Military Funeral Etiquette
Funeral Etiquette for
Military Funeral Planning
Military funeral planning is a traditionally a formal and reverential event with expectations of respectful behavior, which includes proper military funeral etiquette, on the part of the mourners.
If you have served in the Armed Forces, you will be expected to wear your dress uniform and be prepared to salute when:
- The hearse passes in front of you
- When the casket is moved
- During a gun salute
- During the playing of Taps
- When the casket is being lowered into the ground
During a salute, if you are attending as a civilian, remember to remove your hat and place over your heart. In lieu of a hat, place your right hand over your heart. Remain standing during the entire ceremony unless seating is provided and the chaplain permits sitting during the reading of the committal service. At the cemetery, allow immediate family members to sit in available seating at the front, in order to receive the folded American flag. Anyone seated at the gravesite should stay seated throughout the entire service. The chaplain or Honor Guard should be deferred to in all respects.
All mourners should be dressed in a respectful fashion and casual dress is considered inappropriate. By learning more about proper military funeral etiquette is a special way of showing how much you respect and admire this loved one and their honorable service to our Country. You should also keep in mind that the large majority of traditional funeral etiquette (non-military) should also be reviewed and taken into consideration.