Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

June 6, 2013 at 11:27am

Sequestration forces scale down of funerals for retirees

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Federal budget cuts are straining honor guard programs across the nation. Today, the U.S. Air Force says it's forced to trim military funeral honors of retirees due to the sequestration. Below is a report filed by Capt. Lindsey Hahn, a journalist with the Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs.

Due to the impact sequestration has on resources, Air Force Services is adjusting requirements for military funeral honors of retirees.

Air Force policy will revert to requiring a minimum of two personnel for retiree MFH details, consistent with statute and DoD policy.

The Air Force historically went a step further by providing a seven-member detail for all retiree funerals.

"We cherish the service and sacrifice of our retirees," said Brig. Gen. Eden Murrie, Director of Air Force Services. "While we had to adjust the Air Force requirement as a result of sequestration, commanders still have latitude to provide seven-member details if local resources permit."

The two-person team will continue to fold and present the interment flag and play Taps. If a seven-person team is able to support, the detail will also act as pallbearers and the firing party. Additional support for retiree funeral honors remain available from authorized providers such as Veteran Service Organizations or Reserve Officer Training Corps units, as resources permit.

"Unfortunately, this is a necessary decision," said Murrie. "However, we remain dedicated to honoring our current and former Airmen to the greatest extent possible."

MFH details for veterans and active duty members will remain unchanged. Funeral honors for veterans consist of two-person teams while active duty funeral honors are performed by a 20-person detail.

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