Helpful Tools and Information
For a list of helpful instructions, policies, pamphlets and tool kits, please visit the AFMAO Policy & Directives webpage

For Mortuary Affairs Assistance, please e-mail AFMAO Mortuary Affairs or call 302-677-3982. 

Our Mortuary Affairs Division provides higher headquarters level oversight for all Department of the Air Force installations in the continental United States along with operating locations in Europe and the Pacific.  They use routine workshops and shared knowledge to train mortuary technicians and officers at bases throughout the world and provide guidance on Mortuary Affairs policy to ensure the highest level of care for our fallen and their families.

The Mortuary Affairs Division is separated into three distinct branches. The Mortuary Affairs Case Management Branch provides seamless care, service, and support to families of fallen Airmen and Guardians directed to Dover AFB. They also provide faculty instructors and curriculum development for the Mortuary Officers and Technicians course and 24/7 guidance, education, and resources to Air Force installations upon notification of a death in their unit or squadron.

The Past Conflicts, Recovery and Disposition Branch supports families from the Korean, Cold War, and Vietnam conflicts and other mission losses by providing case updates and information regarding missing service members. They work closely with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, Air Force Casualty, and other outside agencies, along with bases, honor guards, and civilian funeral homes to coordinate final arrangements for their loved ones when recoveries are made. Additionally, they are trained to deploy to Air Force installations around the world as a Response Support Team to provide guidance and assist base personnel during present day mass fatality and search and recovery operations.

The Port Mortuary Branch prepares remains of deceased service members or Department of Defense civilians supporting overseas contingency operations who come to Dover Air Force Base at the direction of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System. The Port Mortuary ensures preservation and restoration of remains for return to their loved ones.

Mortuary Roles
Person Authorized to Direct Disposition (PADD)
The individual who fills this role is usually a family member and is entitled to direct the disposition of the remains. The determination is based on order of precedence as delineated below unless member designates differently on their DD Form 93, Record of Emergency Data.

Summary Courts Officer (SCO)
A Summary Courts Officer must be a commissioned officer appointed by a General Court Martial Convening Authority to handle the personal property and effects of deceased personnel and other eligible individuals as specified in AFI 34-160.

Family Assistance Representative (FAR)
The FAR is a military volunteer, appointed by the commander of the unit of the deceased, who assists the surviving family with the array of support agencies involved in providing assistance following the death of a member. The FAR acts as the official link between the family and the Air Force until an accident investigation board is complete or the family no longer wants unsolicited contact.

When the Person Authorized to Direct Disposition (PADD) does not specifically request a military member by name to serve as the escort, the Mortuary Officer, in conjunction with the commander of the unit of the deceased, will designate a military member of equal or higher rank than the decedent to escort the remains. The PADD may request, by name, a current active duty member of the military from any branch of service to be the escort. Guard or Reserve members may be authorized if currently serving on orders. The escort accompanies the remains from the shipping facility to final destination when the two places are not located in the same locale. The PADD requests, by name, a civilian or military "special escort" or requests the Air Force appoint a military escort.