Eligibility for Interment/Inurnment at USMA
Interment/Inurnment at the USMA Cemetery is restricted. Any requests for exception to policy must be made in writing to the Office of the Superintendent, USMA.
There are two options: interment and inurnment in the columbarium.
The following regulations apply to both.
A graduate of the United States Military Academy, provided he/she also:
- Served in the U.S. Corps of Cadets as a U.S. citizen, was also a citizen at the time of death, and subsequent service in the Armed Forces of the United States, if any, terminated honorably, or
- Served on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States and such service terminated honorably, or
- Served during time of war in the Armed Forces of a nation allied with the United States during such war, provided he/she was a United States citizen at the time of entry into such service, at time of death, and provided such military service terminated honorably.
- Members of the Armed Forces of the United States, including cadets, who are on active duty at USMA at time of death.
- Members of the Armed Forces of the United States who were on active duty at USMA at time of retirement or whose last duty station was USMA prior to retirement for physical disability and, except for any “Professors, USMA,” prior to 1 July 1992. For the purposes of this regulation, personnel (not otherwise eligible) transferred from another duty station to the Medical Holding Detachment, Keller Army Hospital, for medical boarding and medical disability retirement are not, regardless of length of time at USMA, considered to be eligible for interment/inurnment at the USMA Cemetery and Columbarium.
- Persons having bona fide reservations assigned by the Superintendent under previous regulations and policies. However, eligibility of members of families of plot assignees is not automatic and must be determined on an individual basis.
- The wife, husband, widow, widower, minor child and dependent unmarried child (including those who have never been married, widows, and divorcees) of eligible persons enumerated . . . above. Persons who, at the time of their death, are dependents of active duty military personnel assigned to the United States Military Academy are also eligible for burial . . . Eligibility of wife or husband, established in this paragraph, is terminated by divorce. Likewise, eligibility of widow or widower, established by this paragraph, is terminated by remarriage to a non-eligible person.
- Exception to Policy for Interment/Inurnment. Requests for exceptions to policy will be in writing and addressed to the Superintendent, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY 10996-5000.
- Assignment of Grave Sites/Niches. Grave Sites/niches are assigned by the Memorial Affairs Office in accordance with the following criteria:
- Grave Sites will be assigned for burial of eligible personnel when the actual need for interment/inurnment arises. The transfer of assigned site by one assignee to another is prohibited.
- Only one grave site will be assigned for eligible members of a family.
- Once an initial interment is made in a gravesite, each additional interment/inurnment of eligible members must be made in the gravesite.
A small, white, marble headstone will be furnished and installed without cost for each interment. Standard, simplified inscription includes name, rank, date of birth, date of death, war service record, and religious emblem (if desired).
A request must be made and approved for private monuments. Any unusual sizes or designs are subject to review by the West Point Museum, Historical and Memorialization Committee.
The next of kin are responsible for all costs concerning the placement of private monuments.
- Gravesite reservations are no longer accepted for the USMA Cemetery. Constrained space precludes grave site assignment in advance of actual need. Previously granted reservations will continue to be honored unless expressly declined, in writing, by reservation holders.
- The USMA Cemetery now has a 432-space columbarium located under the Old Cadet Chapel.
- Niches will not be reserved. Niches will be assigned for inurnment of eligible personnel when the actual need for inurnment arises.
- Niches will be assigned in consecutive order, right to left, top to bottom, beginning with the upper right niche of the columbarium. The transfer of assigned niche by one assignee to another is prohibited.
- One liner will be placed in one niche and the niche next to the one used will be utilized by the surviving spouse or any dependent children.
- The liners must be purchased in advance. [See company address below.] An 8″ internal liner with cover.
The DD214 is required to establish/confirm eligibility and service information and is needed for reference in ordering government headstones. Fill out the second page of the SF-180.
A bronze niche marker will be furnished for each inurnment. The rank, name, date of birth, and date of death along with the class year is inscribed on the marker.
There are no cemetery charges at the West Point Cemetery. A standard headstone is provided as well. However, burials of any type, including those at West Point, are expensive due to the other necessary arrangements that are covered in this article. Costs vary significantly from funeral home to funeral home.
It is the family’s responsibility to make initial arrangements with their local funeral home. The funeral director will assist the family in choosing and in making arrangements with a funeral home in the West Point vicinity.
West Point Cemetery Arrangements
To make arrangements with the West Point Cemetery, either the family or the funeral director should contact:
Memorial Affairs Officer/Cemetery Administrator
Memorial Affairs Office, Bldg. 329
West Point, NY 10996
The Memorial Affairs Officer assists the family in arranging a date for burial or inurnment; contacts the West Point chapel for services; and contacts military personnel such as the band and escorts.
Click here for more details regarding Funeral Services Provided by the USMA Memorial Affairs Office