JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas –
Air and Space professionals are encouraged to consistently review and update their virtual Record of Emergency Data, or vRED, and their Servicemembers’ Online Election System, or SOES.
Members are required to review their information annually, before deploying and any time they experience a major life event, such as marriage or divorce, permanent change of station, or the birth of a child.
“Accurate information is vital and used to designate beneficiaries for certain benefits in the event of the service member's death, as well as to expedite the notification process in the event of an emergency and/or the death of the member,” said Brian Angell, Air Force Casualty Services branch chief at the Air Force’s Personnel Center. “Having up-to-date information is critical when Air Force casualty officials need to contact family members if a member goes missing or suffers a serious illness, injury, or death.”
Angell explained dated or erroneous information inhibits the ability of timely casualty reporting and notification, as well as compassionate follow-on assistance to surviving family members.
Recent data reveals that as important as the vRED and SOES are, more than 35 percent of Airmen across the Total Force have not reviewed, updated or recertified their information as required annually.
“Delays in next-of-kin notification are usually associated with the vRED having incomplete or outdated information,” Angell said. “It’s important that Airmen validate and update this information, because we must execute the entitlements to those designated in the system whether they were updated or not.”
The vRED can be accessed through myPers at https://mypers.af.mil or via the virtual Military Personnel Flight on the Air Force Portal:
- From the myPers home page, Airmen can click the “Update my virtual Record of Emergency Data” link and follow the instructions.
- On vMPF, select “Record of Emergency Data” at the bottom left of the screen. The form takes approximately 15 minutes to fill out and requires addresses and phone numbers for emergency contacts.
Along with the vRED update, SOES elections are equally important. SOES enables Airmen to make automated Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance and Family SGLI coverage/beneficiary elections 24/7, 365 days a year via the milConnect application.
“We’re asking commanders and first sergeants at all levels to stress the importance of having their Airmen log into SOES and update and certify their elections,” Angell said. “Airmen do not have to wait for their birth month to update SOES, especially if they experience a major life change such as marriage or divorce.”
Paper-based coverage levels and beneficiary elections on the SGLV 8283A (FSGLI) form and the SGLV 8286 (SGLI) form are in effect until superseded by a SOES election. Should a tragedy occur prior to making a SOES election, the paper-based coverage amount and beneficiary(ies) will be certified for payment, ensuring the elections are properly enacted.
SOES also provides an administrative tool for human resources personnel, commanders and unit SOES administrators by giving them the ability to validate members’ SGLI elections and key SGLI data for a single individual or an entire unit. In addition, SOES provides casualty offices with a central source to obtain beneficiary and coverage information in the event of a casualty.
Air and Space professionals can access SOES via www.dmdc.osd.mil/milconnect to designate an SGLI beneficiary, increase or decrease coverage or decline coverage.
For more information, Air and Space professionals can visit myPers, select “Any” from the dropdown menu and enter “SOES” or ”vRED” in the search menu. Members can also contact the casualty assistance representative at the nearest Air Force base.