Term Paper: Caring Federal Leaders

Pages: 30 (9042 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Military  ·  Buy This Paper

¶ … close scrutiny of books; journal articles, and materials from internet sources on caring leadership, employee bereavement, and connections(s) between them, in six (6) key areas. These were: (1) bereavement and funeral policies and procedures that currently exist, for United States military personnel and their families (but not for personnel and/or families of other branches of U.S. government); (2) the history of military funeral honors practices, policies, and procedures (3) relationships between caring leadership and attitudes, practices, and policies concerning empathy and support for employees in general, and employee bereavement in particular; (4) caring leadership as demonstrated by managerial support of, and help for grieving employees; (5) workplace attitudes and best practices having to do with support for and management of bereaved employees; and (6) typical effects, on employees and those around them, of the deaths of loved ones and/or other serious losses, and how caring leaders can help at those times.

Upon comprehensive review, the available literature itself fell into five (5) categories. The first of these categories was primary and secondary source material pertinent to funeral benefits for military personnel and/or other government personnel, e.g., federal legislation and other published congressional proceedings, and related secondary source material. The second category was literature on caring leadership in general. Third category was literature on grief management in the workplace by caring leaders, particularly ways that caring leaders treat bereaved employees, and encourage others in the workplace to treat them; and on caring workplace attitudes in general toward employees' bereavement and grief. The fourth category focused on particular workplace funeral and bereavement policies of selected public and private organizations, including companies; colleges and universities, and churches, and compared and contrasted their respective bereavement policies, both among themselves and with United States military funeral policies and procedures. The fifth category focused on potential risks, drawbacks, and benefits of changing (or expanding) current workplace bereavement practices, policies, and procedures, within government and other workplaces, and on potentially granting funeral honors to government employees that would be equivalent, in appropriate ways, to military funeral honors.

Federal Legislation and Other Information on Military and Government Funerals, Funeral Leave, and Bereavement Leave

The literature survey first examined various United States legislative documents pertinent to: (1) military funerals; (2) entitlements to military funerals; (3) the history and protocol of military funeral honors within the United States; (4) funeral leave for military and non-military government personnel, and (5) funeral leave (or the lack thereof) for non-military United States government employees.

One such legislative document was the Report to Congress on Military Funeral Honors for Veterans (1999), "as required by Section 567 of the Strom Thurmond National Defense Authorization Act" (p. 1). This document explained the history, background, and protocol of United States military funerals today. It then summarized the proceedings of an earlier Congressional Executive Roundtable held on November 17, 1998.

According to that document, the roundtable was attended by "over 100 representatives, including included senior officials from the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs..." (Report to Congress on Military Funeral Honors for Veterans, 1999, p. 3). Moreover, according to that document, the present American tradition of giving military funeral honors to the fallen has evolved over a long period of time, and today incorporates both foreign military and American military historical elements; present military funeral protocol is rooted in both ancient foreign military protocols and past American military experiences.

Further, according to that document, ritual burial of fallen military soldiers originates from military funeral traditions of the ancient Greeks; the funeral oration of Pericles was, in fact, the model used that was used by President Lincoln for the Gettysburg Address. It was considered customary, at Roman military funerals, to call the name of the dead three times. More recently, however, in the early days of the American military, three musket volleys were substituted instead, which served both to announce the completion of the burial of the fallen soldier, and to signify that the burial party was now ready to resume battle.

During the early days of the United States, it was the practice for Army commanders to bury their dead troops, whenever possible, in cemetery plots that were within the confines of their particular military posts (Report to Congress on Military Funeral Honors for Veterans, 1999). Further, according to Congress on Military Funeral Honors for Veterans (1999) pp. 10-11:

In 1861, Army General Order #75 ordered the Quartermaster General to provide a registered headboard, which was to be secured at the head of each soldier's grave. In 1862, President Lincoln signed the Omnibus Act that established national [emphasis original] cemeteries for soldiers who die in the service of the country... The music we now use for Taps dates back to General Daniel Butterfield of the Army of the Potomac... He, together with the brigade bugler, composed the music we now know as Taps. Taps was first used in connection with military funerals during the Civil War... In 1918, the U.S. Army began the practice of placing a flag over the coffin and, following the funeral service, presenting the flag to the next of kin.

