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Death Notification in War

Notification of the family of the loss of the war wounded is a longstanding and somber tradition. Focusing on the U.S. military experience, this entry first discusses the notification of the families of the war dead and then the support offered to the survivors over time by casualty affairs officers.

The U.S. military obviously has considerable experience in making death notifications. During World War II and the Korean military action, death notifications were made by telegram. Since the Vietnam War, they have been made in person by the casualty notification officer (CNO).

In the Department of Defense, the CNO notifies the families, and the casualty assistance officer (CAO) provides services over the next few months. Sometimes the CNO and the CAO are the same, or their ...

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