Back to Top Skip to main content

Dignity, reverence, respect: The mortuary affairs specialist

Army Cpl. Daveson Tamanyon, 54th Quartermaster Company mortuary affairs specialist, lays out a U.S. Army uniform during a training exercise at the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System, Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. Soldiers in this career field perform duties related to deceased personnel, including searching for fallen and missing service members, helping to disinter remains and assist in the preparation and preservation of remains. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nicole Leidholm) Army Cpl. Daveson Tamanyon, 54th Quartermaster Company mortuary affairs specialist, lays out a U.S. Army uniform during a training exercise at the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System, Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. Soldiers in this career field perform duties related to deceased personnel, including searching for fallen and missing service members, helping to disinter remains and assist in the preparation and preservation of remains. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nicole Leidholm)

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Medical Examiner System

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. – In the United States Army, there is a career field known as a mortuary affairs specialist, or a 92M.

Soldiers in this career field perform duties related to deceased personnel. This includes searching for fallen and missing service members, helping to disinter remains and assist in the preparation and preservation of remains. 

Army Cpl. Daveson Tamanyon and Spc. Kellysha Fahn, both 54th Quartermaster Company mortuary affairs specialists, are two of the 92Ms on temporary duty to the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System.

“Our primary mission is to bring the fallen home,” said Tamanyon. “We also assist in missions like personnel recovery with Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency as well as morgue rotations at our home state at Fort Lee, Virginia.”

Army Sgt. 1st Class Libtobra Brooks, AFMES NCO in charge of mortuary affairs, said having the TDY 92Ms is a huge asset.

“The AFMES organization benefits because it can utilize the people who are willing to do what most cannot,” said Brooks. “Their presence has allowed this mission to run smoothly in a time when we have limited personnel.”

Tamanyon added how the job is not for every person.

“Not everyone can handle the things we deal with, but our job is just as important as every other job in the military,” said Tamanyon. “We take pride in what we do.” 

Both Tamanyon and Fahn have different reasons for choosing this challenging military occupation.

For Fahn, she sought a job that didn’t confine her to a desk while testing her abilities.

“This job has humbled me,” said Fahn. “It made me realize that we must seize every moment we have before it’s our time to go. I feel a sense of pride just being a part of the process. Men and women took the oath to protect our country and the least we could do to honor them is make sure they are treated with dignity and respect before returning them to their loved ones.”

Tamanyon originally wanted to be in the infantry, following in his uncle’s footsteps as a Sapper, a combat engineer. Following his interest, he chose the 92M MOS.

The job isn’t without difficulties, to include depression. 

“Depression amongst soldiers is a serious issue,” said Fahn. “We must take the time to check on our fellow battle buddies.”

Despite the rigorous standards, the job is a rewarding one.

“Even though we as an MOS live in the shadows, we walk tall because the contribution we give is its own reward.” said Brooks. “We ensure that someone’s loved one is taken care of.” 

Without mortuary affairs specialists, families would not get the closure they deserve, said Fahn.

“Most people do not think about the bad until it happens, but the 92Ms are prepared for this,” said Brooks. “As a 92M, you touch more lives than you can imagine. It’s about being a part of something greater then yourself.”

Disclaimer: Re-published content may have been edited for length and clarity. Read original post.

 

You also may be interested in...

USS Oklahoma Display Board

Photo
12/2/2016
Todd Weiler, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, and Ronald Keohane, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy; listen to Deborah Skillman, Director, Casualty, Mortuary Affairs and Military Funeral Honors from the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy, explain the display board of confirmed USS Oklahoma remains identified by the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory Nov. 4, 2016, at Armed Forces Medical Examiner System on Dover Air Force Base, Del. Weiler and Keohane received briefings and met with personnel at the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations, AFMES and the Joint Personal Effects Depot. (U.S. Air Force photo by Roland Balik)

