The U.S. Army is asking retired officers and NCOs to volunteer to return to active duty for one year, or more, to work at the Casualty and Memorial Affairs Operations Center. This is the organization that handles returning dead military personnel to their families, as well as the returning personal possessions of the deceased, and for making sure that all benefits are paid and funeral arrangements seen to (in terms of what is required of the military.) This operation also handles keeping families of sick or wounded soldiers informed. Some retirees have already volunteered for active duty and been assigned to Casualty and Memorial Affairs work, where their being older and with more years of military service, helps them to handle this sensitive duty.
There are actually three different types of work involved at the Casualty and Memorial Affairs Operations Center, and three different locations. At the Army Human Resources Command in Alexandria, Virginia, the notification process is managed and information is provided to the officers who deal directly with the families. The Joint Personal Effects Depot at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland is where the soldiers' personal effects are assembled for return to the family. Finally, there is the mortuary at Dover, Delaware, where the remains of dead soldiers are prepared for return to the family. The Casualty and Memorial Affairs officers working here will also brief the soldiers escorting the remains on their responsibilities.
Putting more retired officers and NCOs into Casualty and Memorial Affairs work allows the active duty troops already there to be assigned to other jobs where there may be a shortage. The army has been encouraging retirees, who are under age 60, in good health, and retired for less than five years, to volunteer to return to active duty. Many have responded. These retirees have their retired pay stopped, go back on their full pay they were getting just before they retired, along with all the usual benefits.