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This section updated Thursday, July 5, 2007 ~ 17:03 CST
Overview | Sole Surviving Son | FAQ | Next of Kin | Legal Issues | Military Pay/W2 | Voting | Injuries: WIA
See Also: Deployment | Locations | Back to Iraq | Iraq 2003 | Retrograde | Post War
Questions about Deployment? Click here for help form.
Notification to Next of Kin

The news of a Marine missing in action, wounded, killed, or captured is delivered to the next of kin. The mission is to deliver the information with professionalism, sympathy, empathy, and candor. The military policy is to only give confirmed information which, as we have learned, is not the same policy the media follows. However, names will never be released to the media by the military without first notifying the next of kin.

All military personnel are required to complete paperwork prior to deploying to an overseas location naming the next of kin to be notified in case of an emergency.

The first step in the process of notification is to tell the unit RBE (remain-behind party or the FRO, Family Readiness Officer) at the base location that the Marine deployed from. This usually happens within 8 hours of an injury or death.

Once the RBE receives this information in the form of a report, the RBE determines if the person was WIA (wounded in action) or KIA (killed in action). If wounded, next of kin notification is made by phone. In either case, WIA or KIA, the person notified is whoever the Marine or Sailor has listed in the record of emergency data for the individual. Only that person is notified.

In the case of a KIA, notification is made in person only and by a Marine assigned by Headquarters Marine Corps. The RBE may be assigned to do the notification, but will not know that until ordered to perform those duties by HQMC.

The military personnel delivering the news are readily identifiable by their branch-specific uniform and most likely the vehicle they are driving as well. The personnel delivering the news generally work in pairs.

There is no finite timeline for this procedure. It has been our experience that most families are notified within 24-36 hours of the injury or casualty.

Official CentCom and Department of Defense (DoD) Casualty Reports:

Military Funerals
The rendering of Military Funeral Honors is a way to show the Nation's deep gratitude to those who, in time of war and peace, have faithfully defended our country. This ceremonial paying of respect is the final demonstration of a grateful Nation can provide to the veterans' families. This web site will provide the general public with information on Military Funeral Honors, as well as helpful links to related military and veterans' issues web sites. In addition, the web site will also serve as a resource tool for our nation's funeral directors as they assist veterans' families in arranging for Military Funeral Honors.

One Family's First-Hand Experience: Missing (DUSTWUN)
Contributed by Jan, Marine Mom
Here's a story that was written and contributed by Jan, a Marine Mom whose son was recently declared DUSTWUN (DUty STation Whereabouts UNknown) in Iraq. Reading her story may help you to understand the logistics of the communication process the military uses to keep parents informed. Click here for article...


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