Information for Funeral Directors
Arlington National Cemetery, our nation’s most hallowed ground, is the final resting place for approximately 400,000 active duty service members, veterans and their families. This historic cemetery bears witness to American heritage and the military service and sacrifice of men and women in uniform throughout the nation’s history. Families come from all over the country to bury their loved ones at Arlington National Cemetery. They come to Arlington because of the rich history of military honors that makes the service so special. The nation's veterans are laid to rest with dignity and honor by a compassionate and dedicated work force. We believe that caring for our nation's heroes and their families during their time of need is a sacred duty entrusted to us.
On average, Arlington National Cemetery conducts between 27 and 30 funeral services each weekday. There are up to six committal services an hour, five times a day. Saturday services are also available for placements and services for cremated remains that do not require military honors or military chaplain support. The cemetery generally conducts between six and eight services on Saturdays.
Understanding Arlington's Scheduling Process
The process to schedule a burial at Arlington National Cemetery can be complex, and we handle each family's request individually with the utmost care and professionalism. Each request is unique. The length of time it takes for scheduling depends on many factors, including the family's ability to provide all documents to verify eligibility, the type of remains, the military resources available and any special requests (such as requests for the chapel located on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall).
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 that the service member is eligible for burial at Arlington. We recommend that you have all of the required documentation together before you call to schedule the service. Any documents requested by cemetery staff can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org and must include the case number provided by the customer service center. Please Note: Arlington National Cemetery will not respond to other inquiries via this email box.
The required documents are the DD214 (or service equivalent) with an honorable character of service to establish eligibility for the eligible 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. Click here for instructions on how to make an emergency records request.
Families will be required to validate that an urn contains 100 percent of the decedent's remains received from the crematorium or funeral home before Arlington National Cemetery conducts the burial service.
For more information on the scheduling process, please see our fact sheet.
- DD214 or equivalent service documentation showing honorable discharge and active duty service. (Mandatory for a veteran; not required for the second interment of spouse if ANC can verify the veteran's eligibility from historic archived records.)
- Death certificate.
- Cremation certificate, if applicable.
- Succession documents for the person authorized to direct disposition (PADD) to act on behalf of the primary next of kin (PNOK).
- Other documents, as requested by the cemetery.
Tips for Scheduling Services
- Provide the cemetery with multiple ways to contact the funeral home and the PNOK. An e-mail address is required for the PNOK. Only the PNOK or PADD is authorized to sign the required documents.
- Have all of the required documentation together before you call to schedule.
- If the decedent is being interred with someone already at Arlington National Cemetery, please provide the section and grave number for in-ground gravesites and court, or section, column and niche numbers for above-ground interments, if known.
- Consider a Saturday service for placements or services for cremated remains that do not require military honors or military chaplain support.
Important Information: Cremated Remains
Arlington National Cemetery requires certification of 100% of cremated remains and a cremated remains certificate. We support industry best practices of providing the cremation identification number, which is included with the remains and annotated on the cremation certificate. Arlington does not accept cremated remains by mail.
Urns should be no larger than 9" x 9" x 9" (not including companion urns). If the urn purchased by the family exceeds this size, please inform ANC staff prior to the interment date.
Saturday services are available for placements and services for cremated remains that do not require military honors or military chaplain support.
Important Information: Casketed Remains
Arlington National Cemetery will request that the funeral home provide additional information regarding unusually heavy caskets, oversize caskets or vaults, or any other item which could impact the handling of the remains on the day of the service.