TRANSPORTATION OF NEXT OF KIN TO
THE BEDSIDE OF SERIOUSLY ILL OR
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 members 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 OFFICERS 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 members 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 members 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 COs 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.