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Update vRED now

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- What if a few moments of effort now could save your loved ones from confusion upon your death? Surely, you would take the time now, right? Yet some Airmen have not taken the time to ensure their Virtual Record of Emergency Data and Servicemember's Group Life Insurance are up to date. Sadly, there have been real world incidents here at Peterson of Airmen failing to maintain up-to-date information on their vRED and SGLI disbursement resulting in confusion and anguish for their family members.

A Colorado state law makes it imperative that Airmen regularly ensure their vRED is up to date. Under Colorado Revised Statute 15-19-104, when an active duty, Reserve, or National Guard service member completes a federal record of emergency data (DD-93), such as the vRED, that record becomes the determining document as to who is authorized to direct the disposition of the service member's remains. Even if the service member later completes a new, separate document that details a different authority for the disposition of remains, the vRED is the controlling document under Colorado law.

This means that if an Airman completes a signed, notarized document as part of will and estate planning, the vRED, even if older than any new document, is still the controlling authority for who receives and directs the disposition of that Airman's remains.

Similarly, if an Airman has a life-changing event - such as marriage or divorce - the vRED still determines who will have authority for disposition of remains. In short, you cannot simply assume your husband/wife/mother/father will be the one receiving your remains. You need to make sure you declare as much on your vRED.

The vRED also serves another vital purpose. It is the document that the military relies on in the event they have to notify your family if you go missing in action or are killed. If the names and addresses on that document are not current, there may be delays in notification, or worse yet, the wrong people may be notified, causing your family unnecessary pain during what will be an already trying time.

Another important document is your SGLI, and it too must be current to avoid confusion in the event of your death.

SGLI forms allow Airmen to designate one or more beneficiaries of their life insurance in the event of death. Major life events - such as marriage, divorce, birth of a child and deaths of family members - may change who an Airman wishes to designate as a beneficiary. If an Airman experiences a major life event, fails to update his or her SGLI and dies, the SGLI form controls who receives the SGLI payment upon death. Similar to the vRED, a will or estate planning document cannot determine the beneficiary of SGLI. Only the official SGLI form filled out and signed at the MPS determines the SGLI beneficiary.

Updating a vRED takes about five minutes for returning users or 10 minutes for new users. The form is easy, online, and can be done 24 hours a day. All you need to do is access the Air Force Portal website, select Virtual MPF, select "Record of Emergency Data," and complete the form and submit.

To update the SGLI, go to the MPS office in Building 350. A personnelist will assist with filling out the form and act as the required signature witness. Forms are also available to be filled out at home at http://www.va.gov. Once complete, you simply need to stop by MPS to sign them in front of a personnelist.

Ensuring these important documents are up to date is part of military readiness and is vital to accomplishing the mission. If for no other reason though, take the time and update these documents for your loved ones and make things a little easier on them during an already difficult time.

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