Military Notification of Death
When someone in the military dies, how do their families find out? Learn about the military notification of death process here.
All people in the military give an Emergency Contact (EC). This is the person to contact if they die. This is normally their Next of Kin (NOK), but not in all cases.
Even if NOK isn’t listed as an EC, or as an Additional Emergency Contact (ADDEC), the Ministry of Defence will try to contact them in the event of a death. These details are kept with the serving personnel’s personal records.
Death is reported
When an incident results in a death, the military unit is required to pass details of the casualty, in the shortest possible time. This is sent electronically, or by fax, to the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC) using a NOTICAS (Casualty Notification). If you’d like to learn more about this process, please read more here.
NOK and EC are contacted
The Next of Kin and/or Emergency Contact are then contacted by a Casualty Notifying Officer (CNO). They tell them that the military service person has died.
Visiting Officer is assigned
A Visiting Officer (VO) is then assigned to help the family. The VO acts as a long term point of contact, and acts as a link between the family and support organisations. They’re not able to offer bereavement support.
VOs will provide support for around six to nine months. This includes:
- Being a media contact
- Attending repatriation ceremonies and memorials
- Helping and advising on funeral arrangements
- Returning personal items
- Supporting with life changes e.g. Moving out of married quarters
- Attending inquests and investigations
- Organising service personnel who can help bereaved families. This can include service chaplains, welfare services and ship/unit/station support agencies.
If you need further help, Veterans UK can support you with a Welfare Manager.
The Welfare Manager supports the VO. They can help NOK to apply for their entitled Service pension and /or compensation. They can also support with non-military queries, including:
- Pension forms
- Death Certification
- Local welfare support
- Non-service housing
- PAX insurance
- Tax issues relating to a death