The Business Side of Things

Dress Etiquette For Military And Civilian Funeral Services

U.S. states are drawing up plans for a return to normalcy. One consequence of deconfinement is you may receive more invitations to funerals. Official military services funerals have been banned during confinement. As with civilian funerals, they have been limited to 10 close family members. Like weddings, many people will hold these special ceremonies after deconfinement to allow loved ones and friends to show their appreciation and respect.

A question being asked of active members of the armed services is, when should I wear my military uniform. Naturally, confusion is arising over whether these second funerals are classified as official military events. And when you are invited to the civilian funeral ceremony of a military colleague or his family, do you wear your dress uniform?

The following is military etiquette dress guidance for active and retired military personnel attending funerals.

Military Funerals

The reverential 21-gun salute and bugle playing Taps in the background will soon once again regale throughout the land. The folding of the flag and presenting it to the next of kin is a cherished symbolic gesture. Many families will want to hold a second ceremony to give their loved ones a correct military send off. 

As in normal times, families of deceased military personnel may reach out to active members and invite them to the funeral. Both active members and veterans were buried during the coronavirus without a full military honors. Those respects can now be paid.

As military personnel, you will be expected to wear your dress uniform. If a coat is required, grey gloves should be worn. Your STA BRITE army rank insignias, denoting your military rank, are worn on the shoulder or collar of your uniform. Metals are displayed as lapel pins on the left lapel of your suit jacket. 

Some funeral homes will place boutonnieres (corsages) on pallbearers. Women generally wear the corsages at a funeral. Although this is not the usual practice in military funerals.

Civilian Funerals

Only active, honorably discharged, and retired members of the military and reserves can wear their military uniform to a civilian ceremony. The above military dress etiquette applies.

If you are wearing civilian clothes, metals and badges can be attached to the left lapel or breast pocket of your suit jacket. When in uniform, however, STA BRITE Army Ranks nicely match the buttons of the uniform. For formal occasions, you will want to look your polished best.

The same military dress etiquette applies to weddings, and military ceremonies and social functions. To learn more about STA BRITE Army Rank Insignia, contact supply services and professionals in your area.