In Case of Emergency

Service members must keep DD Form 93 (Record of Emergency Data) updated so that family members may be notified if the service member is killed in action, wounded in action, missing in action or is taken as a prisoner of war. DOMA prevents a same-sex partner from being recognized as the primary next of kin (PNOK), which is determined by the family members listed on DD Form 93.

Same-sex partners may be listed as “Designated Persons,” who are notified, though less quickly than the PNOK. Privacy regulations prevent “designated persons” from receiving all the details of the emergency. In the event that a service member is killed in action, any beneficiaries receiving survivor benefits or entitlements will be notified.

A same-sex partner may be notified more quickly if the couple has children, because a child is the next-of-kin for a “single” service member. The child’s other parent or guardian would be notified on the child’s behalf.

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