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Notification of Next of Kin
Personnelman 1 & C - Military manual for government personnel administration
Summary - 14213_78
TRANSPORTATION OF NEXT OF KIN TO THE BEDSIDE OF SERIOUSLY ILL OR INJURED MEMBERS According  to  the  MILPERSMAN,  Article  4210110, funded  round-trip  transportation  is  authorized  for  the PNOK and one other family member to visit a seriously ill or injured member, hospitalized in or outside the United  States.  Such  transportation  is  authorized  only when the attending physician and the commander or head  of  the  military  medical  facility  determines,  in writing,  that  the  presence  of  family  members  is medically  warranted  and  necessary  for  the  health  and welfare of the member. Eligible travelers are the spouse, children (including step, adopted, and illegitimate children), siblings of the member,  and  parents  of  the  member  (includes  fathers and  mothers  through  adoption  and  persons  who  have stood in loco parentis to the member for a period of not less than 1 year immediately before the member entered the uniformed service.) The spouse will be given first option in such transportation and the option to determine the  other  eligible  traveler.  The  child(ren)  will  be  given the  next  option.  When  there  is  no  surviving  spouse  or children, the member’s biological parents will be given the  next  transportation  option. When  CHNAVPERS  (PERS  663)  is  advised  that  the presence  of  next  of  kin  is  medically  warranted,  the eligible  traveler(s)  will  be  contacted  via  telephone, issued  travel  orders,  and  advised  of  arrangements  made for their transportation. Cost  of  food,  lodging,  and  other  expenses  in connection  with  such  travel  are  at  the  personal  expense of the traveler. Reimbursement for privately owned vehicle  travel  is  authorized  upon  completion  of  travel for the driver of the vehicle only. Reimbursement may not exceed cost of government-procured transportation. Overseas travel must be via an American flag carrier unless  specifically  approved  by  PERS  332/663. COMMANDING OFFICER’S LETTER TO NEXT OF KIN RELATING CIRCUMSTANCES  OF  CASUALTY According  to  the  MILPERSMAN,  Article  4210220, with  the  exception  of  personnel  missing  in  action  and those cases that the next of kin is criminally charged in the  member’s  death,  COs  will  write  a  letter  of circumstances to the next of kin in all cases of death, missing, and seriously ill or injured active duty members within  48  hours  of  the  occurrence  of  the  casualty. Exercise  extreme  caution  when  reporting  the  facts surrounding the occurrence and make sure they are consistent with official reports. When a service member is in transit at the time of a casualty, it is the responsibility of the CO under whom the service member last served to make sure the next of kin  is  provided  with  a  letter  of  circumstances  or condolence. Should unusual circumstances prevent the writing of these letters within 48 hours, COs should send them as soon as possible. The letter should furnish sufficient  facts  about  the  incident  to  answer  all immediate questions of the next of kin. In addition, the letter  should  not  be  delayed,  pending  the  outcome  of  all connected investigations. A supplemental letter may provide any data that was not available when the initial letter was prepared. This letter must show personal consideration for the next of kin as well as to avoid creation of any impression that the information is not factual. The letter should convey warmth and genuine interest in the person to whom it is sent. Complimentary remarks about the service   member’s   character,   personality,   or   work efficiency  oftentimes  help  in  conveying  this  attitude  of concern. The letter also should present information concerning a will or personal belongings. An offer of assistance to the next of kin also will do much to show an impression of genuine Navy interest. Send  a  copy  of  the  CO’s  letter  promptly  to CHNAVPERS   (PERS   663)   and   to   the   JAG Investigations Division (Code 33). You must make sure the  correspondence  always  contains  the  rank/rate,  full name, and social security number of the casualty. DISPOSITION OF MAIL AND PERSONAL EFFECTS OF CASUALTIES All mail addressed to deceased members is held until the notification of the kin and then returned to the sender  via  a  cover  letter  from  the  CO.  Send  mail addressed to members who are missing, captured, or interned  to  CHNAVPERS  (PERS  663). Designated   individual(s)   must   inventory   the personal effects of a member who is hospitalized and place them in safekeeping until the member returns to his or her duty station. The effects remain in safekeeping until  disposition  instructions  are  received  from  the member or his or her guardian (if member is declared incompetent).  When  a  guardian  has  not  been  appointed and next of kin asks for the personal effects, contact JAG (Code  323)  for  guidance. 4-9

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