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101-515-1999 (SL1) - Recover Isolated Remains

Standards: Remains were recovered according to JP 4-06.

Conditions: In a tactical situation, given a message prepared at
higher headquarters listing the search area
and number of remains, standard scale
military map, compass, grid coordinate scale
(protractor), writing paper, pen or pencil,
grid location of the remains, transport
vehicle, and communications equipment.

Remains were recovered according to JP 4-06.

Performance Steps

1.   Prepare to move to recovery site.

Obtain all information
concerning the incident from team

Perform PMCS on vehicle(s)
and equipment prior to loading.

Load vehicle according to
the load plan.

Perform a map
reconnaissance of the route.

Plot the grid azimuth to
the recovery site from your assembly
area on the military map to within one
degree of accuracy using a global
positioning system, if available.

Convert grid azimuth to a
magnetic azimuth.

2.   Move to recovery site.

3.   Search for remains during daylight only.

Question local inhabitants
about locations of gravesites and/or
incidents concerning the loss of
American service members.

Follow a systematic search

Open formation. 
An open formation places each
member side by side on a line at a
double-arm interval.

Note.  This
formation allows team members to
thoroughly cover a large area. 
Use the open formation in open
areas or areas with sparse vegetation
where visibility is good.

Closed formation. 
A closed formation is much
closer together. 
This formation places each
member on line side by side at a
close-arm interval.

Note.  Use this
formation in areas where the
visibility is obstructed or limited
due to dense vegetation or other
terrain features.

Mark the location of all
remains with stake and streamer.

Note.  The other
team members continue just past the
marked location and stop. When the
location has been marked, the
personnel marking the location rejoin
the main line of searchers and the
sweep continues. 
Mark all remains in similar
Continue with this process
until entire area is searched.

Search places that may have
been used by troops as shelter,
concealment, or cover.

Search any unusual ground
disturbances that may indicate sites
of emergency burial, collapsed
bunkers, or fighting positions.

Search and investigate
unusual odors, congregation of
insects, scavenger birds, or animals.

Note.  Safety and
sanitation factors should be
Diseases can easily be
transmitted through body fluids from
the remains to individuals handling
the remains. Units should provide
recovery personnel with gloves and
protective clothing before the
mission, and adequate washing
facilities after the mission.

4.   Recover the remains.

Establish tentative
identification by reviewing
identification tags, wallets,
clothing, and equipment markings.

Note.  Do not
separate identification media from

Interview unit personnel
regarding possible visual
identification of remains.

Secure personal effects and
identification media to the remains.

Note.  Attempt to
safeguard identification media found
on the remains from destruction by
body fluids, weather conditions, and
other environmental conditions. This
may be done by storing the items in a
waterproof zip lock bag or by wrapping
the items in a dry article of

Record the believed name of
the deceased, unit, and grid
coordinates (or unidentified if
unknown) on a blank piece of paper.

Attach military equipment,
to include serially numbered weapons,
and compasses to the remains and
forward with the remains.

Note.  Ensure
rifles and pistols are unloaded and do
not pose a danger to the recovery

Search the area surrounding
the remains for loose personal
effects, equipment, and fragmented

Note.  In cases
where remains are fragmented, attempt
to recover as much of the remains as
possible. Make every attempt to
recover hands, individual fingers,
teeth and dental appliance (dentures,
bridges, etc.). 
No piece or portion is
considered too small. DNA testing may
make it possible to make positive
identification based on body tissue,
dentition, hair samples, and other

Tag each individual portion
for evacuation.

Note.  Do not
attempt to associate any unassociated
portions (such as a hand, arm, leg,
fingers, or loose teeth) found to a
particular remains.

Place personal effects
found near the remains in a separate
container or personal effects bag.

Note. Personal effects found in the vicinity of the remains
are considered to be unassociated
personal effects.

Make a sketch of the
recovery site, identifying any major
points of reference to determine the
exact recovery site location for the

Use grid coordinates to
pinpoint location.

Show distance from any
prominent landmarks in the vicinity to
the grave(s).

Shroud the remains.

Place the remains on a

Inform team leader that the
remains are prepared for evacuation.





1.   Prepared to move to recovery site.

Performed PMCS on vehicle(s)
and equipment prior to loading.



Loaded vehicle according to
the load plan.



Performed a map
reconnaissance of the route.



Plotted grid azimuth on the
military map to the recovery site from
assembly area.



Converted grid azimuth to a
magnetic azimuth.



2.   Moved to recovery site.

3.   Searched for remains according to JP 4-06.

Questioned local



Followed a systematic
search pattern.



4.   Recovered remains according to JP 4-06.

Recorded tentative
identification data on a blank piece
of paper.



Secured personal effects
and ID media to remains.



Recorded grid coordinates
of recovery.



Shrouded remains.



Score the soldier GO if all
performance measures are passed. Score the
soldier NO GO if any performance measure is
failed. If the soldier scores NO GO, show
him what was done wrong and how to do it









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