The Decedent Affairs Officer (DAO) is responsible for active duty, reserve, dependent and retiree deaths in the Thirteenth District. We assist the family in making funeral arrangements and help the next of kin obtain any compensation or entitlements they may be due.
Decedent affairs are coordinated for the Thirteenth Coast Guard District through the Personnel Services Division at Base Seattle. There is only one DAO for the entire Thirteenth District, however most units have at least one Casualty Assistance Calls Officer (CACO). This page seeks to provide some basic required material for DAOs and CACOs so that they have a resource to turn to at times when quick action is required.
For new DAOs and CACOs, the documents on this page can give you a great overview of your duties and are a great start to learn about your new collateral.
Please contact the Thirteenth Coast Guard District DAO, CWO3 M. D. Watson with any questions, feedback, or to request assistance upon the death of a member or dependent.
Any Coast Guard unit, specifically a unit in the Thirteenth Coast Guard District that receives a notification of a casualty is required to prepare a personnel casualty report in accordance with Section 5.A, Personnel and Pay Procedures Manual, PPCINST M1000.2B.
Upon receipt of information that a member on active duty has died, the unit the active duty member was attached and in whose jurisdiction the next of kin (NOK) resides, shall appoint a CACO(s). If the death is not in the Thirteenth District, contact the local DAO for assistance, they have a complete listing of all DAO’s for the entire Coast Guard and can put you in contact with the appropriate office/personnel.
The CACO will normally be an officer or senior petty officer (E-7 or above) attached to a unit near the locale of the NOK's home. There are times when multiple CACOs may be necessary depending on multiple factors; this can be discussed with the DAO upon initial notification of a death. When assigning a CACO, commands should be prepared to lose that person for approximately 10-14 days and remove them from all their other assigned duties.
As the representative of the Coast Guard, the CACO shall contact the NOK by a personal visit as soon as possible and render such assistance as necessary until interment.
As soon as a unit becomes cognizant of a death, they should contact the appropriate DAO. The local DAO will provide the tools and resources necessary for the CACO to perform their assigned duties and provide them step by step instructions.
In cases of the death of a dependent, the unit should ensure that the required message is released, obtain the death certificate, and collect the SGLI form, SGLV-8283A, for processing. If needed, the command can assign a courtesy CACO to assist the family. The Coast Guard does reimburse transportation of remains for dependents, however it does not pay for funeral expenses of dependents. FSGLI will normally issue the insurance check within 48 to 72 hours of receipt of the required documents mentioned above. Please see the checklist for dependent death for additional information.