How To Install A Military Grave Marker in 2022? Top Ful Guide

How To Install A Military Grave Marker Top Full Guide 2022

How to install a military grave marker? Brass military grave markers are a simple but important way to remember a fallen service member. They are available through many different retailers and can be installed by anyone with a few tools and basic knowledge. 

The first step is to find the perfect spot for the marker and dig a hole slightly larger than the marker itself. Once the hole is dug, the marker can be placed inside and leveled off. The next step is to fill the hole back in and tamp down the earth around the marker to secure it.



The kind of grave marker and the material constructed should be decided during the planning phases. Headstones stand erect at the top of the burial—vertical grave markers. So, what are military headstones made of?

Alternately, smaller, how to install a flat grave marker? Flat grave markers are only a few inches higher than the ground or level. Family plots often include flat grave markers. These may also be used to mark the feet of graves with existing headstones. However, flat monuments are often placed at the head of a grave on their own.



Following preparations, if you are managing funeral arrangements alone, you may proceed to the following phase of the marker application process: ordering the marker.

You will get the military cemetery monument from the VA. Your application must be sent by mail or fax. There should also be a copy of the confirmation documents for your veteran’s discharge. One important point to remember is that you shouldn’t mail the original documents since you cannot receive them back.

You may apply if you are the dependent’s next-of-kin, the decedent’s authorized representative, or the dependent’s next-of-approved kin’s representative. If none of those above apply to you, you must provide a formal declaration proving that the dependant or next-of-kin has permitted you.

Even if you already have a private headstone, you may ask the VA for a flat monument at the grave’s foot. If not, the VA may provide a medallion symbol for military cemetery markers.

You may count on the staff at the cemetery to take care of the ordering procedure for you if the military veteran for whom you are putting a military burial monument is buried in the national cemetery or the state veteran cemetery. Just be prepared to enlighten them!

What to Consider Before Choosing a Marker Style and Material

What to Consider Before Choosing a Marker Style and Material

Cemetery Rules

Although it would be wonderful if this were fully up to you, it seldom is. Contact the cemetery to determine whether marker types and materials are restricted. For example, you could be obliged to have a concrete slab acting as a basis. You must get specific instructions from the cemetery since policies differ.

Environmental Conditions

The marker’s substance will withstand effects from the elements of the environment. As a result, you must examine the environment. It will eventually dissolve if marble is exposed to acidic soil and acid rain.

Do not be reluctant to ask the funeral director or cemetery staff for guidance. They are often more than eager to assist and have the expertise and experience to provide sound advice.

The next step is to prepare the inscriptions once you know the marker’s type and material. The following should be included on a typical military burial marker:

  • A Symbol of Belief
  • Legal Name in Full
  • Maximum Rank Achieved
  • Service Division
  • Awards
  • Date of Birth
  • Demise Date

The Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, Air Force Cross, Congressional Medal of Honor, Purple Heart, Silver Star, and Bronze Star are just a few of the honors that may be inscribed. You may submit a request to include extra information, such as a nickname, credentials, and special designations.

How to Install a Military Grave Marker

How to Install a Military Grave Marker

The installation of the military burial monument is the last stage. Depending on your selected kind, you will need to learn how to install a flat grave marker or establish a headstone.

Footstone Installation

Flat burial markers with a concrete foundation are installed using footstones. This requires a shovel, hole digger, tape measure, level, hammer, water, four steel bars approximately 30 inches long, steel mesh, a few wire fasteners, ready-mix concrete, and a barrel to mix it all.

Step 1: Measure the monument’s size on the spot where it will be placed and add an inch on each side, just as you would when putting a headstone.

Measure the monument's size on the spot where it will be placed and add an inch on each side, just as you would when putting a headstone.

Step 2: Dig the marker’s outline, remove the soil, and ensure the depth is a little deeper (four to six inches) than the marker’s thickness.

Dig the marker's outline, remove the soil, and ensure the depth is a little deeper

Step 3 is to dig two piers, insert two steel bars into them, and use the hole digger to excavate the piers’ outer ends. Please put some thought into it and put them in place using a hammer.

Step 4: In the bottom, arrange the steel meshes and attach them to the steel bars using wire fasteners.

Step 5: Prepare the concrete in the mixing container. Then, pour the prepared material into the earth, providing room so that the burial marker may subsequently flush from the top.

Prepare the concrete in the mixing container

Step 6: Use a level to level the wet concrete surface. Your marker will appear better if you do this step carefully. A day or two should pass before the concrete dries.

Step 7: Insert the marking when the concrete has dried.

Headstone Installation

This kind of installation is used for markers that stand erect and vertically. Decide where the military headstone will be placed first. Next, assemble the following four items: a shovel, a tape measure, a level, and a bag of sand.

Step 1: Measure the grave marker’s dimensions using a tape measure and compare them to the area where the headstone will be placed. However, when you place it, give each side an inch more space. Its outline will be 26 inches by 14 inches, for instance, if your marker is 24 inches by 12 inches.

Measure the grave marker's dimensions using a tape measure and compare them to the area where the headstone will be placed.

Step 2: Use a shovel to trace the outline of the burial monument. Empty the soil next. The grave should be excavated to a depth about equal to the thickness of the burial marker.

Use a shovel to trace the outline of the burial monument.

Step 3: Insert your marker into the hole, then use the level you brought to ensure it lies flat. Sand may be used to smooth it out if necessary.


FAQs about how to install a military grave marker

How do you place a flat headstone?

You should dig 4 inches deep if the burial marker is 4 inches thick. Level out the hole with some of the soil you’ve removed or some sand. To ensure the marker rests level, insert it into the hole and firmly push it in. If it sways, add or remove the earth until it rests firmly and does not rock.

Where is the marker placed on a grave?

As the name suggests, a headstone is often erected at the top of a cemetery to identify and remember a person. This strategy originates in Christian custom when a grave monument would be placed with the deceased’s head towards the west and their feet facing the east.

Can you install a headstone yourself?

You may securely put your burial marker after it has dried for 24 to 48 hours. Never try to erect a gravestone yourself. We advise you to ask for assistance from two to three people.

How are headstones attached to the base?

The “die” or “tablet,” the portion of the headstone that is higher up, rests on top of a base stone. With the monument setting compound, the die and base are joined. The base is also referred to as the foundation on occasion. However, the foundation is often anchored into the ground and constructed of concrete.

What are military headstones made of?

Upright headstones – These headstones are 42 inches long, 13 inches wide and 4 inches thick, and made of marble or granite. Weight is approximately 230 pounds. Flat bronze marker – The flat bronze grave marker is 24 inches long, 12 inches wide, with a 3/4 inch rise. Weight is approximately 18 pounds.


Thanks for reading. This article briefly overviews how to install a military bronze grave marker. The process is not difficult, but it is important to follow the steps carefully. You can have a beautiful and dignified memorial for your loved one with a little effort.