The virtual Record of Emergency Data (vRED) is the official source document required by law for Airmen to provide the Air Force emergency contact information and beneficiary designations in the event an Airman becomes a casualty. Benefits include unpaid pay and allowances and a $100,000 death gratuity to aid survivors in meeting immediate expenses. The death gratuity benefit is provided free of charge to Airmen and should not be confused with Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI). The vRED also mandates the designation of a Person Authorized to Direct Disposition (PADD) to take custody of the remains and to make decisions regarding funeral arrangements.
Delays in next of kin notification are most often associated with incomplete or outdated information. Completion and annual validation of the vRED is mandatory and ultimately each Airman’s responsibility. Having a complete and accurate vRED ensures the Air Force Casualty Services Branch can provide prompt and accurate casualty reporting, dignified and humane casualty notifications, and thorough and compassionate follow-on assistance to surviving families.
The vRED can be accessed through myPers or via the virtual Military Personnel Flight on the Air Force Portal. On the myPers home page, Airmen should 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 most people about 15 minutes to fill out and requires addresses and phone numbers for emergency contacts.
Along with the vRED update, updating SGLI is equally important. SGLI provides automatic life insurance coverage of $500,000 to Servicemembers upon enlistment. Members with SGLI also get automatic traumatic injury protection (TSGLI) and life insurance coverage for their dependent children and spouse under the Family SGLI (FSGLI) program, unless the child or spouse is already insured under SGLI as a Servicemember. Servicemembers with full-time SGLI coverage will no longer have to complete a paper SGLV-8286 to make changes to their coverage or beneficiary elections. Instead, these Servicemembers can use the online system, SOES, to manage the amount of their SGLI and spouse coverage and to designate or update beneficiaries.
SOES enables Airmen to make automated SGLI/FSGLI coverage/beneficiary elections 24/7, 365 days a year via the milConnect application here. Airmen must log into SOES to designate an SGLI beneficiary, increase or decrease coverage or decline coverage. Airmen can access SOES via a .mil computer using their common access card (CAC) or by using a personal computer or electronic device. Members can also use a Department of Defense self-service, or DS Logon (username/password), to access SOES without a CAC.
Airmen should review and update their vRED and SOES information annually. When important life-changing events such as marriage/divorce or a change in address/contact information occurs, vRED/SOES should be updated as soon as possible. For more information about vRED or SOES, please contact the casualty assistance representatives at Scott AFB Military & Family Readiness Center or by calling (618) 256-6508.