1. Objective. Letters of sympathy are designed to extend expressions of sympathy to the primary next of kin (PNOK). They are also an instrument that commanders or supervisors may use to advise the PNOK of the factual, detailed circumstances surrounding the person’s deathor missing status. They must be prepared with extreme care and tell the circumstances factually, tactfully, sympathetically, and logically.
2. Instructions. Write a one-page Letter of Sympathy based on the scenario provided below. Type the letter using Arial font, 12 pitch. Use AR 25-50, Preparing and Managing Correspondence, for the format and style of a sympathy letter. Refer to
AR 600-8-1, Army Casualty Program for an example of a sympathy letter; however,
DO NOT use AR 600-8-1 for format or style.
Scenario: You are the First Sergeant of HHC, Special Troops Battalion, Fort Atterbury, Indiana 31334-9000. Your unit deployed with the 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, to the National Training Center (NTC). On May 31, 2013, during the NTC rotation, SSG Stephanie W. Plank, one of your section sergeants, died when her truck overturned in Death Valley. Her primary next of kin is her 18-year-old son, Timothy B. Chambers. You have confirmed that official notification has taken place. You have also learned that Timothy does not know the exact circumstances. Write a letter of sympathy to Timothy Chambers. His address is 225 South King Street, Savannah, Georgia 31344. Your office title (civilian) is Office of the Commander.