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CASUALTY AND MORTUARY AFFAIRS PROCESSES IN RESPONSE TO COVID- 19

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Tony

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UNCLASSIFIED// 
 
ROUTINE 
 
R 072132Z APR 20 MID110000561067U 
 
FM CNO WASHINGTON DC 
 
TO NAVADMIN 
 
INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC 
 
BT 
UNCLAS 
NAVADMIN 102/20 
PASS TO OFFICE CODES: 
FM CNO WASHINGTON DC//N1// 
INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC//N1// 
 
MSGID/NAVADMIN/CNO WASHINGTON DC/N1/APR// 
 
SUBJ/CASUALTY AND MORTUARY AFFAIRS PROCESSES IN RESPONSE TO COVID- 
19// 
 
REF/A/MEMO/OSD/11MAR2020// 
 
AMPN/REF A IS MEMO FROM SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS 
FOR DOD COMPONENTS IN RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS DISEASE.// 
 
RMKS/1.  This NAVADMIN announces interim casualty and mortuary 
affairs program changes necessary to mitigate risk to the force due 
to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) national emergency.  The 
mission of casualty and mortuary affairs is a sacred duty, but these 
temporary changes are necessary to comply with reference (a) and 
provide standardization across the Navy in order to preserve force 
readiness, limit the continuing spread of the virus, and most 
importantly, protect and preserve the health and welfare of our 
Sailors, civilians, the families and friends of our injured or 
fallen Shipmates.  This NAVADMIN is issued pending Office of the 
Secretary of Defense (OSD) and Department of the Navy (DON) policy 
still in development.  Upon release of the OSD and DON guidance, we 
will modify this NAVADMIN accordingly. 
 
2.  Bedside Travel.  Chief of Naval Personnel (CNP) approval is 
required to make bedside travel arrangements for all combat zone 
evacuations and Very Seriously Injured and Seriously Injured 
(VSI/SI) cases deemed warranted by a Department of Defense (DoD
physician and where the servicing hospital can support the visit. 
Eligible travelers who self-fund travel will be reimbursed within 
the authorized limits of the Joint Travel Regulations. 
 
3.  Casualty Assistance Calls Officer (CACO) Notifications and 
Casualty Assistance Support.  In person CACO notification is 
authorized only for the Primary Next of Kin (PNOK), unless 
Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) directs phone 
notification due to the health and safety risk in the affected 
location.  CNIC approval is required for any additional in-person 
notifications and for any in-person enduring CACO casualty 
assistance support of the PNOK and other NOK beneficiaries. 
 
4.  Casualty Benefits Processing.  Benefit processing will be 
prioritized with the most critical benefits processed first (e.g. 
Death Gratuity (DG), 365 days of housing allowance (BAH 365), 
Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI)) for eligible 
beneficiaries.  In areas where in person CACO notification or 
continuing contact has not been authorized by CNIC for health and 
safety reasons, the use of alternative beneficiary contact methods 
(phone/email/express mail) will be pursued to enable timely benefits 
processing. 
 
5.  Dignified Transfer (DT).  Family travel to witness the DT at 
Dover Air Base is temporarily suspended until DoD travel 
restrictions are lifted.  The exception approval authority for 
family travel is CNP and exceptions will be considered on a case-by- 
case basis.  Attendance at DTs is limited to mission essential 
personnel only.  As such, not only is family member participation 
temporarily restricted, but also no unit participation at the DT. 
The Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations (AFMAO) Commander or 
Deputy or on-call general/flag officer will officiate the DT, and 
the carry team will be provided by AFMAO. 
 
6.  Escorting remains of Service Members and civilian employees. 
Escorts are not authorized to accompany remains during air travel. 
Per DoD policy, Aircraft Commanders will serve as the official 
escort on military air or military contracted aircraft.  CNIC 
approval is required for escort assignment during the ground 
transportation portions of remains movement pending assessment of 
health and safety risk in the affected location(s).  If conditions 
permit, CNIC will assign an escort to travel with remains to the 
departure airport and a receiving escort to travel with remains from 
the arrival airport to the receiving funeral home or place of final 
disposition. 
 
7.  Funeral Honors.  The requirement to provide military funeral 
honors at any funeral or memorial function (to include interments) 
for veterans and Service Members is waived until further notice. 
Families requesting military funeral honors will be informed that 
funeral honors are suspended and that honors may be provided at a 
later date when the DoD travel restrictions have been lifted and the 
request can be accommodated.  The exception approval authority for 
funeral honors support is CNIC and will be considered for 
exceptional circumstances on a case-by-case basis. 
 
8.  Funeral Travel.  Funded family travel to funerals is temporarily 
suspended until DoD travel restrictions are lifted.  The exception 
authority for family travel is CNP and exceptions will be considered 
on a case-by-case basis.  With the delay of funeral travel, expenses 
for the sheltering of remains will be covered as a primary expense 
and will not count against reimbursable allowances.  Eligible 
travelers who self-fund travel will be reimbursed within the 
authorized limits of the Joint Travel Regulations. 
 
9.  Present and past conflict/command memorial service travel. 
Family funded travel for funerals is temporarily suspended until 
travel restrictions are lifted.  The exception approval authority 
for family travel is CNP and exceptions will be considered on a 
case-by-case basis. 
 
10.  Waiver requests for non-time critical actions should be 
endorsed by the first flag officer or Senior Executive Service (SES) 
in the chain of command and routed to PERS-00C who will coordinate 
the approval process with the proper decision-making authority.  The 
determination regarding CACO PNOK notification is time-critical and 
should be made by CNIC after consultation with the appropriate Navy 
Region Commander.  In all cases where exceptions are granted, 
Sailors will strictly follow all Center for Disease Control (CDC) 
restrictions and Navy guidance to include maintaining social 
distance and avoiding large gatherings. 
 
11.  Taking care of our wounded, our Fallen and their families 
remains a sacred responsibility and we will restore the normal 
levels of support as soon as the conditions allow. 
 
12.  This NAVADMIN will remain in effect until superseded or 
canceled, whichever occurs first. 
 
13.  The points of contact for Navy Casualty Affairs are CDR Jason 
Eaton, PERS-00C, 901-874-6854/jason.c.eaton(at)navy.mil or Mr. Al 
Gorski, PERS-00C, 901-874-4559/alan.gorski(at)navy.mil.  The points 
of contact for CNIC Casualty and Funeral Honors (N00K) are 
Ms. Nyeika Hollien, Funeral Honors Program Manager, 
202-433-6892/nyeika.hollien(at)navy.mil and Mr. Michael Hill, 
Casualty Assistance Coordinator, 
(202) 433-4927/michael.hill1(at)navy.mil. 
 
14. Released by Vice Admiral John B. Nowell, Jr, N1.// 
 
BT 
#0001 
NNNN
UNCLASSIFIED//

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