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Air Force Funeral Services: Standard Honors Burial

General Information:

Arlington National Cemetery can provide Standard graveside honors to authorized service members. These honors may include:

  • Bodybearers team

  • A Color Guard

  • A Firing Party

  • A Bugler

  • Air Force Chaplain

  • Arlington Lady, who represents the Chief of Staff, USAF

  • Escort for Arlington Lady

Specific Information:

Plan to arrive at the Administration Building at least 30 minutes before the service, which gives you time to meet with the chaplain, the family and with the cemetery representative. The cemetery representative can give you specific information upon arrival.

To the Grave Site

  • The chaplain will act as your escort. The cemetery representative can also help you regarding protocol. Salute (Civilian dress: hand over heart) when the chaplain does, and drop your salute when the chaplain does. See diagram and the symbol chart for more information.

  • The bodybearers will remove the casket from the hearse/urn from the representatives car and prepare to march to the grave site. Walk with the chaplain to the grave.

At the Grave Site

  • Stand with the chaplain, allowing enough room for the bodybearers to move past you. Salute (Civilian dress: hand over heart) along with the chaplain.

  • The bodybearers will position the remains over the grave and unfold the flag, holding it taut over the remains. The chaplain will cue you to begin the religious services at the grave.

  • Please conduct your graveside services according to your religious tradition. Time is critical at Arlington, with an average of 23 funerals each day. We request that grave side services last no longer than 10 minutes. Please step back to indicate that you are finished.

  • Following your services, the military will render honors. Military honors will consist of three rifle volleys by seven riflemen, 'Taps' by a military bugler, and the formal folding of the flag.

  • The chaplain will receive the folded flag from a bodybearers and present it to the next of kin unless other arrangements are made.

  • The chaplain will render a final salute to the flag.

  • The Arlington lady will offer condolences. You are invited to do the same after she finishes.

  • The cemetery representative will announce that services have ended, and invite people to return to their cars.