Todd Weiler, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, and Ronald Keohane, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy; listen to Deborah Skillman, Director, Casualty, Mortuary Affairs and Military Funeral Honors from the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy, explain the display board of confirmed USS Oklahoma remains identified by the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory Nov. 4, 2016, at Armed Forces Medical Examiner System on Dover Air Force Base, Del. Weiler and Keohane received briefings and met with personnel at the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations, AFMES and the Joint Personal Effects Depot. (U.S. Air Force photo by Roland Balik)

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | DoD DNA Operations

Sean Patterson with the USS Oklahoma Identification Board

Photo
12/2/2016
Sean Patterson, Armed Forces Medical Examiner System Department of Defense DNA Registry DNA analyst, stands in front of the USS Oklahoma Identification Board Nov. 29, 2016, at AFMES on Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. The board provides a picture for all 393 unaccounted service members from the ship. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ashlin Federick)

Sean Patterson, Armed Forces Medical Examiner System Department of Defense DNA Registry DNA analyst, stands in front of the USS Oklahoma Identification Board Nov. 29, 2016, at AFMES on Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. The board provides a picture for all 393 unaccounted service members from the ship. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ashlin Federick)

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | DoD DNA Operations

Todd Weiler

Photo
12/2/2016
Todd Weiler, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, listens to Dr. Timothy McMahon, Chief of Forensic Services for the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, explain the different types of identification procedures used to identify remains recovered from the USS Oklahoma and processed by the AFDIL Nov. 4, 2016, at AFMES on Dover Air Force Base, Del. The AFDIL, a subdivision of AFMES, is the sole Department of Defense DNA laboratory tasked with identifying human remains from current and past conflicts. (U.S. Air Force photo by Roland Balik)

Todd Weiler, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, listens to Dr. Timothy McMahon, Chief of Forensic Services for the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, explain the different types of identification procedures used to identify remains recovered from the USS Oklahoma and processed by the AFDIL Nov. 4, 2016, at AFMES on Dover Air Force Base, Del. The AFDIL, a subdivision of AFMES, is the sole Department of Defense DNA laboratory tasked with identifying human remains from current and past conflicts. (U.S. Air Force photo by Roland Balik)

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | DoD DNA Operations

Sean Patterson with the USS Oklahoma History Board

Photo
12/2/2016
Sean Patterson, Armed Forces Medical Examiner System Department of Defense DNA Registry DNA analyst, stands in front of the USS Oklahoma History Board Nov. 29, 2016, at AFMES on Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. The board tells what happened to the USS Oklahoma during the attack on Pearl Harbor and the difficulty of identifying the 429 service members who were lost. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ashlin Federick)

Sean Patterson, Armed Forces Medical Examiner System Department of Defense DNA Registry DNA analyst, stands in front of the USS Oklahoma History Board Nov. 29, 2016, at AFMES on Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. The board tells what happened to the USS Oklahoma during the attack on Pearl Harbor and the difficulty of identifying the 429 service members who were lost. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ashlin Federick)

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | DoD DNA Operations

Skeletal Remains from the Mexican-American War

Photo
9/30/2016
The skeletal remains of the possible U.S. soldiers were solemnly carried to an awaiting vehicle by the U.S. Army Old Guard ceremonial team, under the watchful gaze of senior military, university and government leaders. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The skeletal remains of the possible U.S. soldiers were solemnly carried to an awaiting vehicle by the U.S. Army Old Guard ceremonial team, under the watchful gaze of senior military, university and government leaders. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Medical Examiner System

Skeletal Remains Returned to U.S. Soil

Photo
9/30/2016
On Sept. 28, 2016, approximately 170 years after the war, as many as 13 skeletal remains were returned to U.S. soil and honored during a solemn movement at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. (U.S. Air Force photo)

On Sept. 28, 2016, approximately 170 years after the war, as many as 13 skeletal remains were returned to U.S. soil and honored during a solemn movement at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Medical Examiner System
<< < 1 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 6 Page 1 of 1

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.