Secrecy News

Religious Support to Military Funerals

The US Army has issued updated guidance on military funerals that notably emphasizes freedom of religion and individual choice.

“The Army requires the capability to provide RS [religious support] across austere and isolated locations which accommodates service members’ right to the free exercise of religion and supports resiliency efforts to sustain service members in combat.”

“RS is comprehensive because every individual personally defines what constitutes RS. While not every religious need of every Soldier can be met, chaplains and religious affairs specialists seek to meet as many needs as possible.”

“Due to the religious diversity of the nation and Army, all chaplains must know the funeral practices and religious requirements of various faith groups in the military.”

“Wherever they are conducted, and regardless of the tasks or order of events, military funerals and memorial events pay tribute to those who have honorably served the nation. Each final tribute draws from national, military, and religious traditions, not routinely nor impersonally, but profoundly and with compassion.”

See Religious Support to Funerals and Memorial Events, ATP 1-05.02, November 2018.