Can I arrange for a local florist to deliver flowers to the cemetery for social occasions?Flowers may be delivered at any time. A directory is available at the west side of the cemetery so that grave sites can be easily located.
Can I bring flowers to the cemetery?Flowers are allowed on the cemetery provided that they can be positioned into the vase that is placed at the head of the grave upon installation of the permanent grave marker. Flowers will only be removed if they become unsightly.
Can I provide my own clergy?We welcome visiting clergy to officiate funeral services. An Air Force Academy chaplain is made available to provide any required assistance.
Can I reserve a grave site?Mortuary Affairs cannot reserve grave sites before the need arises. However, when a death occurs, the family can request a specific location at the cemetery for interment.
How do I arrange for an Honor Guard?Upon request by the next of kin, the Mortuary Affairs office will make arrangements with the base Honor Guard to provide military honors to eligible veterans.
If I am separated or retired from the Air Force, will the Air Force pay for my funeral services?When a servicemember separates from the Air Force, most burial benefits cease, with the exception of eligibility for interment in a government cemetery. Retired servicemembers will be reimbursed for limited transportation costs if the death occurred while the servicemember was a properly admitted patient to a military hospital. The same entitlement is extended to dependents who are admitted patients in a military hospital at the time of their death.
What are the criteria for interment in the Air Force Academy Cemetery?The following personnel are eligible for interment at the Academy cemetery:
- Airmen who are assigned to the Academy or its tenant units at the time of their deaths.
- All active-duty and retired Air Force three- and four-star generals
- Former superintendents, vice superintendents, commandants of cadets, deans of faculty, chiefs of staff, appointed directors of admissions, directors of athletics, permanent professors, sequential tour faculty officers, tenured faculty officers, Preparatory School commanders, 10th Air Base Wing commanders and Academy command chief master sergeants
- Original cadre Air Force personnel assigned to the Air Force Academy between July 11, 1955, and Sept. 10, 1957
- Air Force cross-commissioned officer graduates of the U.S. Military Academy or the U.S. Naval Academy who have retired with 20 years or more of uniformed service
- Board of Visitors members with distinguished military service
- All Medal of Honor recipients regardless of branch of service
- All Air Force Cross recipients
- Former chief master sergeants who performed as cadet wing sergeants major between 1972 and 1976
- Air Training Officers who served at the Academy between 1975 and 1977
- Eligible relatives of service-connected sponsors such as a spouse, unremarried widows or widowers and dependent unmarried children under 23.
- Dependent unmarried adults -- defined as someone who at the time of death was older than 21, incapable of support due to a physical or mental condition and who meets any of the following conditions:
- Received more than half his support from the service-connected parent
- The service-connected parent is deceased and interred in the Academy cemetery, and the dependent received more than half his support from the widow or widower of the deceased service-connected parent
- Received such support from another source because of the prior death or inability of the parent or parents to provide such support
What costs are involved when arranging a funeral service at the Air Force Academy?There are not normally any costs associated with services provided by the Air Force Academy staff when funeral services are held at the chapel or graveside. The standards borne by the next of kin are related to the services provided by the funeral home that the family selects. Such services may include costs associated with a funeral home in your local area (if not residing in Colorado Springs) and a receiving funeral home in Colorado Springs if a casket service is planned. Costs may also include preparation of the remains, casketing, professional services of the funeral director, obituary service and donation to clergy.
What does the government provide for interment at the Academy cemetery?The Air Force provides a plot, temporary and permanent grave markers, a vase, opening and closing of the grave and perpetual care of the grave site at no cost to the family.
What is the procedure for arranging a funeral at the Air Force Academy?The next of kin or a funeral home selected by the family will call the Mortuary Affairs office. Mortuary Affairs contacts a military chaplain of the requested denomination and provide him with information such as music and scripture selections, a photo and biography if available, and any other pertinent information. The chaplain will contact the next of kin to begin arranging the funeral service.
Funerals are normally conducted weekdays, not including federal holidays, between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
What types of grave markers are provided at the Air Force Academy Cemetery?The Veteran's Administration provides flat, bronze markers for each servicemember and eligible family member at no cost to the family. The Mortuary Affairs office places the order, receives the marker and provides it to the cemetery caretaker for installation.