Other documents on military funerals, history, protocol, employee leave, and entitlements surveyed for the study included: Military funerals - A brief history (2005); History of Taps (2005); Funeral leave (2005); Military funeral support (2004); Funeral honors ceremony (2005); Banusiewics (2004), and Military funerals (2002). All of these sources contained also information on military funeral protocol, including the facts that: the military has a litany of regulations regarding its funeral procedures. When military personnel pass, there are federal laws and formal procedures in place to acknowledge them, based on Title 38 of the United States Code, Section 112. Military funeral protocols spelled out by federal law include: (1) At least two military personnel being sent to the funeral; (2) Taps being played by a bugler, if available, and if not, a recording of Taps being played; (3) a 21-gun salute being given to honor a fallen soldier, under particular circumstances;(4) an American flag being first folded thirteen (13) times by the military detail conducting the ceremony, and the folded flag then being given, by the military detail leader, to the next-of kin; (4) special words of condolence being spoken, by the detail leader, to the next-of-kin; and (5) a Certificate of Honor, signed by the current President of the United States, being made available, upon request, to the next of kin.

Also, according to that document:

Section 1482 of title 10 authorizes the Secretaries of the Military Services to pay for the necessary expenses of...Presentation of a flag of the United

States to the person designated to direct disposition of remains...' Of active duty members and eligible reservists. Section 2301 of title 38 requires that The Secretary [of Veteran Affairs] shall furnish a flag to drape the casket of each deceased veteran... ' (includes retirees). 'After the burial... The flag... shall be given to the veteran's next of kin.. The Secretary shall furnish flag to the next of kin (of those who were on active duty) after May 27, 1941.' [emphasis original] (p. 11)

Moreover, according to Military funeral support (2004); Funeral honors ceremony (2005); Banusiewics (2004), and Military funerals (2002), military funerals for active fallen United States military personnel are paid for in full by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The United States Code Title 38 (Veterans' Benefits), Part II, Chapter 23 "Burial Benefits" (2004) covers current federal law on military burial protocol, burial honors, rights and entitlements to military funerals, and some survivor benefits. Specifically these sections of Title 38 are: are (1) Sec. 2301. Flags (2); Sec.2302. Funeral Expenses; (3) Sec. 2303. Death in Department facility; plot allowance; (4) Sec. 2304. Claims for reimbursement; (5) Sec. 2305. Persons eligible under prior law; (6) Sec. 2306. Headstones, markers, and burial receptacles; (7) Sec. 2307. Death from service-connected disability, and (8) Sec. 2308. Transportation of deceased veteran to a national cemetery.

Further, H.R 4954, the Military Families Bereavement Leave Act (2004), was introduced into the United States House of Representatives on July 22, 2004 passed by House of Representatives; passed by the United States Senate; and signed into law by the president, shortly thereafter. This recently-made law serves to authorize leave for the immediate family members of a member of the uniformed services who dies in the line of duty to facilitate the attendance of immediate family members at the burial ceremony of the member, and for other purposes. (p. 1)

According to Paragraph 5 of Section 2 of HR 4954:

The immense grief felt by the families of these members who have made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of the United States is compounded by the need of family members to miss work and other responsibilities in order to attend to burial duties, funeral services, and related family concerns, causing additional economic and personal hardship. (p. 2)

Additionally, as Section 3 (DEATH OF MEMBER OF UNIFORMED SERVICES IN LINE OF DUTY - (A) IN GENERAL - states (Military families bereavement leave… [END OF PREVIEW]

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