Though a Sailor’s strength is forged by the power of the sea, even heroes fall. And if they do, we need devoted professionals ready to assist. As part of the Navy Casualty Assistance Division, Navy Morticians are charged with providing dignity, honor, and respect for Sailors and Marines who have made the ultimate sacrifice. The Navy is the only branch of the military that employs its own morticians. Our Sailors have devoted their lives to defense; it is only right that we find the best caretakers to defend their legacy.
As an Enlisted Mortician (HM-Mortician) you are responsibility for continuing the tradition of honor and respect. You may expect to:
Conduct liaison with families and foreign government officials for disposition of remains
Offer counsel and comfort to bereaved families or friends
Direct preparation and transportation of remains, mourners, pallbearers, clergy, or flowers
Conduct funeral services as required
Assist in recovery and identification of remains
Oversee the preparation and care of the remains of fallen Sailors
Perform embalming duties and final presentation of fallen servicemembers as necessary
The Navy Mortuary Branch combines the experience of civilian funeral directors with the highest military traditions.
Navy Morticians are shore-based and assigned to Navy Casualty with duty locations in Millington, TN, Dover Port Mortuary at Dover AFB, DE, and USMC Casualty Branch at Quantico, VA. Some Morticians may be assigned to overseas stations. A Mortician’s responsibilities could require them to travel to distant locations around the world.
TRAINING & ADVANCEMENT
Every Navy Mortician trains to become both a Hospital Corpsman and a Sailor. You will attend recruit training (known as Boot Camp) in Great Lakes, IL for 7-9 weeks. After initial training, you report to Hospital Corps School in San Antonio, TX to begin formal Navy technical training at “A” school for 19 weeks.
Beyond offering access to professional credentials and certifications, Navy technical and operational training in the field of medical support can translate to credit hours toward a bachelor’s or associate's degree through the American Council on Education. You may also continue your education through opportunities like the following:
Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Degree Network System (SOC DNS)
Navy College Program and Tuition Assistance
Post-9/11 GI Bill
QUALIFICATIONS & REQUIREMENTS
Navy Morticians must hold a state Funeral Director/Embalmer license and have at least two years of funeral director experience to achieve a higher pay grade. A high-school diploma or equivalent is required to become an enlisted sailor in the medical support field in America’s Navy. Those seeking a Hospital Corpsman-Mortician position must be U.S. citizens.
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