* This site is privately owned and is not affiliated or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any other government agency.

National Cemetery Administration


The National Cemetery Administration (NCA) is an agency within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that manages the maintenance and operations of national cemeteries for veterans. It provides burial and memorial benefits for eligible service members, veterans, and their families. The NCA ensures these individuals are honored with a dignified and respectful interment in a national shrine, while also maintaining the cemetery as a lasting tribute to those who served the nation.

Key Takeaways

  1. The National Cemetery Administration (NCA) is a branch of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs responsible for maintaining national cemeteries and providing burial services for eligible veterans and their eligible family members.
  2. The NCA maintains over 150 national cemeteries across the United States, and they offer various memorialization options such as headstones, markers, medallions, and Presidential Memorial Certificates to commemorate the service and sacrifices of eligible veterans.
  3. Although the NCA is primarily focused on providing burial benefits and services, it’s also committed to honoring and preserving the history of the veterans interred in the cemeteries by managing various outreach programs, including the Veterans Legacy Program, which aims to engage educators and students in learning and sharing the stories of America’s veterans.


The National Cemetery Administration (NCA) is an important term within the context of VA benefits because it is the federal agency responsible for managing and maintaining national cemeteries for United States veterans and their eligible family members.

As a part of the Department of Veterans Affairs, NCA ensures a dignified and respectful final resting place for those who have served their country in the armed forces.

The NCA not only oversees the burial and maintenance of gravesites, but also provides headstones, markers, and medallions to honor the memory of veterans.

Understanding the role and significance of the National Cemetery Administration is essential for veterans and their families, as it offers valuable benefits and serves as an expression of gratitude for their service and sacrifice.


The National Cemetery Administration (NCA) serves a deeply meaningful purpose within the framework of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system. Its primary function is to honor the legacy and sacrifices made by our nation’s veterans and their families by providing a dignified, permanent resting place for those who have served their country.

This is achieved through the establishment, maintenance, and oversight of 155 national cemeteries and 34 soldiers lots spread across the United States and Puerto Rico. The commitment of the NCA is to ensure that the final resting places of America’s military heroes remains a place of serenity, respect, and reflection for all who visit, immortalizing the deep reverence that our nation has for its veterans.

In addition to the upkeep and preservation of national cemeteries, the NCA is also responsible for the administration of a variety of burial benefits and memorial services available to eligible veterans and their families. This includes the provision of burial spaces for veterans and eligible family members, grave markers or headstones, Presidential Memorial Certificates, and assistance in coordinating military funeral honors.

The NCA also extends support to state, territorial, and tribal governments in the development and maintenance of state veterans’ cemeteries, further contributing to the mission of honoring the service and sacrifice of the nation’s veterans. Through these efforts, the National Cemetery Administration plays a vital role in extending gratitude, solace, and a lasting tribute to the men and women who have selflessly given themselves in service to our country.

Examples of National Cemetery Administration

The National Cemetery Administration (NCA), under the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, is responsible for maintaining and managing national cemeteries, providing burial benefits to veterans, and ensuring memorial services to honor their lives. Here are three real-world examples of the NCA’s work:

Arlington National Cemetery: Located in Arlington, Virginia, this national cemetery is perhaps the most well-known cemetery under the NCA’s jurisdiction. Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place for service members from various wars and conflicts, including the Civil War, both World Wars, and the Gulf War. Here, the NCA ensures proper maintenance, burials, and organizes various events such as Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

Expansion of National Cemeteries: The NCA continuously works toward the expansion and creation of new national cemeteries. An example of this is the recent establishment of Omaha National Cemetery in Nebraska in

The cemetery spans 236 acres and provides burial services to veterans and their families residing in the surrounding 112 counties.

Headstones, Markers, and Medallions: The NCA supplies headstones, markers, and medallions for veterans buried in private cemeteries. These items not only serve as a physical memorial honoring a veteran’s life, but also help to signify their service and sacrifice. The NCA manages the application process, supplies the requested headstones/markers/medallions, and ensures they meet specific quality standards.

National Cemetery Administration FAQ

What is the National Cemetery Administration?

The National Cemetery Administration (NCA) is a branch of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs responsible for overseeing and maintaining national cemeteries and providing burial services to veterans, their spouses, and dependent family members.

Who is eligible for burial in a National Cemetery?

Veterans, service members, spouses, and dependents may be eligible for burial in a National Cemetery. Eligibility criteria include serving on active duty and receiving an honorable discharge or meeting minimum service requirements.

How do I schedule a burial at a National Cemetery?

To schedule a burial at a National Cemetery, contact the National Cemetery Scheduling Office by phone at 1-800-535-1117 or make a request on the VA’s official website. It is essential to provide the necessary documentation, such as the veteran’s DD Form 214, to verify eligibility.

Can I reserve a gravesite in advance?

Unfortunately, the National Cemetery Administration does not accept reservations for gravesites in advance. The family or funeral director must contact the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at the time of need to arrange the burial services.

What types of burial options are available at a National Cemetery?

National Cemeteries offer various burial options, including in-ground burials, above-ground burials in columbarium niches for cremated remains, and in-ground inurnment for cremated remains. The available options may vary depending on the specific cemetery.

Are military honors provided at a National Cemetery burial?

Yes, military honors are provided at National Cemetery burials in accordance with the family’s wishes and are conducted by an honors detail consisting of at least two uniformed military personnel.

Is there a cost for burial and headstones or markers in a National Cemetery?

There is no cost for burial and headstones or markers for eligible veterans, service members, spouses, and dependents in a National Cemetery. The National Cemetery Administration covers the expenses, including opening and closing the gravesite and providing a government-furnished headstone or marker.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Veterans burial benefits
  • Gravesite maintenance
  • Memorial headstones and markers
  • State veterans cemeteries
  • Presidential Memorial Certificates

Sources for More Information