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How do I Join the Army in Mortuary Affairs?

by Maureen Malone

As a mortuary affairs specialist, you will care for deceased personnel. This includes recovery and evacuation, identification of the body and taking inventory of personal effects. In addition, you will document the sites where bodies were recovered and prepare the bodies for burial. The Army provides complete training for mortuary affairs specialists.

Army Requirements

To enlist in the Army you must be at least 17 years old, but not older than 35. In addition, you must have a high school diploma or the equivalent and be a United States citizen or legal resident. You also must clear a criminal background check. You must be in good physical health and will be required to take and pass a medical exam and physical fitness test.

Contact a Recruiter

If you meet the minimum requirements to enlist in the Army, a recruiter will help you with the enlistment process and steer you into your desired career as a mortuary affairs specialist. In this career, you can enter the Army on active duty or go into the Army reserve.

Take the ASVAB

Take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test. This test reveals your strengths and interests and help you choose a career. You must score at least an 88 on the General Maintenance section of the ASVAB to qualify for a career in mortuary affairs.

MEPS

Prior to enlisting, you must complete processing at Military Entrance Processing Station. This is where you will take the ASVAB and get a medical exam. The medical exam includes hearing and vision testing, drug and alcohol testing and a complete physical examination. Women must also take a pregnancy test. After passing these tests, you will be fingerprinted for an FBI background check and will then take the oath of enlistment into the Army.

Complete Training

All enlisted soldiers first complete 10 weeks of basic combat training. Here you will learn skills needed to be a soldier, develop your physical fitness and confidence and learn about the Army's history and values.

Mortuary Affairs Training

After basic training, you will attend seven weeks of Advanced Individual Training where you will learn the skills necessary to be a mortuary affairs specialist. During training, you learn how to search for and recover the bodies of fallen soldiers. This includes learning land navigation and military map reading. You will also learn the procedures to set up and operate a Mortuary Affairs Collection Point and Temporary Mortuary Evacuation Point in the field. Training also includes lessons in how to tentatively identify remains, interment and disinterment procedures and mortuary operations.

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