When a death occurs on active duty, the next of kin will be assigned a casualty assistance officer (CAO, Army), casualty assistance representative (CAR, Air Force) or casualty assistance calls officer (CACO, Navy or Marine Corps) to help with arrangements and entitlement paperwork at this difficult time. These people are there to help family members who make necessary arrangements and decisions.
Surviving family members should remember that their casualty assistance officer remains a resource, even months after the service member's death. They should feel free to contact the casualty assistance officer when they have questions. Be sure to update your address with your casualty assistance officer if you relocate in order to continue to receive information concerning benefits. Contact the Service Specific Casualty Assistance Office to make address changes and make sure the changes are made to the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) as well.
For the most comprehensive information on procedures, services, and benefits available to survivors of active duty deaths go to the Department of Defense Survivor's Guide to Benefits.
Until military families are relieved of the weight of war, we hope you will continue to contribute to their wellbeing.
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