Burial in Arlington National Cemetery

marine decorates grave in arlington cemetery

Since 1864, Arlington National Cemetery has served as the nation's military cemetery honoring those who served. Located across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., in Arlington County, Virginia, the cemetery is the burial ground for more than 400,000 service members, veterans and family members. Throughout the cemetery, several memorials honor fallen service members, including the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Cross of Sacrifice and the Lao Veterans of America Memorial. 

The following information will assist you with making arrangements and applying for burial or inurnment at Arlington National Cemetery

Who Is Eligible for Interment at Arlington National Cemetery?


Due to limited space, only honorably discharged members in certain categories are eligible for burial in Arlington National Cemetery. These include:

  • Members who died on active duty and their immediate family
  • Retirees and their immediate family
  • Recipients of the Purple Heart or Silver Star and above
  • Any honorably discharged POW who died after Nov. 30, 1993


There is more space available for inurnment -- the storage of cremated remains in a columbarium, or wall -- than burial. Inurnment is limited to honorably discharged members including:

  • All those listed above
  • Veterans and their immediate family
  • Reservists, National Guard, or Air National Guard members who die while on active duty for training or full-time service; and their immediate family
  • Reserve or National Guard members with at least one day of active duty (other than for training) and who are qualified to collect retired pay

Scheduling a Funeral at Arlington National Cemetery

Upon the death of the veteran or eligible family member, you should contact a local funeral home to arrange for any desired services in the hometown and assistance. The next-of-kin or funeral director should contact the customer service center at 877-907-8585 to arrange for the service at Arlington.

After you call, you will be given a case number and asked to send copies of the veteran's Form DD-214, death certificate and cremation certificate if applicable. You can email, fax or mail them.

Email: arlingtoncemetery.isb@mail.mil

Phone: 877-907-8585

Mailing address: Arlington National Cemetery, 1 Memorial Ave., Arlington, VA 22211

Be prepared: Because of a large demand for interment in Arlington, your request may take from several weeks to several months to be approved. Special requests such as a funeral escort or use of a chapel may add to the approval time.

Burial/Inurnment Costs at Arlington National Cemetery

There are no fees or costs for a burial or inurnment. However, all costs associated with preparation of the remains, casket or urn, and shipping of the remains to the Washington, D.C., area, are at the expense of the estate unless the deceased is currently on active duty.

VA or Social Security may pay some or all of the costs.

Funeral Honors

The three types of burial honors offered at Arlington National Cemetery include military funeral honors, military funeral honors with funeral escort, and spouse and dependent honors.

Military Funeral Honors

All uniformed service members and veterans buried or inurned in Arlington may receive military funeral honors. The decedent's service branch will provide military funeral honors for enlisted service members; warrant officers in grades WO-1 to CW-3; and officers in grades O-1 to O-3. Military funeral honors include:

  • A casket team (body bearers/pallbearers)
  • A firing party
  • A bugler
  • Flag folding and presentation

Military Funeral Honors with Funeral Escort

Enlisted member who reached the grade of E-9 (the highest enlisted grade); warrant officers in grades CW-4 and CW-5; and officers in grades O-4 and above may receive additional honors, as may any recipient of the Medal of Honor, former prisoners of war and service members killed in action. Military funeral honors with funeral escort include: 

  • A casket team (body bearers/pallbearers)
  • A firing party
  • A bugler
  • Flag folding and presentation
  • A marching element (size determined by decedent's rank)
  • Military band
  • Caisson if available. The Army's Caisson Platoon has suspended funeral activities until June 2024.

Spouse and Dependent Honors

When a family member is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, the military service in which the veteran served will provide a casket team and a chaplain. No other military honors will be rendered unless the spouse served in the military.

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