§ 582. Certificates of service; persons reported missing
(a) Prima facie evidence
In any proceeding under this Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix], a certificate signed by the Secretary concerned is prima facie evidence as to any of the following facts stated in the certificate:
The Secretary concerned shall furnish a certificate under subsection (a) upon receipt of an application for such a certificate. A certificate appearing to be signed by the Secretary concerned is prima facie evidence of its contents and of the signer’s authority to issue it.
(c) Treatment of servicemembers in missing status
A servicemember who has been reported missing is presumed to continue in service until accounted for. A requirement under this Act [sections 501 to 515 and 516 to 597b of this Appendix] that begins or ends with the death of a servicemember does not begin or end until the servicemember’s death is reported to, or determined by, the Secretary concerned or by a court of competent jurisdiction.