Apparently it isn’t flag draped coffins anymore (during commercial transit at least) FromStars and Stripes
ARLINGTON, Va. — Fallen servicemembers and Defense Department civilians are now being transported home in flag-embossed containers after two instances in which the remains were not handled correctly on commercial aircraft, according to the head of Army mortuary affairs.
Col. Pat Gawkins, director of the Army Casualty and Mortuary Operations Center, said the change is meant to ensure that the remains are treated with “care and concern.”
“We don’t want them coming off mixed with luggage and handled in an improper way because someone on the ground didn’t realize what’s going on,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
In most cases military officials use commercial aircraft to transport remains from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to their final resting place.”
Gawkins did not provide details of the two instances when caskets were handled incorrectly on commercial aircraft.
The “honor cover” features a graphic of an American flag and the Defense Department seal on both ends of the container in which caskets are transported, said Marine Maj. Stewart Upton, a Defense Department spokesman.
The Defense Department is not releasing pictures of the honor covers because a permanent design has not yet been decided upon, Upton said.
And probably never will be.
Also in the article is this change in policy…
…the Army is now requiring an investigation into the deaths of all soldiers killed by hostile action, Gawkins said.
“What prompted it was our experience over a number of these cases where we thought we knew the circumstances and then it came to light later that the investigation showed it wasn’t what it seemed to be,” he said.