United States of America
Practice Relating to Rule 115. Disposal of the Dead
The US Field Manual (1956) states that parties to the conflict “shall further ensure that the dead are honourably interred”.
The US Operational Law Handbook (1993) provides: “The Parties must ensure proper burial.”
The US Manual on Detainee Operations (2008) states:
a. As a subset of military operations, detainee operations must comply with the law of war during all armed conflicts, however such conflicts are characterized, and in all other military operations …
c. The four Geneva Conventions of 1949 are fully applicable as a matter of international law to all military operations that qualify as international armed conflicts … The principles reflected in these treaties are considered customary international law, binding on all nations during international armed conflict. Although often referred to collectively as the “Geneva Conventions,” the specific treaties are:
(2)  Geneva Convention [II]
… This convention … provides for burial at sea.
The US Field Manual (1956) states that parties to the conflict “shall further ensure that the dead are … interred, if possible according to the rites of the religion to which they belonged”.
The US Field Manual (1956) provides:
Bodies shall not be cremated except for imperative reasons of hygiene or for motives based on the religion of the deceased. In case of cremation, the circumstances and reasons for cremation shall be stated in detail in the death certificate or on the authenticated list of the dead.
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) provides: “Cremation is permitted only for imperative reasons of hygiene or for motives based on the deceased’s religion.”
The US Operational Law Handbook (1993) provides: “Parties may cremate the dead only for hygienic or religious reasons.”
The US Field Manual (1956) provides: “Parties to the conflict shall ensure burial or cremation of the dead, carried out individually as far as circumstances permit.”
The US Field Manual (1956) provides that the “graves [of the dead] are … grouped if possible according to the nationality of the deceased”.
The US Field Manual (1956) provides that the graves of the dead “are respected [and] properly maintained”.
The Annotated Supplement to the US Naval Handbook (1997) requires that “as soon as circumstances permit, arrangement be made to … protect and maintain such sites permanently”.
In 1987, the Deputy Legal Adviser of the US Department of State affirmed: “We support … the principle … to maintain [grave] sites permanently”.