives “Mark Time, MARCH,” and “Detail, HALT. ” The NCOIC gives “Center, FACE,” to ensure that all of the pallbearers are facing the casket. FOLDING THE FLAG C-22. After the pallbearers have faced the casket, they use their peripheral vision to take their cues from the NCOIC. As a unit, the pallbearers reach down and secure the flag. Once flag is secured, the detail folds flag. The flag is first folded with the lower stripe area over the blue field. It is then folded so that the folded edge meets the open edge.
The triangular fold is started at the striped end and is continued until only the blue field remains. The flag margin is then tucked in and the flag is ready for presentation. PRESENTING THE FLAG. C-23. After the flag has been folded, it is passed down to the soldier closest to the right side of the OIC. This soldier executes a Half Left as the OIC executes a Half Right and the flag is then passed to the OIC at, chest level. After the pallbearer has passed the flag, he salutes the flag for three seconds then executes Order Arms. The soldier executes a Half Right as the OIC executes a Half Left and resumes their original position.
At this time the pallbearers will leave the gravesite. The NCOIC commands “Outward, FACE,” (pallbearers face towards the head of the casket) and “Forward, MARCH. ” Once the detail is out of the area, the OIC will present the flag to the next of kin or Chaplain, it next of kin is not available. The OIC recites the following passage: |”Ma’am (sir), this flag is presented on behalf of a grateful nation and the United States Army as a token of appreciation for your loved one’s | |honorable and faithful service. ” |
C-24. At the conclusion of the remarks and presentation, the OIC will render a hand salute and hold the salute for three seconds then assumes Order, Arms. OIC then executes marching movement and marches back towards the direction of the pallbearers. CONCLUDING THE CEREMONY C-25. The firing party returns to the location of the stacked arms in the same manner as before. When commanded to “Take, ARMS,” the party retrieves the rifles in the same manner as before. After retrieving the weapons, the NCOIC marches the detail away from the funeral site to clear and inspect the weapons.
The firing party will police all of the brass after the service is over and the next of kin have left the area. The OIC is not required to escort the next of kin back to his/her vehicle. 2 SOLDIER FUNERAL DETAIL RECEIVING THE CASKET C-26. The OIC is located where the hearse will stop. The NCO is to the left of the OIC. As the hearse approaches, the OIC brings himself and the NCO to “ATTENTION” and “Present, ARMS. ” The OIC gives the command of “Order, ARMS,” after the hearse has come to a halt. The funeral director is responsible for removing the casket from the hearse and placing it on the lowering device at the gravesite.
When the casket is being removed from the hearse, the OIC commands “Present, ARMS. ” Once the casket has cleared the peripheral vision of the OIC, then the OIC commands “Order, ARMS,” and “Parade, REST. ” CONCLUSION OF RELIGIOUS SERVICES C-27. Once the religious services are over, the Chaplain steps away from the casket. The OIC commands “ATTENTION. ” The OIC commands “Ready, FACE,” and the OIC and NCO face in the direction of the casket. OIC then commands “Forward, MARCH,” The OIC marches to the head of the casket, and faces the head of the casket, while the NCO marches to the foot of the casket facing the OIC.
If a bugler is not available, the NCO moves to the device that will play the high quality recording of “Taps. ” FOLDING THE FLAG C-28. The OIC gives the command to the NCO to secure flag. Once the flag is secure the bugler will play “Taps” and both the OIC and NCO execute Present, Arms. When “Taps” is complete, both the OIC and NCO execute Order, Arms. The OIC gives the command to side step march (just far enough to preclude the flag from touching the casket). Once the OIC and NCO have cleared the casket the OIC nods to begin folding the flag.
NOTE: If a bugler is not available, once the casket is on the lowering device, the NCOIC will march to the recording device and wait for the Chaplain to conclude religious services. He will play “Taps” after the OIC is positioned at the head of the casket. When “Taps” is complete, the NCOIC will march to the foot of the casket and then assist in folding the flag. C-29. The flag is first folded with the lower stripe area over the blue field. It is then folded so that the folded edge meets the open edge. The triangular fold is started at the striped end and is continued until only the blue field remains.
While folding the flag the NCO moves towards the OIC. The flag margin is then tucked in by the OIC and the NCO presents the flag to the OIC. Once the NCO presents the flag to the OIC, the NCO renders the hand salute and holds the salute for three seconds then executes Order, Arms. The OIC is ready for presenting the flag to the next of kin. PRESENTING THE FLAG C-30. After the flag has been folded and passed to the OIC, the OIC then moves in the direction of the next of kin and presents the flag to the next of kin while the NCO marches away from the gravesite.
The OIC will present the flag to the Chaplain if the next of kin is not available. The OIC recites the following passage: |”Ma’am (sir), this flag is presented on behalf of a grateful nation and the United States Army as a token of appreciation for your loved one’s | |honorable and faithful service. ” | C-31. At the conclusion of the passage and the flag presentation, the OIC will render a hand salute and hold the salute for three seconds then assumes Order, Arms.
OIC then executes a marching movement and marches away from the gravesite. CONCLUDING THE CEREMONY C-32. The OIC is not required to escort the next of kin back to his/her vehicle. NOTES C-33. The meaning of the word gravesite also includes a committal shelter. The meaning of the word casket also includes a receptacle containing the cremated remains of the deceased. On windy days, the flag should already be anchored to the casket by the funeral director. If the flag is not secured, the detail will fold the flag immediately after placing the casket on the lowering device, then hand the flag to the OIC. d