Casualty Notification/Casualty Assistance
The Army National Guard is committed to doing all we can to support our fallen service members' families. The Army National Guard provides full support to Casualty Operations, providing Notification Officers within four hours of initial casualty reports and Assistance Officers for as long as the family needs them. The Army National Guard conducts Casualty missions for all soldiers in the Army's Active Component, Reserve and National Guard. This service honors our country's bravest by providing the necessary help and guidance to their families during a most difficult time. We recognize that their sacrifice makes our lives as free Americans possible.
The Army Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Operation Center (CMAOC) and Casualty Assistance Center (CAC) are responsible for the assignment of Casualty Notification and Casualty Assistance Officers.
Casualty Notification and Assistance Officers are dedicated professionals. When serving this duty, it will always take precedence over all other assignments. The National Guard provides exceptional training to Casualty Notification and Assistance Officers to ensure the highest standard of support to surviving family members who have sacrificed so much.
The Casualty Assistance Officer (CAO) provides support, guidance and assistance to NOK after notification of the casualty. The Casualty Notification Officer (CNO) and CAO will not be the same person. The CAO will assist the NOK in receiving benefits and entitlements. The CAO’s duties fall into three phases. In the first phase, the CAO conducts the initial meeting with the NOK, verifying NOK information and gathering information for the Death Gratuity payment. In the second phase, the CAO is responsible for returning the remains (Planeside Honors), and assisting the NOK during the funeral. In the last phase, the CAO is responsible for assisting the NOK with applying for benefits, requesting official reports, and receiving the Soldier’s personal effects (PE)..