Back to Officials


Name: Hallinan, Patrick
Current Position: Previous Superintendent

A Vietnam Era veteran who started his cemetery career as a day laborer has risen to be the number one man at Arlington National Cemetery, the crown jewel of the national cemeteries, which conducts about 27 funerals per day. Patrick K. Hallinan was appointed acting superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery on June 10, 2010, in the wake of a scandal involving lost remains, mismarked graves and financial irregularities that severely tarnished Arlington’s reputation. The appointment was made permanent as of October 10, 2010.


Arlington National Cemetery is the nation’s largest national cemetery, and the only one administered by the Army; all others are administered by the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Arlington is also the only national cemetery that routinely holds graveside services and provides full military honors for eligible veterans.


Born in 1956, Hallinan served as an infantry squad leader with the Marine Corps during the Vietnam Era. Hallinan joined the NCA as a temporary laborer at Long Island National Cemetery in New York in 1977. At the same time, Hallinan attended college under the G.I. Bill, earning an associate’s degree in liberal arts at Suffolk Community College in Long Island, and a B.A. in Social Science (pre-law).


Rather than attending law school, however, Hallinan decided to build a career in the national cemeteries system. In September 1978, he was one of the original 37 employees who opened Calverton National Cemetery in Long Island, New York. Over the next 16 years, Hallinan gradually advanced at Calverton, from day laborer to work supervisor to assistant cemetery director. In August 1994, Hallinan was named director of Calverton National Cemetery.


In June 2003, Hallinan left Calverton to join VA headquarters in Washington, DC, as associate director of the Office of Field Programs, and he was promoted to director on October 20, 2008. As director, Hallinan had oversight responsibilities for five Memorial Service Network offices and 131 national cemeteries.


Hallinan and his wife Doreen reside in Bristow, Virginia. They have a son, Matthew, and a daughter, Rachel.

-Matt Bewig


Official Biography (pdf)

Testimony Before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

Army Names New Superintendent for Arlington National Cemetery (by Christian Davenport, Washington Post)

Bookmark and Share