There is a lesser-known but important job in the Army and that is the Burial and Mortuary Affairs Career. You will serve as a support person for the Army dealing with Army personnel, who are deceased, from a variety of causes. These can be job related or death from natural causes. The Army Burial Affairs and Mortuary Affairs Specialist is the person who is responsible for dealing with all of the different duties concerning deceased Army personnel. Some of these responsibilities include tentative initial identification of personnel who are deceased, recovery and collection of deceased personnel remains, and collection and storage temporarily of deceased personnel effects and belongings.
This is an important job for more than one reason. The Army relies on trained personnel to help with situations involving personnel who are either killed in the line of duty, or who perish from other causes. It is a specialty that requires a lot of diplomacy and tact, and one that is personal and support related. A person serving as an Army Burial Specialist needs to be able to deal with people who have died, and to be able to deal with this on a repeated basis. At times this can involve death in an up-close and sometimes grisly fashion and the person who serves in this job needs to be able to deal with this. The US Army Mortuary Career involves moving, evacuating, inventorying and storing the personnel effects of military personnel that have died. They work to assist in the recovery and identification of deceased remains in a variety of peacetime and battlefield situations. They assist on a case-by-case base the elite Burial Remains Special Laboratory and US Army Central Command Deceased Remains Identification Bureau that is based in Hawaii. This command handles the identification of remains of discovered graves and wartime deaths, as well as being the unit ultimately responsible for identification of current deaths and deceased Army personnel.
You will train for 9 weeks at Army Basic Combat Training and after boot camp you will attend an advanced individual training school for Burial and Mortuary Affairs training. You will learn how to deal with deceased personnel, including how to log and record Army personnel deaths, how to gather dental impressions for identification, and sometimes taking fingerprints, and how to deal with extreme remain collection situations. You will also learn how to deal with possible contamination with chemical, biological or nuclear contamination.