167AW Base Honor Guard
Published June 12, 2008
Military Funeral Honors
"They Served...We Honor"
It is our national obligation to demonstrate the country's gratitude to those who, in times of war and peace, have faithfully defended our country. This ceremonial paying of respect is the final demonstration a grateful nation can provide to the veterans' families.
Providing military funeral honors is the primary mission of the base honor guard program. The Air Force will ensure that, upon request, a funeral honors detail is provided for all eligible members.
The Air Force will provide funeral honors and a flyover (if the member is eligible) at the place of final disposition, or at a memorial service. Funeral honors will not be provided more than once.
The law stipulates that MFH will consist of two or more persons; this is also cited in DoDI 1300.15, Military Funeral Support. At least two members of the funeral honors detail will be members of the armed services (other than members in a retired status) at least one of whom shall be a member of the armed force of which the decedent was a member. The remainder of the detail may consist of members of the armed forces or members of Veteran's Service Organizations (VSOs).
By law, a MFH detail shall, at a minimum, include the folding and presentation of the American flag to the decedent's family and the playing of Taps.
It is the Air Force's policy to provide additional honors elements to certain categories of personnel, as specified in Air Force Instructions.
Active Duty, Selected Reservists on Duty and Recipients of the Medal of Honor.
Eligibility. Active duty personnel, members of the Reserve and Air National Guard on duty (on active or inactive duty) and recipients of the Medal of Honor are entitled to full military funeral honors.
Entitlement. Full military honors consists of a 20-person detail that includes six pallbearers, an 8-person firing party (7 members and the firing party NCOIC), a bugler, a 4-person color guard and the detail OIC or NCOIC. An Air Force chaplain may also participate in the ceremony if requested by the family.
Eligibility. Air Force members receiving retired pay or members of the Air Force Reserves or Air National Guard, not on Active-Duty status.
Entitlement. Retirees are entitled to a 7-person team (with a bugler). The team will consist of an OIC or NCOIC and 6 members who will serve the dual role of pallbearers and firing party.
Former Military Members (Veterans).
Eligibility. Former military members who served in the active military and who were discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable or were members or former members of the Selected Reserve and departed under conditions other than dishonorable.
Entitlement. Former military members are entitled to MFH with two Armed Forces members, one of which will be an Air Force representative (officer or enlisted) who will fold and present the interment flag and play Taps.
What To Do If You Want Military Funeral Honors.
1. The family MUST notify the funeral director immediately. The funeral director should contact the toll free number at 1-877-MIL-HONR/
1-877-645-4667 to request honors. Requests should typically be made as soon as possible, to prepare for the detail, with a minimum lead-time of 48 hours. A base honor guard unit will make every effort to prevent non-support of the request.
2. If you want the 167th Airlift Wing to provide the Military Funeral Honors, make sure the family informs the funeral director of this and tell them to specify this when making the request.
3. If the family or the funeral director have any questions or problems with the honors request, they may contact the 167th Airlift Wing Base Honor Guard for assistance. The toll free military honors number MUST be contacted even if you call the 167th Base Honor Guard. You may contact Major Paul Henry, OIC, at (304) 616-5233, SMSgt David Stevens, NCOIC, at (304) 616-5288 or SMSgt Ron Glazer, Sr., BHG Bugler, at (304) 616-5415. After duty hours please dial (304) 616-5300.
4. The family will need to provide to the funeral director a copy of the veteran's DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge to establish veteran eligibility. If the DD Form 214 is not available, any discharge document showing other than dishonorable service can be used. Also, any document showing the veteran was receiving pay or entitlements may be considered.
What You Can Do To Prepare.
1. Make it known to your family that you want military funeral honors.
2. Obtain a copy of your DD form 214. Place it in a safe area and make sure your family knows where it is located.