Senate Passes Senator Tom Cotton’s Full Military Honors Act

Washington, D.C. — Last night, the Senate passed the Full Military Honors Act of 2018, a bill introduced by Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) that would allow all Medal of Honor recipients and former prisoners of war to receive a full military honors burial ceremony with an escort, regardless of rank. Currently, full military honors with an escort are reserved for senior officers, non-commissioned officers, and servicemembers killed in combat.

“Rank is not the sole or final measure of service to this country,” Senator Cotton said. “The dignity of a fallen servicemember’s internment should be measured by their courage, not simply the insignia on their sleeves or shoulders. Now that the Senate has approved the bill, the next Congress should move quickly to show the families of the deceased and members of our military that the United States will always honor its veterans appropriately for their service.”


  • Most veterans who are eligible for burial in Arlington are entitled to a bugler, a firing party, and a casket team (all part of the full military honors ceremony). However, the additional funeral escort honors are currently reserved for certain retired officers and those who were killed in action.
  • Escort honors include a caisson and a marching element made up of a band and a color guard.
  • The Full Military Honors Act of 2018 would provide full military honors with an escort to both Medal of Honor recipients and POWs, regardless of their rank.
  • Representative Mike Bishop (MI-08) has introduced companion legislation, H.R. 6734, in the U.S. House of Representatives.