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Notifications During Army Deployments

*This article discusses what happens if your soldier is KIA. It is not an easy subject to write about or read. You have been warned.*

Before your soldier deployed, he completed paperwork that listed who he wanted to be notified if he was injured or killed during deployment.

This also often includes directions on how to get to that home and who he wants to be there with the family member during notification. This may also be done at the pre-deployment briefing.

If Your Soldier is Injured

They will often do everything possible to let your soldier notify you of his injury via a phone call. If for some reason, he cannot make this notification himself, someone from the unit will call you.

If the injury is very serious, it is possible they will send someone to tell you in person. Check with your unit to find out the protocol for notification of injuries.

If your soldier has to leave his current location for medical treatment, he will most likely be transported to Germany. Whether or not you can go depends on the seriousness of the injury and how long he will be in Germany.

Some will get the treatment they need and return to their unit. Others may receive treatment and return to the states.

If they expect he will be transported to the states, the Army will generally not arrange travel for the family.

If he will be in Germany for an extended period, his unit may work with you to secure travel arrangements to see him. Again, this is on a case-by-case basis.

If Your Soldier is Killed in Action

Notification of your soldier’s death will ALWAYS be made in person. These types of notifications will not be made over the telephone.

They typically also will cut off communication from overseas until the notification can be made to ensure the family does not find out through other means.

Typically, someone from the unit, along with a CAO (Casualty Assistance Officer), will go to the home of the primary and secondary next of kin to make the notification.

They do not notify anyone in the middle of the night.

When they arrive, they will be in uniform. Suppose you or your soldier has indicated that you want specific people to be there for the notification. In that case, those people may also be there though they will generally not be at the door for the notification.

CAOs are trained to deal with a wide variety of situations. As you can imagine, people will react differently when receiving this news.

The CAO is assigned to your family and will be available for you for months after your soldier’s death. They will physically be there with you to assist in funeral arrangements, transportation to Dover if you want to be there when the casket arrives, etc.

They will also explain all benefits and what you can expect from the process. The CAO is basically a personal information officer during this time with answers to all questions.

I pray that you will never need this information. The most important thing to take from this article is that death notifications are ALWAYS made in person.

No one will ever call you with that news.

In 99.99% of the cases, you will be notified before anyone else in the area (including the media) is made aware of what happened.

If you have additional questions about notifications, check with your family readiness group (FRG).

author avatar
Stacey Abler
Stacey's husband joined the Army in 2003 and was medically retired after four deployments. She enjoys sharing her experiences and expertise around Army life while continuing to support Army spouses and families in their military journey.

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  1. Good day everyone,
    met this guy online on one of the dating sites, he is Iraq for 16 months now and he now added me to his bio-data and also ask me to apply for leave for him. He says he has been in the army for 10 years now and he want to get married and have kids. He is from Newberry South Carolina. He has never ask me for money though now am wondering if eventually he will ask. He wants me to marry him upon his return so that as soon as he gets his leave. we talk about place we would want to live, family stuff like that but am wondering if its a scam. I found his army profile on
    I did a search and some information does not seems to add up at all.

    Please advise me as to what questions I should ask and information I should expect if he is a scam or just a true single guy.

  2. I’ve been talking with a certain US Marine now for a few months. He has told me he can’t tell me much about the mission but just that they are near Kabul, Afghanistan and I know he does night shifts mostly. But about 3 weeks ago, I was talking to him via skype (oh, and we can only message on skype due to him not having a webcam) and he mentioned work was just becoming more crazy but that he was hoping to be coming home around Oct 15. But the next day, I received a message on skype from my guy’s skype account and it was his buddy he talked real highly of. This was his message, “Hey… This is Eric, I am Paul’s friend. He got hurt very bad and is under intensive care. USMC officials will be sending him to Germany for the treatment. I am so sorry for conveying this news. Please take care of your self. Thank you”
    So I was in complete shock but I still didn’t think this could be true. Now, I’m not in contact with any of his friends or family so obviously I wouldn’t have someone come up to my door to tell me or even get a phone call but I was wondering if this was even possible? His friend told me he went on Paul’s Skype to see if Paul’s mom had replied yet and he noticed I was the last person Paul talked to. Anyways, about three weeks went on and I briefly communicated with Eric about Paul’s condition every week or so. Then a couple days ago, he wrote me again saying, “Hey this is Eric. I am so sorry to notify you that Mr. Paul ***** is no longer with us. He passed away yesterday. His Funeral will take place in Germany and might be sent to USA. I am so sorry to notify you that. It is a huge loss. Please stay strong… Sorry”
    So… I have no idea how to take this. Is this even possible for one of his friends to message me via Skype?? I don’t believe Eric is in Afghanistan, I believe he was stationed somewhere else but still, is this possible?
    Thank you.


    1. Hello Stacy is there any procedure that my boyfriend has to do to call me and is there any way for me to call him he is deployed and he wants to hear my voice and I want to tell him everything is going to be okay and I love him

  3. How would the army notify you if your fiancé is M.I.A? Writing a book so I just want to have all my facts straight, thanks.

  4. Me and my boyfriend met while he was on deployment. He has 4 weeks left. We usually talk everyday on Skype and cam. The other night he told me that he was just trying to get a message through . Then a few hours later he said the Internet was down and he was so pissed and he hoped I was sleeping well. After that I couldn’t get ahold of him. I tried to delete him then re add him now skype is saying I’m not a contact and I can’t get ahold of him. Our relationship had no change and we were already making plans for his return. I’m just freaking out because skype and wondering if he deleted me. But I read on a forum of someone else having the same issue with skype… I’m bugging because we talk every single day at least twice. Now nothing. He is a helicopter pilot medic… please someone calm my fears and let me know that he is fine and I’m being crazy. He doesn’t talk to his family really so that is no help. And he doesn’t have a Facebook.

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