Q&A: VA grave medallions and Army grooming

Q&A: VA grave medallions and Army grooming

by: Kim Suchek
Stripes Guam
published: January 23, 2013
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Hello Military Community,

I hope the New Year is finding you all well. This week I’m answering a couple questions I frequently get asked along via my website. They are in response to articles I wrote on each topic.

Q: What is VA Form 40-1330? And/or where do I go to order medallions for grave sites?

A: A Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) release in May 2012 introduced the new Form 10-1330M for the sole use of ordering a medallion that can be affixed to grave markers at private cemeteries. The new VA form claim for Government Medallion can be downloaded from the VA website.

According to the VA website, “he Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) furnishes upon request, at no charge to the applicant, a Government headstone or marker for the unmarked grave of any deceased eligible Veteran in any cemetery around the world, regardless of their date of death. For eligible veterans that died on or after Nov. 1, 1990 and whose grave is marked with a privately purchased headstone, VA may also furnish a headstone or marker to supplement the graves or a Medallion to be affixed to the privately purchased headstone.”

The older form, VA Form 40-1330, remains in place to order a traditional government headstone or marker.
More information about the medallion or headstone and markers is available at the VA’s burial and memorial benefits webpage at www.cem.va.gov or by calling VA regional offices toll-free 800-827-1000.

Q: What is the military grooming regulation regarding tattoos and gold teeth? And what are the regulations regarding walking and talking with cellphones?

A: On my website in May, I asked visitors if they had a tattoo and/or if they were planning on getting one to “hold that thought.” The U.S. Army at that time was considering tightening its rules on hair, tattoos, and makeup.

The pending changes were to include: (1) shorter sideburns; (2) soldiers must be clean shaven on AND off duty, even during leave; (3) women’s fingernail length will NOT exceed a quarter of an inch; (4) Soldiers will NOT eat, drink, smoke, or talk on cellphones while walking; (5) Army Combat Uniforms will NOT be commercially pressed; (6) Hair grooming standards will become more restrictive; (7) No visible body piercings will be allowed; (8) No dental ornamentation or gold teeth will be authorized and (9) Men will be authorized to carry a black umbrella with the Army Service Uniform.

The pending changes are out of a comprehensive review of Army regulation 670-1. You can review it at armypubs.army.mil/epubs/pdf/r670_1.pdf.

I am currently following up with other branches of military and will post my findings on my website under this article at www.MilitaryResourceBooks.com.

Best wishes from my family to yours.

Kim Suchek

If you have any questions or concerns or would like to share a story or situation, contact me at Kim@MilitaryResourceBooks.com and visit my website for updated information and other resources not listed in my book.

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