Decedent Affairs Officer

Location: Coast Guard Building, Personnel Support Department, Room 143

To request assistance upon the death of a member or dependent please Contact: (504) 292-0754

The Decedent Affairs Officer (DAO) is responsible for active duty, dependent and retiree deaths in the Eighth District. We assist the family in making funeral arrangements and help the next of kin obtain any compensation or entitlements they may be due. This page seeks to provide information and resources to turn to at times when quick action is required.

 Active Duty death:

Any Coast Guard unit, specifically a unit in the Eighth Coast Guard District that receives a notification of a casualty is required to prepare a personnel casualty report within four hours of command notification in accordance with Section 5.A, Personnel and Pay Procedures Manual, PPCINST M1000.2A. Personnel Casualty Report example and instructions. 

Upon receipt of information that member on active duty has died, the district DAO in whose jurisdiction the next of kin (NOK) resides shall appoint a CACO. If the death is not in the Eighth District, contact the local DAO where the NOK is located.  The CACO will be guided by the DAO throughout the entire case.

The CACO will normally be an officer or senior petty officer attached to a unit near the locale of the NOK's home. As the representative of the Coast Guard, the CACO and a clergy member shall contact the NOK by a personal visit as soon as possible and render such assistance as necessary until interment. The Coast Guard has developed the CACO Handbook to assist with these duties.

The CACO will also need to take a copy of the Casualty Assistance Guide DoD survivor Benefits Guide to the second visit with the family explaining what the Coast Guard will do and what pay and benefits will be forthcoming.

Dependent death:

In cases of the death of a dependent, the CACO will ensure that the required message is released, obtain the death certificate, and collect the SGLI form, SGLV-8283A, for processing.  Depending on city and state, it may take up to one month to receive the death certificate.  Transportation of the remains of the dependent is a reimbursable item. The CACO will assist the Primary Next of Kin with claiming reimbursement as applicable.  However, the Coast Guard does not pay funeral expenses for dependents. OFSGLI will normally issue the insurance payment within 48 to 72 hours of receipt.

Funeral Honors:

Base New Orleans Military Funeral Honors Coordinator can provide burial assistance for veterans and retired Coast Guard members for Military Funeral Honors in New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia counties Baker, Calhoun, Clay, Decatur, Early, Grady, Miller, Quitman, Randolph, Seminole, Stewart , and Florida counties Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Okaloosa , Santa Rosa, Wakulla, Walton, and Washington.

The Coast Guard will make every attempt to provide a funeral detail when requested for the funeral service of a deceased Coast Guard veteran. Please provide the location, date, and time of a funeral by filling out the Military Funeral Honors Request Worksheet. Once completed, the request form can be scanned and emailed, along with a copy of the DD-214, to the email address or faxed to 504-253-4826. At least 24 working hours in advance notice is necessary to try and accommodate your needs. Once the Military Funeral Honors request has been submitted, please contact the Base New Orleans Military Funeral Honors Coordinator at 504-628-5177 to ensure the Military Funeral Honors request has been received. FOR MERCHANT MARINES THAT SERVED IN WWII, PLEASE CONTACT THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY FOR MILITARY FUNERAL HONORS. Click here for Base New Orleans Military Funeral Honors Request Worksheet.

Bugler/Firing Party

The Coast Guard Honors detail has a bugler, but does not have a firing party. If you desire a firing party for a funeral please contact your local Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Army Base, or VFW. If the Coast Guard bugler is not available to play TAPS, the funeral detail uses a sound system with a TAPS CD.

Burial Benefits

The Coast Guard does not make any payments to veterans. Some survivors may be eligible for funeral benefits and should contact the Veteran’s Administration at 1-800-827-1000 for any questions about payments.

Funeral Flag

The Veteran's Administration provides a U.S. flag for all veterans and retired active duty members for the funeral service. Your funeral director can usually obtain this flag. Simply notify the funeral director that the deceased was a veteran and that you would like a flag to be provided at the funeral service. If the funeral director does not provide assistance, you can submit a Application for U.S. Flag for Burial Purposes form to your local post office or Veteran’s Administration Office. You will also need to provide a copy of the veteran’s discharge or retirement papers. The Coast Guard Military Funeral Honors detail will not provide a flag. Click here for VA Form 21-2008 Application for U. S. Flag for Burial Purposes.

Memorial Certificates

Presidential Memorial Certificates, bearing the President's signature, are issued to recognize honorably discharged deceased veterans. Next of kin and other loved one's are eligible to receive certificates. The award of a certificate to one eligible recipient does not preclude certificates to other eligible recipients. The veteran may have died at any time. Requests for certificates should include a copy of the deceased veteran's discharge document, form DD214. Veteran’s Administration regional offices can assist in applying for certificates.

Burial at Sea

Individuals eligible for this program are: Active duty members of the uniformed service;

  1. Retirees and veterans who were honorably discharged;
  2. U.S. civilian marine personnel of the military sealift command;
  3. Dependent family members of active duty personnel, retirees, and veterans of the uniformed services; and
  4. Civilians

A person cannot request a burial at sea from the Coast Guard prior to death. The person authorized to dispose of the remains must make the request (usually the next of kin). Anyone who thinks he/she would like to be buried at sea should make sure their next of kin is aware of their desire.

To request a Burial at Sea, the next of kin should fill out and provide the below documentation to the email address or faxed to 504-253-4826. Once the Burial at Sea request has been submitted, please call the Base New Orleans Military Funeral Honors Coordinator at 504-628-5177 to ensure the Burial at Sea request has been received. Click here for Burial at Sea Request Worksheet.

Submit the following:

a. Burial at Sea Form
b. Legible copy of the death certificate
c. Cremation certificate
d. Copy of form DD-214, or equivalent discharge certificate, or retirement order

Once the burial at sea is complete, you will receive documentation the gives the date and time or the ceremony along with the location of the burial in longitude/latitude.

Contact Information:

Please contact the Base New Orleans Military Funeral Honors Coordinator at 504-628-5177 if you have any questions or problems concerning Military Funeral Honors.

References/Helpful Links: